Dojo Kun

Dojo Kun

Dojo kun is a term literally meaning (training hall) rules. They are generally posted at the entrance to dojo or at the "front" of the dojo (shomen) and outline behaviour expected and disallowed. In some styles of martial arts they are recited at the beginning or end of a class.

Varying translations and interpretations of the dojo kun exist. Each translation differs in the terms used and the interpretations vary regarding the philosophical depth, meaning, and intention.

The population of English karate practitioners has pushed one form of the translation into being the most widely accepted outside Japan. Generally, the English translation states:

  • Each person must strive for the completion and perfection of one's character
  • Each person must be faithful and protect the way of truth
  • Each person must endeavor (fostering the spirit of effort)
  • Each person must respect others and the rules of etiquette
  • Each person must refrain from violent behavior (guard against impetuous courage)

A more terse translation is used by the ISKF, IKA and JKA:

  • Strive for completion of character (or Seek perfection of character)
  • Be Faithful
  • Endeavor
  • Respect others
  • Refrain from violent behavior

The dojo kun also appears in various other martial arts styles, with alterations according to the general precepts of that style.

19th Apr 2016 Shane Clapson

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