Another entry on my blog contains information that may be incorrect. As I study more, I learn different bits of information on the history of karate. It is important to me that I honour my Sensai’s philosophy…to connect to the roots of our Shotokan practice in Japan. There is so much to learn.
This evening, I liked that Sensai asked the other students to watch their Kohai while he had me demonstrate a simple skill at the front of the dojo. It causes me to gain in confidence when Sensai requires that I contribute in one way or another in the dojo. I also watched the coloured belts as they worked through their kata, making recommendations as they went. I enjoyed the workout tonight and continue to need this experience in my life.
What is dojo kun?
The Dojo Kun refer to the 5 rules of karate conduct often credited to Gichin Funakoshi in error. These rules predate Mr. Funakoshi and are in fact the work of an Okinawan named Satunushi Sakugawa (1733 – 1815).8 The following version is common in the west although the translation to English is loose at best.9 Nonetheless, these rules have been widely adopted by traditional karate stylists.10
(I). ‘Seek perfection of character’ reflects the underlying principle in karate-do. That is, that the art is intended to be a means to making us better people.
(II). ‘Be faithful’ speaks to the samurai tradition of loyalty and honour.
(III). ‘Endeavor’ means to commit wholeheartedly to your study.
(IV). ‘Respect others’ speaks to humility in how you conduct yourself with others, those who came before and the less fortunate.
(V). ‘Refrain from violent behavior’ reminds us that we are responsible for our actions and how we use karate.
The dojo kun balances the physical training in karate-do. Karate practice without discipline is nothing more than exercise. Karate-do refers to the ‘way’ or ‘path’ and suggests that the art is a means to improving human character. A transformation from karate-jutsu (fighting) to karate-do (self-improvement) began in the 19th century and continued under Mr. Funakoshi’s strong influence.11
This information comes from the following website.