Positive Affirmations out of the Dojo Kun

You may or may not know this about me, but I started writing and illustrating a series of “Dojo Kun character books” a few years ago. These character-building picture books for children are fun and a little weird. They contain martial arts, karate kids, Japanese words and monsters. The monsters represent the negative character traits which we must all battle, at times, in order to lead better lives. My third and latest book, “The Follow Through Karate Kids,” also contains the Dojo Kun in positive affirmations.

What is the Dojo Kun?

You can see the Dojo Kun at the link above. That has the earlier Japanese kanji version, as well as the English translation which our alliance, the U.R.K.A., uses. The Dojo Kun consists of the most important things we teach in traditional Okinawan karate. It’s the cornerstone of what we do. It’s the springboard for our character development. And the Dojo Kun could also be called the blood which runs through the veins of my children’s picture books.

When I was developing my “The Follow Through Karate Kids” book, I knew that I wanted to have the Dojo Kun in English as well as a positive affirmations version of it. I turned to one of my beloved mentors, Joey O, to help me with this. Joey O has been a proponent of using positive affirmations. He reinforced their power to me at a time in my life when I was also learning about the importance of a positive attitude. I presented him with the originals of each of the five Dojo Kuns, and with my positive affirmation versions of each. Joey helped me with his input.

Putting the Dojo Kun into Positive Affirmations

Interestingly, Joey O brought up the idea of starting with “I always…” for each affirmation. Even though he is not a student of traditional Okinawan karate, Joey touched upon the koto kanji. In the Japanese writing, each Dojo Kun ends with koto. That is translated a putting importance on what’s written/said. Kind of like saying, “It is important to always…” My karate instructor, Allan Amor Kaicho, has explained this as the concept of putting the Dojo Kun into action. As if the precept is talked about, and then ends with “…and do it.”

For me, having a positive attitude is reinforced by having positive self-talk. And by choosing to focus on positive thoughts. All of the above can be helped along with positive affirmations. As I blogged about a few years ago, here, we are always subconsciously picking up things around us. You could say that we are always being brainwashed. Why not decide to brainwash yourself for a more positive, productive, happy life? Positive affirmations can help.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Dojo Kun Affirmations

1. I make good decisions.

2. I speak the truth.

3. I always do my best.

4. I treat others how I would like to be treated.

5. I take charge of my own actions and words.

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