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Dojo Kun are the rules of the dojo. The purpose of the Dojo Kun is to remind students of all ranks and ages that the non-physical development in martial arts must be demonstrated both in and out of class. There are five of these rules that are generally thought to have been passed down from Okinawan Karate masters to the present. The actual creator of these rules is rumored to be Sakugawa, an 18th century karate master who lived in Okinawa.
Essentially the Dojo Kun is a type of agreement that comes with karate. This agreement provides guidance in both training and our personal lives.
The art of karate is more than just physical. Character is built through discipline and rigorous and repetitive training with the goal of perfecting technique. A student’s character grows as they gain confidence through development of stronger technique. This character development transfers over to life outside of the dojo. Once the concept is understood and experienced it will provide a lifetime benefit of inner strength and peace.
Do you always give everything you've got, or are you "cruising" along in class fooling yourself into believing that you're doing your best? Of all the people you need to be most honest and sincere with, you owe it to yourself to be honest and sincere with yourself. By living in an honest and sincere way you will always act with the proper response in any situation.
Dedication and commitment are necessary to achieve mastery of the art. Just going through the motions will not do. In no case is mastery possible without strenuous effort on the part of the student. This desire must be focused and sincere. Serious effort on the part of the student is recognized by the sensei, who will spend more time with the student. This also leads to the perfection of character.
Respect for others is an important part of our martial arts culture. Many old masters stressed that karate begins and ends with etiquette. In short we treat others as we wish to be treated. Respect is extended to all...our parents, sensei, educators, law, the past, nature, etc. This leads to the perfection of our character.
It is unfair for a trained fighter with a fierce spirit and great strength to use their skill against an untrained person. The karate-ka's spirit is unbeatable and must use his knowledge for defense only. A person of character can walk away from a fight because he is in control of his emotions and is at peace with himself. He wins without fighting and he will have no regrets because no one will be injured. Nonviolence is our ultimate goal. Action should only be taken when no other course is available, when there is no alternative but to defend. Then it must be swift and final. It seems a paradox that through martial arts we develop a peaceful nature, but it is the ultimate goal. Karate creates the peaceful warrior.