Dojo Hyogo – Dojo Motto

The motto of Shorinjiryu karatedo is‘ Doku Ji Gyo Sei Ki ‘ ,

In English: “Spiritual development of individuality in mind and body” 

In French : “Développement spirituel de l’individualité mentale et physique “

The Shorinjiryu motto was coined by Kaiso Masayoshi Kori Hisataka (1907-1988), Kaiso meaning founder, and expresses his view that individuality is an important trait developed in a karateka.

Hanshi Shunji Watanabe explained the meaning of the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo motto, from Kaiso Hisataka as the following: “Shorinjiryu karateka are like trees in a forest. All the trees have common characteristics, but no one tree is the same as another. In the same way, Shorinjiryu karateka share common techniques, philosophies, and knowledge, but no practitioner is identical to another”.

It is from this comparison that we can understand how each of us simultaneously learns from and enhances Shorinjiryu karatedo according to our individuality.

Although the base of karate should be consistent, each practitioner will emphasise their own strengths and account for their limitations.

This motto is not a license for individuals to change forms or methods at their own discretion.

At the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo honbu dojo (headquarters) in the Waseda area in Shinjuku Ward of Tokyo, Japan,  Kaiso Hisataka painted the motto in kanji on a large wooden board which remained on proud display at the front of the dojo since 1955 until recent renovations to the dojo in 2011.


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I teach Shihan Shigeru Ishino's Shorinjiryu Genbukan Karate in Kingston Ontario Canada since 1983. Shihan Ishino was an original student of Kaiso Masayoshi Kori Hisataka in Tokyo Japan, who came to Canada in 1969 to assist with the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate dojos in Montreal Quebec Canada.

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