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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.

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