Senior instructors at the JKA developed the Five Dojo Kun which serve as a set of guiding principles or ethics essential to the dojo and the karate-ka but also extended to ones every day activities and way of life.
All JKA karate-ka commit the dojo kun to memory. With each practice session at the dojo, students kneel in the seiza position and repeat the five principles out loud. 


The five principles are:

 一、人格 完成に 努める こと
HITOTSU: Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto
a) Seek perfection of character
b) To strive for perfection of character

HITOTSU: Makoto no michi o mamoru koto
a) Be sincere
b) To defend the paths of truth

HITOTSU: Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto
a) Put maximum effort into everything you do
b) To foster the spirit of effort

HITOTSU: Reigi o omonzuru koto
a) Respect others
b) To honour the principles of etiquette

HITOTSU: Kekki no yuu o imashimuru koto
a) Develop self-control
b) To guard against impetuous courage

The word "Hitotsu" means "one" or "first" and is prepended to each rule to place it at the same level of importance as the others.

  • JKA Dojo Kun0:22

JKA Dojo Kun

Dojo Etiquette 

​​​​​The word dojo literally means ‘place of the way’ or ‘training room’.

The dojo is considered to be a very special place and should be treated with respect. To uphold the tradition of karate-do there are rules of conduct and standards of etiquette which we follow.

Strive to learn the correct dojo etiquette and endeavour to apply the principals of karate in your interaction with instructors and fellow karate-ka. The observation of the basic forms of etiquette is essential to the creation of a respectful and attentive atmosphere, which is conducive to learning.

There are many rules one learns by spending time in the dojo. Some of the basic rules are outlined below. The intention of the rules is to develop positive personal qualities as well as establish a positive social setting. 

The following rules all have equal importance and are not listed in any particular order:

  • Always arrive at the Dojo with sufficient time to prepare mentally for the class.
  • Keep your karate gi (uniform) clean.
  • Respect your belt. it is a reflection of your knowledge. it should be either tied correctly around your waist or stored neatly in your training bag.
  • Keep fingernails and toenails trimmed. Maintain a high level of personal hygiene.
  • All jewellery and sharp objects must be removed before engaging in karate training.
  • Instructors are to be addressed as “Sensei” (teacher).
  • Class leaders are to be addressed as “Sempai” (senior).
  • Show kindness to karate-ka weaker than yourself, and guide beginners in the right manner. Be humble. Be a good example to others and use your strength nobly.
  • For reasons of safety, respect and courtesy, always listen carefully and follow the Sensei’s instructions.
  • Students should always respond with ‘OSU’ when the instructor has demonstrated a technique or given an instruction.
  • If you are late, kneel in the seiza position and wait for the Sensei to signal you to join in.
  • Every class begins and ends with a bow, which is a form of greeting and respect for your fellow karate-ka, seniors and Sensei.
  • Bow to your partner at the commencement and end of a training exercise as a form of gratitude and respect.
  • Help to keep the training area clean and tidy.