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Funakoshis 6 Rules (podcast)

Welcome to the latest podcast! In this podcast I give my thoughts on Gichin Funakoshi’s “Six Rules” (of which there are five!). These rules form part of Funakoshi’s book ‘Karate-Do: My Way of Life’ and about which he states, “The strict observance of these rules is absolutely essential for anyone who desires to understand the nature of karate.” This podcast is obviously not attempting to be a definitive explanation or exploration of these rules, but merely my own take on them.

Funakoshi expands and briefly explains all these rules so the podcast also looks at those explanations. Funakoshi’s explanations of his rules raise many points of discussion and are every bit as important to explore as the rules themselves.

Overall, I think these rules are very useful for today’s karateka (and martial artists generally). However, I do find some parts of Funakoshi’s rules “uncomfortable” particularly with regards to his presentation of karate as a “faith”. In the podcast I explain my concerns about this part of Funakoshi’s thinking and why I disagree. The rules also lead me to touch on the subjects of humility, mental attitude, kata, combative principles, the relationship between ‘jutsu’ and ‘do’ and more.

The “six” rules are as follows:

1 – You must be deadly serious in training.

2 – Train with heart and soul without worrying about theory.

3 – Although Funakoshi talks of “six rules”, number 3 is missing from the text.

4 – Avoid self-conceit and dogmatism.

5 – Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is worthy of merit in the works of others.

6 – Abide by the rules of ethics in your daily life, whether in public or private.

This podcast was entirely unscripted and comes in at just over 45 minutes long. It is my hope that openly and freely sharing my thoughts in this way will prove useful to listeners as they explore the meanings and ramifications of these rules from themselves.

The podcast also has news on the new international group I’m involved with that hopes to provide a home and solid network for practically minded martial artists like us.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more very soon!

All the best,


6 Rules
Iain Abernethy