The twenty principles were originated by Master Gichin Funakoshi for the spiritual and mental advancement of Karate students. The principles stress that students should not only focus on the physical part of Karate, but rather have a balance between the physical and spiritual part of the martial art.

Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate are:
  1. Do not forget that Karate-do begins and ends with rei (Respect).
  2. There is no first strike in Karate
  3. Karate stands on the side of justice
  4. First know yourself, then know others
  5. Mentality over technique
  6. The minds must be set free
  7. Calamity springs from carelessness
  8. Karate goes beyond the dojo
  9. Karate is lifelong pursuit
  10. Apply the way of Karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty
  11. Karate is like boiling water: without heat, it returns to its tepid state
  12. Do not think winning. Think, rather, of not losing
  13. Adjust according to your opponent
  14. The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and fullness (weakness and strength)
  15. Think of the opponent’s hands and feet as swords
  16. When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies
  17. Kamae is for beginners; later, one stands in shizentai
  18. Perform kata exactly; actual combat is another matter
  19. Do not forget the employment or withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique
  20. Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful in your pursuit of the Way