The Value of Karate
Those who follow Karate-do must never forsake a humble mind and gentle manner. The tremendous offensive and defensive power of Karate-do is well known where one can defeat enemies with a single attack. The value of the art depends on the one applying it. If its application is for a good purpose, then the art is of great value, but if it is misused, then there is no more harmful art than karate. One who truly trains in the art of Karate-do is never easily drawn into a fight. Karate is used only on those rare occasions in which one must really defend one’s self. This situation is experienced possibly once in a lifetime by an ordinary person, and therefore there may be an occasion to use karate techniques only once or not at all. In Karate-do, one’s individual goal might be the improvement of his or her health or training of his or her body to function efficiently. One might wish to develop total body strength and coordination or to attain poise and spiritual fortitude. One who trains in Karate-do strives internally to train his or her mind to develop a clear conscience enabling him or her to face the world truthfully, while externally developing strength.
Students of the Atascadero Shotokan dojo follow Grand Master Funakoshi's five precepts, called the Dojo Kun.
Hitotsu. Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomu beshi
We shall endeavor to build our character
Hitotsu. Makoto no michi o mamoru beshi
We shall be faithful in our study
Hitotsu. Doryoku no seishin o yashinau beshi
We shall cultivate courage and tenacity
Hitotsu. Reigi o omonzu beshi
We shall attach great importance to etiquette
Hitotsu. Kekki no yu o imashimu beshi
We shall be wary of foolishness
(Sensei Tawatao Reciting the Dojo Kun)