Niju Kun

The picture shows the Niju kun in Romanji and Kanji.

Niju Kun: The 20 Precepts of Karate

The Niju kun, the 20 precepts (guiding principles), are the central and most comprehensive ethical manual of Karate Do. Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate Do, wrote and published them in 1938. In his Book, which comprises roughly 100 pages, he developed a broad moral philosophical foundation for Karate Do. The Niju kun, therefore, extends and compliments the much smaller Dojo kun, which only consist of five precepts.

The 20 precepts, however, should not be understood as commandments. Like the Dojo Kun they are guiding principles that foster the perfection of one´s character and the conduct of oneself in everyday life. Therefore, Karate students are called to keep them in mind and execute them on a daily basis.

The picture shows the book in which Gichin Funakoshi layed out the Niju kun.

The 20 Precepts of Karate

1. Karate begins and ends with courtesy 一、空手道は礼に始まり礼に終る事を忘るな (Hitotsu, Karate-do wa rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru koto wo wasuruna)

2. There is no first attack in karate 一、空手に先手なし (Hitotsu, Karate ni sente nashi)

3. Karate is an assistance to justice 一、空手は義の補け (Hitotsu, Karate wa gi no tasuke)

The picture shows the Dojo Finder.

4. Know yourself first, before you know others 一、先づ自己を知れ而して他を知れ (Hitotsu, mazu jiko wo shire, shikoshite tao wo shire)

5. Spirit before technique 一、技術より心術 (Hitotsu, gijutsu yori shinjutsu)

6. Be ready to free your mind 一、心は放たん事を要す (Hitotsu, kokoro wa hanatan koto wo yosu)

7. Accidents come from laziness 一、禍は懈怠に生ず (Hitotsu, wazawai wa getai ni shozu)

8. Karate training goes beyond the dojo 一、道場のみの空手と思ふな (Hitotsu, Dojo nomino karate to omou na)

9. You will never stop learning in karate 一、空手の修業は一生である (Hitotsu, Karate no shugyo wa issho de aru)

10. Apply karate to everything. Therein lies it’s beauty 一、凡ゆるものを空手化せよ其処に妙味あり (Hitotsu, arai-yuru mono wo karate-ka seyo, soko ni myo-mi ari)

11. Karate is like boiling water. If not given heat, it will go cold 一、空手は湯の如し絶えず熱度を与えざれば元の水に還る (Hitotsu, Karate wa yu no goto shi taezu natsudo wo ataezareba moto no mizu ni kaeru)

12. Do not think of winning. Instead, think that you must never lose 一、勝つ考は持つな負けぬ考は必要 (Hitotsu, katsu kangae wa motsu na makenu kangae wa hitsuyo)

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13. Make adjustments according to your opponent 一、敵に因って轉化せよ (Hitotsu, tekki ni yotte tenka seyo)

14. The outcome of a fight depends on how you handle weaknesses and strengths 一、戦は虚実の操縦如何に在り (Hitotsu, tattakai wa kyo-jitsu no soju ikan ni ari)

15. Think of hands and feet as swords 一、人の手足を剣と思へ (Hitotsu, hito no te ashi wo ken to omoe)

16. When you step outside your own gate, you face a million enemies 一、男子門を出づれば百万の敵あり (Hitotsu, danshi mon wo izureba hyakuman no tekki ari)

17. Fixes positions are for beginners: later, one moves naturally 一、構は初心者に後は自然体 (Hitotsu, kamae wa shoshinsha ni ato wa shizentai)

18. Kata is practised perfectly, real fight is another thing 一、形は正しく実戦は別物 (Hitotsu, Kata wa tadashiku jissen wa betsu mono)

19. Hard and soft, tension and relaxation, quick and slow, all connected in the technique 一、力の強弱体の伸縮技の緩急を忘るな (Hitotsu, chikara no kyojaku, karada no shinshuku, waza no kankyu wo wasaruna)

20. Think of ways to apply these precepts every day 一、常に思念工夫せよ (Hitotsu, tsune ni shinen kufu seyo)

The picture shows the Niju kun: The 20 precepts written by Gichin Funakoshi comprise a set of ethical rules for Shotokan Karateka. Budo is and spirit are major elements of the precepts.
The 20 precepts written by Gichin Funakoshi comprise a set of ethical rules for Shotokan Karateka. Budo is and spirit are major elements of the precepts.

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