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The Twenty Precepts…

Master Gichin Funakoshi is largely responsible for organizing modern Karate-do. Although he formed what we now know as the school of Shoto-Kan, many of the curriculum based dojos in Karate today have Master Funakoshi to thank for the order and etiquette within their art.

Master Funakoshi also created 20 precepts for Karate-do which can apply to any school of Karate-do. Our school, Wa-Ki-Ryu, has a strong foundation thanks to Master Funakoshi’s Shoto-Kan. It seems only fitting that we, not only attempt to understand his theories on body/technique, but also his theory on the mind and spirit.

After-all…the Martial Artist cannot survive on body alone.

“The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.”

-Gichin Funakoshi

Gichin Funakoshi’s Twenty Precepts

1. Karate-do begins with courtesy, and ends with courtesy.
2. There is no first attack in karate.
3. Karate is a great service to justice.
4. Know yourself first, then others.
5. Spirit first, technique second.
6. Always be ready to release your mind.
7. Mishaps always come out of negligence.
8. Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo.
9. It will take your entire life to learn karate; there is no limit.
10. Put your everyday living into karate and you will find the ideal state of existence.
11. Karate is like hot water. If you do not heat it constantly, it will become cold water.
12. Do not think that you have to win. Rather think that you do not have to lose.
13. Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
14. The battle is according to how you maneuver guarded or unguarded. Move according to your opponent.
15. Think of the hands and feet as swords.
16. When you leave home, imagine that you have numerous opponents waiting for you. It is your behavior that invites trouble for them.
17. Beginners must master low stance and posture; natural body position is for the advanced.
18. Practicing a kata is one thing, and engaging in a real fight is another.
19. Do not forget strength and weakness of power, stretching and contraction of the body, and slowness and speed of techniques. Apply these correctly.
20. Always think and devise ways to live the precepts every day.

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