Dojo Kun 道場訓

“We will train our hearts and bodies, for a firm unshaking spirit.

We will pursue the true meaning of the Martial Way, so that in time our senses may be alert.

With true vigor, we will seek to cultivate a spirit of self-denial.

We will observe the rules of courtesy, respect our superiors, and refrain from violence.

We will follow our religious principles , and never forget the true virtue of humility.

We will look upwards to wisdom and strength, not seeking other desires.

All our lives, through the discipline of Karate, we will seek to fulfill the true meaning of the Kyokushin Way.”

The Kyokushin Dōjō Kun 道場訓 (Training Hall Oath) was written by Mas Oyama with the help of his friend Eiji Yoshikawa. Sosai Oyama was a great admirer of Miyamoto Musashi, who is Japan’s most famous samurai. When he did his mountain training as a young man, it was Musashi’s book, “Go Rin No Sho” that he took with him to read and study. Yoshikawa was the author of the novel “Musashi”, which was based on Miyamoto Musashi’s life.

The Dojo Kun is usually recited at the end of each training session when the students and instructors are lined up by rank in Seiza (formal kneeling position). The most senior student will recite each line of the Dojo Kun and the entire class will repeat it together.  Not every dojo recites the Dojo Kun these days, but many still do. The version above is one of the most common-

In some dojos, especially in the west, “We will follow our God…” is used in the fifth line. In other dojos (more common in the east) “We will follow our Gods and Buddha…”, is used and is a more “literal” translation of Shinbutsu 神仏.  The full meaning of the Japanese word though is more difficult as it involves Buddhist and Shinto principles that many Westerners are not familiar with.  The interpretation that I use above, “We will follow our religious principles…” is considered to be more accurate when translating for non-Japanese and takes into consideration Japanese culture and ideas about religion.

It’s not uncommon in the west to number the lines of the dojo kun 1-7. In the English version at the beginning though you’ll note that there are no numbers. In the Japanese version (below) the number “one” is stated at the beginning of each line. The significance being that no one line is superior to another, but that all are equally important.

Japanese Version

一、吾々は心身を錬磨し 確固不抜の心技を極めること

Hitotsu, wareware wa, shinshin o renmashi, kakko fubatsu no shingi o kiwameru koto.

一、吾々は武の真髄を極め 機に発し感に敏なること

Hitotsu, wareware wa, bu no shinzui o kiwame, ki ni hasshi, kan ni bin naru koto.

一、吾々は質実剛健を以て 克己の精神を涵養すること

Hitotsu, wareware wa, shitsujitsu gōken o motte, kokki no seishin o kanyo suru koto.

一、吾々は礼節を重んじ 長上を敬し粗暴の振る舞いを慎むこと

Hitotsu, wareware wa, reisetsu o omonji, chōjō o keishi sobō no furumai o tsutsushimu koto.

一、吾々は神仏を尊び 謙譲の美徳を忘れざること

Hitotsu, wareware wa, shinbutsu o tōtobi, kenjō no bitoku o wasurezaru koto.

一、吾々は智性と体力とを向上させ 事に臨んで過たざること

Hitotsu, wareware wa, chisei to tairyoku to o kōjō sase, koto ni nozonde ayamatazaru koto.

一、吾々は生涯の修行を空手の道に通じ 極真の道を全うすること

Hitotsu, wareware wa, shōgai no shūgyō o karate no michi ni tsūji, Kyokushin no michi o mattō suru koto.