Dojo Kun (School Principles)

The principles of Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo are the basic tenets of behaviour that is expected of all practitioners of the school.

  • Etiquette
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Discipline
  • Perseverance


In founding the original Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo school, Kaiso Kori Hisataka (1907-1988) adopted the motto Doku Ji Gyo Sei Ki, which has generally been translated as “Spiritual Development of Individuality in Mind and Body” This motto has been continued to be used by most Shorinjiryu groups based on the Kenkokan school.

Initially a branch of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo, Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo has for a longtime used the original motto as our own. Over the years we have been fortunate to be able to study the old style Shorinjiryu under Hanshi Watanabe and the newer style of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan / Koshiki under Hanshi Hisataka. Although both these teachers learnt from Kaiso Hisataka, they have different interpretations and emphases. We have also been fortunate to learn from fine contemporary Shorinjiryu exponents such as Hanshi Myron Lubitsch, who has also worked hard to preserve the old ways, and blend them with modern approaches and learning.

In founding Shorinjiryu Koshinkai (the group of the old and new Shorinjiryu), our aim has been to blend the best teachings from these influences, and to maintain the best aspects of the old and new techniques, methodologies, philosophies and other approaches.

For this reason, Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo is proud to adopt a new motto as our school motto - On Ko Chi Shin (温故知新). This has been variously translated as:

  • Examine the past to discover the new
  • Learn from the old to discover the new

This motto emphasises that we should study in detail and truly understand, the lessons passed down to us by our teachers and the old masters that preceeded them, and couple this knowledge with our own experience to create our own path of karate.

In adopting On Ko Chi Shin as the motto for Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo, we have taken the motto laid down by the founder of Shorinjiryu, and coupled that with the experiences we have gained in working with Hanshi Hisataka, Hanshi Watanabe, Hanshi Lubitsch and others to discover our own philosophy. This motto encompasses and builds upon the original motto of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan. On Ko Chi Shin thus represents the core philosophy of Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo. Doku Ji Gyo Sei Ki remains the encompassing motto of the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan style, but we are proud to add our school motto for Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo.

The Martial Creed


I come to you with empty hands, I have no weapons.
But should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or honour,
Should it be the matter of life and death or right and wrong,
Then here are my weapons - my empty hands.