2 minutes reading time (359 words)

Dojo Kun - Respect Others

Dojo Kun - Respect Others

Dojo Kun - literal translation means "training hall rules". There are five main rules that serve as guiding principles for all who train in the dojo. Although they are usually listed in a set order, no one rule is more important than any other. To emphasise this all five are prefixed with hitotsu and end with koto, which together means "one point".

One Point! Respect Others

Hitotsu! Reigi o omonsuru koto

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I urge you to research the meaning of the dojo kun and to draw your own conclusions as to the true meaning of each rule (start here at Wikipedia). Then, once you've done that, set upon Gichin Funakoshi's 20 Precepts (Niju Kun) and see what you make of them.

Here’s my take on Respect Others. Karate begins and ends with a bow. That is an important point for Westerners to grasp. Bowing is a sign of respect in Japan, whereas in the West it is seen more as a symbol of subservience that is reserved for when one meets royalty.

Kata begins and ends with a bow. Although the intent may be that you are about to engage in mortal combat with another human being, and may well have ended up inflicting severe damage, it is still another human being, an opponent worthy of our respect. They may also be in need of medical attention.

Respect Others runs deep in the core of our society. Respect can mean tolerance of the way other people choose to live their lives, acceptance of their freedom of choice to be that way, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to condone another's way of being.

I think that a philosophy of life that enables you to be happy and allows others to be happy in their own way, while maybe a utopian ideal, would be a good ideal to aim for. And what is the secret to living this way? Apart from following the path of moderation, the middle way, and taking all things in moderation, I once heard the Dalai Lama answer a question similar to this, with a very simple answer, "Be nice person."

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