Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Precepts by Shihan Morio Higaonna, 9th Dan, Chief Instructor of The IOGKF

  The Founder of Goju Ryu Karate-do, Miyagi Chojun Sensei, was honoured with the title of "Bushi" (a worthy warrior). In Okinawa, "Bushi" does not mean "samurai" as it does in mainland Japan. As a warrior, Miyagi Sensei is worthy of special mention in the history of our country and karate-do.
  Miyagi Chojun Sensei would always explain "Bujutsu" (Martial arts), in simple language, and talk about the way people should live and the order of Nature.
  It is only now that I am aware of, and appreciate, the deep meaning and significance of his words. Through training in martial arts, Miyagi Chojun Sensei searched for how human beings should be. As people who have received Bushi Miyagi's discipline, we must be aware that Miyagi Chojun Sensei is always with us and severely discipline ourselves through continued training.
  We should regard our training as a diamond, at first rough and dull. But with hard, austere and relentless training (or polishing) our techniques will begin to shine. Even after this is achieved, we must not become lazy and discontinue training or the diamond will once again become dull. It needs constant polishing to stay sharp and bright. We should apply this philosophy not only to the training of our karate techniques, but also to the development of our hearts and minds.

  We therefore take the words of our Sensei to heart as the precepts of Goju Ryu and recite them here.

1. It should be known that secret principles of Goju Ryu exist in the "Kata." "Kata" (prearranged forms) are not simply an exhibition of forms. They are a concrete manifestation of techniques which can be transformed at any time to any form. It is in the "kata" that the essence of karate has assumed a definite form. We should always remember that the kata are a crystalization of the essence of karate and that we should always begin afresh and train hard. It is only through the training of kata that you will reach "gokui, " the essential teaching.

2. Goju Ryu Karate-do is a manifestation within one's own self of the harmonious accord of the universe. "As supple as a willow, as solid as Mount Tai (a mountain often referred to in Chinese poetry)." It is when the two extremes of hard and soft are wholly united as one body that the unshakable form of the harmony of heaven and earth will evolve. We find this harmony of hard and soft within the order of Nature and the oneness of the Universe. Through the way of Goju Ryu Karate-do we will be able to express the harmony of Nature within ourselves.

3. The way of Goju Ryu Karate-do is to seek the way of virtue. In Goju Ryu karate-do, we try to cultivate the ideal human nature of physical and spiritual union through the training of the body and spirit. Originally, in the way of strategy, there was the concept "to win," but to win through virtue is the ultimate goal. Therefore, anyone who aspires to this way must not forget the Japanese character ("nin," to endure). Heighten one's own virtue, master the strategy of winning without fighting and seek the ultimate secret.