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Hikari Dojo Kun

Many schools have a dojo kun. These are typically a set of sayings or maxims that guide the students of that dojo. Each sensei is likely to have his own favorite collection.

I watched a class once where the students would yell out each of the dojo kun. It seemed a bit fanatical, like pre-war students in Japan preparing for military service.

It seems to me that dojo kun should not be an adornment or something that students yell out. I often tell my students to "try your best," but I would not want to create a dojo kun with such a saying. We say what is appropriate to a student at that particular moment in his or her life.

If you do good, then sayings are not necessary. And saying something does not necessarily make it so. We are judged by our deeds, not by what we say.

In fact, my dojo does have a kun, we have many of them -- they are bo (the Okinawan word for bo is kun). See Yamani-Ryu Bojutsu.


Charles C. Goodin