Niju Kun

Niju Kun:

The niju kun are twenty principles (or precepts) to aid the Karate practitioner in their training.  The dojo kun were created from these twenty rules as a more condensed version.  Like the Dojo kun there are some differences in translation depending on where you look but all get the general meaning across.  Below are the twenty principals, some have alternate translations when the meaning isn’t clear:

1.     Karate-do begins and ends with rei (Respect/courtesy/bow)
        
空手道は礼に始まり礼に終る事を忘るな
         Karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto o wasaru na

2.     There is no first strike in karate
        
空手に先手なし
         Karate ni sente nashi

3.     Karate stands on the side of justice
        
空手は義の補け
         Karate wa, gi no tasuke

4.     First know yourself, then know others
        
先づ自己を知れ而して他を知れ
         Mazu onore o shire, shikashite ta o shire

5.     Mentality over technique / Spirit first, technique second.
        
技術より心術
         Gijitsu yori shinjitsu

6.     The mind must be set free
        
心は放たん事を要す
         Kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu

7.     Calamity springs from carelessness
        
禍は懈怠に生ず
         Wazawai wa ketai ni seizu

8.     Karate goes beyond the dojo
        
道場のみの空手と思ふな
         Dojo nomino karate to omou na

9.     Karate is a lifelong pursuit / It will take your entire life to learn karate, there is no limit.
        
空手の修業は一生である
         Karate
no shugyo wa issho de aru

10.  Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty / you will find "Myo" (subtle secrets).
        
凡ゆるものを空手化せよ其処に妙味あり
         Ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; sokoni myomi ari

11.  Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state (it will cool)
       
空手は湯の如し絶えず熱度を与えざれば元の水に還る
        Karate Wa Yu No Goto
shi Taezu Netsu o Atae Zareba Motono Mizuni Kaeru

12.  Do not think of winning. Think, rather, of not losing / do not have to lose
       
勝つ考は持つな負けぬ考は必要
        Katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo

13.  Make adjustments according to your opponent / Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
        
敵に因って轉化せよ
         Tekki ni yotte tenka seyo

14.  The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles weakness and strength.
       
戦は虚実の操縦如何に在り
        Tattakai wa kyo-jitsu no soju ikan ni ari

15.  Think of hands and feet as swords / Think of your opponent’s hands and feet as swords.
       
人の手足を剣と思へ
        Hi to no te-ashi
o ken to omoe

16.  When you leave home think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you.
       
男子門を出づれば百万の敵あり
        Danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari

17.  Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced.
       
構は初心者に後は自然体
        Kamae wa shoshinsha ni atowa shizentai

18.  Practicing a Kata exactly is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.
       
形は正しく実戦は別物
        Kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono

19.  Do not forget the employment of withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique.
       
力の強弱体の伸縮技の緩急を忘るな
        Chikara no kyojaku tai no shinshuku waza no kankyu
o wasuruna

20.  Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful, in your pursuit of the Way.
         常に思念工夫せよ

         Tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo

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