Principals of Shotokan Karate

Image of Master Gichin Funakoshi

Funakoshi’s (Shotokan) Principals

  • Never forget: Karate begins and ends with rei. Rei has the meaning of respect.
  • There is no “first hand” in Karate. (Meaning there is no first attack, karate is about self-defense)
  • Karate supports righteousness.
  • First understand yourself, then understand others.
  • The art of mind is more important than the art of technique.
  • The mind needs to be freed.
  • Trouble is born of negligence.
  • Do not think that Karate is only in the dojo.
  • The training of Karate requires a lifetime.
  • Transform everything into Karate; therein lies the exquisiteness.
  • Genuine Karate is like hot water; it cools down if you do not keep heating it.
  • Do not have an idea of winning, while the idea of losing is not necessary.
  • Transform yourself according to the opponent.
  • The outcome of the fight all depends on the maneuver.
  • 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 the dynamics of power, the elasticity of the body, and the speed of technique.
  • Always be good at the application of everything you have learned.