The 20 Guiding Principles of Karate

 

These twenty principles were passed down by Master Gichin Funakoshi for the spiritual develpment of his students. They emphasize his desire to ensure that one should not be too caught up in the technical aspecs of karates fighting techniques. Rather it is the focus on the spiritual aspects that turn karate the martial art, into karate-do the way.

Karate-do begins and ends with Rei (courtesy)

Hitotsu, karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto o wasuruna

 

There is no first strike in karate.

Hitotsu, karate ni sente nashi

 

Karate is on the side of justice

Hitotsu, karate wa, gi no tasuke

 

First know yourself then know others

Hitotsu, mazu onore o shire, shikashite ta o shire

 

Spirit first, technique second

Hitotsu, gijutsu yori shinjitsu

 

The mind must be set free

Hitotsu, kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu

 

Calamity springs from carelessness

Hitotsu, wazawai wa ketai ni seizu

 

Karate goes beyond the dojo

Hitotsu, dojo nomino karate to omou na

 

Karate is a lifelong pursuit

Hitotsu, karate-do no shugyo wa issho de aru

 

Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty

Hitotsu, ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; soko ni myomi ari

 

Karate is like boiling water, without heat it returns to its tepid state

Hitotsu, karate wa yu no gotoshi taezu netsu o ataezareba moto no mizu ni kaeru

 

Do not think of winning, think rather of not losing

Hitotsu, katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo

 

Make adjustments according to your opponents

Hitotsu, tekki ni yotte tenka seyo

 

The out come of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength

Hitotsu, tatakai wa kyojitsu no soju ikan ni ari

 

Think of your opponents hands and feet as swords

Hitotsu, hito no teashi wa ken to omoe

 

When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies

Hitotsu, danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari

 

Kamae (ready stance) is for beginners, later one stands in Shizentai (natural stance)

Hitotsu, kamae wa shoshinsha ni ato wa shizentai

 

Perform kata exactly, actual combat is another matter

Hitotsu, kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono

 

Do not forget the employment or withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of techniques  

Hitotsu, chikara no kyojakutai no shinshuku waza no kankyu o wasuruna

 

Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful in your pursuit of the way

Hitotsu, tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo

Hitotsu, karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto o wasuruna

Karate-do begins and ends with Rei (courtesy)

 

Hitotsu, karate ni sente nashi

There is no first strike in karate

 

Hitotsu, karate wa, gi no tasuke

Karate is on the side of justice

 

Hitotsu, mazu onore o shire, shikashite ta o shire

First know yourself then know others

 

Hitotsu, gijutsu yori shinjitsu

Spirit first, technique second

 

Hitotsu, kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu

The mind must be set free

 

Hitotsu, wazawai wa ketai ni seizu

Calamity springs from carelessness

 

Hitotsu, dojo nomino karate to omou na

Karate goes beyond the dojo

 

Hitotsu, karate-do no shugyo wa issho de aru

Karate is a lifelong pursuit

 

Hitotsu, ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; soko ni myomi ari

Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty

 

Hitotsu, karate wa yu no gotoshi taezu netsu o ataezareba moto no mizu ni kaeru

Karate is like boiling water, without heat it returns to its tepid state

 

Hitotsu, katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo

Do not think of winning, think rather of not losing

 

Make adjustments according to your opponents

Hitotsu, tekki ni yotte tenka seyo

 

Hitotsu, tatakai wa kyojitsu no soju ikan ni ari

The out come of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength

 

Hitotsu, hito no teashi wa ken to omoe

Think of your opponents hands and feet as swords

 

Hitotsu, danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari

When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies

 

Hitotsu, kamae wa shoshinsha ni ato wa shizentai

Kamae (ready stance) is for beginners, later one stands in Shizentai (natural stance)

 

Hitotsu, kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono

Perform kata exactly, actual combat is another matter

 

Hitotsu, chikara no kyojakutai no shinshuku waza no kankyu o wasuruna

Do not forget the employment or withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of techniques  

 

Hitotsu, tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo

Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful in your pursuit of the way

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