Perfection of Character

Guiding Principles for the Martial Arts & Everyday Life

Perfection of Character Teruyuki Okazaki shares Guiding Principles for the Martial Arts & Everyday Life.

Master Teruyuki Okazaki, Chairman and Chief Instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation, is revered as one of the greatest karate masters of our time. At 75 years of age, he moves with the speed and grace of an athletic man in his twenties. He smiles broadly and laughs easily, defying the somber stereotype of a martial arts master. His warmth, humility, and understanding of the human condition are obvious to all who encounter him.

“Karate practitioners and other martial artists must know that the martial arts are about more than physical development, self-defense, and competition; most importantly, they are about continually striving to perfect one’s character,” Master Okazaki explains.

This is the message that Master Okazaki’s own teacher, Master Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern karate, most wanted to emphasize as well. To this end, Master Funakoshi articulated two sets of principles, the Dojo Kun, and the Niju Kun. The Dojo Kun are the five guiding, general principles of karate; and the Niju Kun are the twenty specific and subordinate principles of karate, which encompass morality, technique, and proper mindset.

In Perfection of Character: Guiding Principles for the Martial Arts & Everyday Life, Master Okazaki draws out the deep and hidden wisdom from these seemingly simple principles in a light and lucid fashion, and emphasizes that the principles of karate are principles for living a peaceful, fulfilling, and happy life. This profound book is not just for karate practitioners and martial artists; it is a book for all who genuinely seek to become the best person they can be.

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