The dojo kun outline the behaviours and attitudes expected in the dojo and have been passed down, in various forms, from Okinawan teachers to the present. The dojo kun generally accredited to Gichin Funakoshi are set out below as a simple set of rules which might help guide students of Ho Shin Do Karate:
Seek Perfection of Character
(Hitotsu !!! Jinkaku kansei ni tsuto muru koto)
Karate is more than just physical. All beginners, especially the young, are taught the importance of character building through discipline and rigorous training. For the beginner, the character building process begins with perfecting techniques through repetition. Strength of spirit will be achieved as one gains more confidence through development of stronger technique. We train hard to develop a strong spirit, not only to fight but also to overcome our challenges. Developing these spiritual values is most difficult, but once achieved they will provide a lifetime benefit of inner strength and peace.
(Hitotsu !!! Makato no michi o mamoru koto)
To be faithful is a strong Samurai tradition and an extension of the Confucian influence on the family and martial arts. Show faith in your Sensei (teacher) and dojo (school). The student should follow the Sensei in much the same way as a medieval Samurai was bound to follow his feudal lord to the death without hesitation. While this may seem unusual in the present day, it is unreasonable to expect a Sensei to teach all he knows to a student who is likely to leave for the slightest reason. The student must prove his loyalty over the years. The faith and loyalty extended to the Sensei will be rewarded and knowledge and wisdom will be passed on. This bond between Sensei and student is extremely valuable and is the basis of the learning relationship.
Endeavour to Excel
(Hitotsu !!! Do ryoku no seishin o yashinau koto)
We must show complete dedication and commitment to achieve mastery of the art. In no case is mastery possible without strenuous effort and sacrifice on the part of the practitioner. Oneâ€™s efforts must be of a sincere nature and not just superficial. This serious effort on the part of the student will be recognized by the Sensei who will in turn spend more time with him or her. Those who can endeavour through difficult times without wavering are the ones who will be great. The ability to endeavour is the key to success in all things.
(Hitotsu!!! Reigi o omonsuru koto)
Respect for others is an important part of the Japanese and Okinawan culture and therefore it is an inseparable part of all Traditional Japanese/Okinawan Martial Arts. Grand Masters stressed that Karate begins and ends with courtesy. They also stated that without courtesy and etiquette there is no dojo. This is a reflection of the formal nature of the Japanese people and is best observed by the ritualistic bowing and strict Sensei/student relationship. Dojo etiquette is well defined. You bow correctly and show respect in everything you do and everywhere you go. Respect is extended to all.
Refrain From Violent Behaviour
(Hitotsu !!! Kekki no you o imashi muru koto)
A trained Karateka (practitioner of Karatedo) is a person with a fierce fighting spirit and great strength. Skills should never be used other than in exceptional circumstances (eg self defence situations). The Karateka’s spirit is unbeatable and he must use his abilities “ONLY” for the sake of justice. A person of character can walk away from a fight because they are in control of their emotions and are at peace. They have no need to “test” their abilities on the street. They win without fighting and have no regrets because no one will be injured. Aggression and violence is contrary the principles of Karatedo and the Dojo Kun.