Niju kun or the twenty precepts of karate where formulated by the father of modern karate Gichin Funakoshi before he and his students founded the Nihon Karate Koyokai, or Japanese Karate Association in May of 1949.
Over the years there have been many attempts to translate the twenty precepts of karate into English, with many variations put forward as to what the literal translation actually is.
However, I like the translation put forward below which I obtained from the Japanese Karate Association, who after all, are the ones in the best position to speak on these principles.
I won’t go into any great detail on the precepts in this post as I could literally write a seperate post on each precept which is my intention in the future.
The 20 Precepts of Karate
- Karate begins and ends with courtesy
- There is no first attack in karate
- Karate supports righteousness
- First understand yourself, then understand others
- The art of developing the mind is more important than the art of applying technique
- The mind needs to be freed
- Trouble is born of negligence
- Do not think karate belongs only in the dojo
- Karate training requires a lifetime
- Transform everything into karate; therein lies its exquisiteness
- Genuine karate is like hot water; it cools down if you do not keep on heating it
- Do not think of winning; you must think of not losing
- Transform yourself according to the opponent
- The outcome of the fight depends on one’s control
- Imagine one’s arms and legs as swords
- Once you leave the shelter of home, there are a million enemies
- Postures are for the beginner; later they are natural positions
- Do the kata correctly; the real fight is a different matter
- Do not forget control of the dynamics of power, the elasticity of the body and the speed of the technique
- Always be good at the application of everything you have learned
Renshi Mark Szalajko
Bujutsu Martial Arts and Fitness Centre