Founder of the traditional Karate Gichin Funakoshi synthesized Karate training and Zen Philosophy in these 20 Precepts to make Karate-do his “Way of Life”. As described in his book, Funakoshi made the Karate training his way of living by absorbing the essence of its philosophy. He was a respectable and honorable man who lived a long and healthy life that made people curious about the secret of his longevity. He had his own “Center Line” about life, believing in what he was doing and living with moderation.
Doesn’t really matter if you are into Karate or not. The understanding of the 20 Precepts will give you a glimpse of this honorable, respectable and clear minded “Way of Life”.
- Karate-do begins and ends with bowing.
Hitotsu, karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto o wasaru na
- There is no first strike in karate.
Hitotsu, karate ni sente nashi
- Karate stands 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
- Mentality over technique.
Hitotsu, gijitsu yori shinjitsu
- The heart 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 isssho de aru
- Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty.
Hitotsu, ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; sokoni myomi ari
- Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state.
Hitotsu, karate Wa Yu No Gotoku Taezu Netsu O Atae Zareba Motono Mizuni 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 opponent.
Hitotsu, tekki ni yotte tenka seyo
- The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and fullness (weakness and strength).
Hitotsu, tattakai wa kyo-jitsu no soju ikan ni ari
- Think of hands and feet as swords.
Hitotsu, hi to no te-ashi 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
- Formal stances are for beginners; later, one stands naturally.
Hitotsu, kamae wa shoshinsha ni atowa shizentai
- Perform prescribed sets of techniques exactly; actual combat is another matter.
Hitotsu, kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono
- Do not forget the employment of withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique.
Hitotsu, chikara no kyojaku tai no shinshuku waza no kankyu
- Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful, in your pursuit of the Way
Hitotsu, tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo