Dojo Kun & Nijyu Kun

Master Funakoshi articulated the Doju Kun and the Nijyu Kun as a set of precepts to guide Karate-ka in the dojo, as well as in life, and are important parts of the karate-ka’s development.

Dojo Kun


The Dojo Kun is often said at the end of training, to remind us of these 5 principles:

  • Seek perfection of character

  • Be faithful

  • Endeavor

  • Respect others

  • Refrain from violent behavior


Shoto Nijyu Kun

 The lesser known Nijyu Kun explores the concepts deeper, and includes guidance for the development of character, spirit and technical skill. It is central to the quest for perfection of character.


1. Karate begins with a bow and finishes with a bow

2. In karate, never attack first

3. One who practices karate must follow the way of justice

4. Know yourself first, then you can know others

5. Spirit and mind is more important than technique

6. Be ready to release your mind

7. Misfortune comes out of idleness

8. Don’t think that what you learn from karate can’t be used outside the dojo

9. It will take you entire life to learn karate

10. Put karate into your everyday living; that is how you will see its true beauty

11. Karate is just like hot water; if you do not give it continuous heat, it will become cold

12. Do not think that you have to win; think, rather, that you do not have to lose

13. Move according to your opponent

14. In conflict you must discern the vulnerable from invulnerable points

15. Consider you opponent’s legs and arms as you would lethal swords

16. Be aware at all times that you have millions of potential opponents

17. For full awareness in natural stance, you must practice ready position as a beginner

18. Practicing kata is one thing; engaging in a real fight is another

19. Do not forget: (1) strength and weakness of power; (2) contraction and expansion of body; and (3) slowness and speed of techniques

20. Always create and devise


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