Little Dragons Holiday Dojo Kun

In December I once had only one five-year-old show up for a karate class. That was when he came up with the idea of a special Little Dragons Holiday Dojo Kun. I’ve mentioned this hard-working student, Payton, before in a blog. That December day, since Payton was the only student, we had more conversation than we normally would in class. I took the opportunity to get to know him a little better.


I quizzed Payton on each of the five Dojo Kuns and their meanings. When he gave the short, simple meaning of number five (control myself), his tongue slipped. “Control my elf,” came out. Yet he kept a serious face. For once, the tables were turned. This time, I was the one who pointed out the fun and funny situation. I repeated, “Control my elf?” chuckling lightly.


Payton joined the laugh and paused in his warm-up while he spoke of Dojo Kun holiday possibilities.

I encouraged him to keep moving as he talked.

Payton said, “We should have Christmas Dojo Kuns.”

So I asked, “What could the other ones be?”

Payton thought about it. As we finished our warm-up, we came up with more. 

“We should write these down and put them up instead of the ones up there,” he said, pointing to the framed Dojo Kun.

I explained to him that the Dojo Kuns are our most important rules and we need to keep them up. We shouldn’t be too silly about them. I pointed out the omoi kanji in the Japanese version. “We need to take these seriously.”

Payton then said, “We could put them on the white board.”

“Maybe,” I responded. But I think this blog is a more appropriate venue for sharing our Little Dragons Holiday Dojo Kun.


Here are the simple meanings of the Dojo Kun which our youngest students learn.

Dojo Kun meanings for young kids










And here is our fun version for the holidays:

Little Dragons Holiday Dojo Kun

  • Try hard to get on the nice list.
  • Tell Santa what I want for Christmas.
  • Keep on trying to be good.
  • Be nice to my siblings.
  • Control my elf.

I have heard that Little Dragons is the hardest class to teach in karate. And it definitely takes a lot of energy to keep our youngest students busy and constructive. But it is also generally the most fun class. We get to do many games and activities that reinforce learning and traditional karate. These students, our youngest ones, have such enthusiasm, creativity and open minds. We can learn a lot from our Little Dragons. If you’d like to hear another Little Dragons student’s serious take on the Dojo Kun, check out this blog.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

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