Philosophy of Karate

AGKK – Australian GoJu Kai Karate - Philosophy of Karate

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The True Philosophy of Karate

True Karate is the positive training of both mind and body.

True Karate training raises the instinct of self-preservation and is only to be used for the cause of justice and equality.

People should eliminate narrow mindedness which may cause them to stand against other people; we should all acquire broad-mindedness. This is possible through the study and Philosophy of Karate.

We are a Black Belt Leadership School where we create Leaders not followers. We provide students opportunities to develop leadership skills and possibly enable a student to one day advance to become a Sensei.

Karate as it should be practiced is not a competitive or a violent sport, where people are pitted against each other. Nor is it physical training merely for the sake of training, where the goal is merely that of smashing boards and bricks.

True Karate is training of both mind and body and leads to a better understanding, for both self and the world. Karate is self training in perfection not only in words but more importantly actions. It is training in efficiency – every action with function and purpose.

Its rewards are here and now, for it enables a person to meet any situation with exactly the right expenditure and effort, neither too much nor too little. This is the Goju way- the balance between hard and soft. It can give a person control of their otherwise wayward mind and acquire the self-discipline to complete a task to the best of a person’s ability.

The structured curriculum and insight should become positive standards for behaviour in and outside of Karate.

Your training will improve your actions and self disciplined behaviour. An experienced martial artist who has been taught properly will always have good manners and etiquette and these actions reveal the true character of a person.

Virtue is a repeated philosophy, a code of ethics, and a versed trait, which becomes second nature. Many of these virtues are not dictated by physical strength and technique but does develop the minds and character of students. A student should consistently practice courtesy and loyalty to their Sensei and other students.

The structure of repeating/thinking/training/living the virtues can set up a students desire to strive forward and apply what they have learned here else where in their life.

Karatedo doctrines are a well-rounded consequence of strength and tension, harmonious coordination, agility and esteem. All of these facts can be easily proven. These facts are fostered from courtesy, loyalty, patience, spirit, drive and pride as well as humility, courage and personal discipline.

Through the practice of Karatedo, the discipline of the body and mind, and the reciting of virtues we become better people, of higher nature, and better in contact with ourselves.

Through diligent training and perseverance, the practitioner of Karate can develop a gentler, calmer nature, whilst developing a more focused approach to daily living. The training develops a harmonious balance between the mind and body.

Understanding the AGKK philosophy

AGKK – Australian GoJu Kai Karate - Strong Character

General opinion among karate practitioners is that if the karateka (practioner of karate) can abide strictly by the maxims of karate – etiquette, effort, sincerity, self–control, patience and character – then there is no reason why he or she should not live their entire lives according to those very same principles and rules.

Karate is practiced in a dojo, which means ‘the place of the way’ and refers to the place of learning. If dojo rules require students to practise good hygiene, refrain from excessive drinking and smoking, be humble and maintain a high standard of discipline, then these principles will naturally become part of their lives.

AGKK Psychological principles

AGKK – Australian GoJu Kai Karate - Seiichi Fujiwara with ChildrenBy adopting a positive state of mind in your training, progress may be easier. A positive attitude enhances confidence in the ability to perform, and may make it easier to recognise how to deal with or adapt to any situation, be it in a competitive arena or life in general. It is more often the attitude and state of the mind that decides the outcome of any battle. Sound training develops not only the body, but also the power of the mind. A serious student of karate may practice meditation as a means of connecting mind, body and technique.

AGKK Principles to work towards

A well – trained karateka will develop inner power and balance, and learn both benevolence and compassion. The karateka constantly works towards taking the appropriate action in any given situation, and always with courtesy. Devotion and loyalty, truthfulness and sincerity form the very foundation of karate. The great challenge for the individual is to maintain self-control in the face of any event. A growing trend of late is that some Karate Clubs study with an emphasis on ‘free fighting’ without basic body training or prior training in basic techniques. Such practice contradicts the essential aims of Karate and lead to both injuries and a lifetime of regrets.

AGKK is committed to making Karate available to all people regardless of race, class, age, financial status or creed. The Philosophy of Karate is much more than just kicking and punching – we develop the whole person the mind, body and self defence techniques. Periodically we hold training camps and give students the opportunities to learn oriental weaponry.

A good Sensei will help you find your weaknesses and help you overcome them. Modern living can make people egotistical. To improve and not drop out, you must overcome yourself and your own weaknesses. Once you do this, you will start to follow the path.

When training in AGKK, the important points to remember

  • To practice Zen in this Traditional martial art, you must live intensely and wholeheartedly.
  • Lacking commitment, Zen becomes a mere ritual and the martial arts devolve into mere sport.
  • Zen emphasis is on simplicity, self-control and full awareness at every moment.
  • The mastery of self.
  • Train with effort, regularly.
  • Participate, Co-operate, Observe, Listen, Practice, Improve.
  • Always have Pride in yourself, your family and your school.
  • One day you might become a Sensei – it is a life with direction , a story that gives sense to the choices you make.

Philosophy of Australian Goju Kai Karate

In today’s rapidly changing times and the gradual disintegration of culture, there is a strong need for an art form with a true philosophical base – one that emphasizes continual self-cultivation and refinement. This art should have at its core the development of the individual and be designed to promote a genuine concern and responsibility to other human beings, not try to encourage aggression and a ‘win only’ attitude.

“Martial arts should focus on the development of the individual in which the ultimate goal is to continuously strive to develop the positive qualities within each of us; this is the true essence of Australian Goju Kai Karate.”

Bernie Haughey Sensei

AGKK – Australian GoJu Kai Karate - Seiichi Fujiwara and Purple BeltGoju Kai is the art of both the External (Hard) and the Internal (Soft) development of the individual. It has a structured syllabus, which has been designed to develop the mind, body and technique of the studet with the ultimate purpose of enriching and enhancing one’s life. As a discipline, Goju is based on the traditional values of the martial arts.

The philosophy of Goju is to develop the individual as a total human being with respect for all life and this is reflected in the six virtues.

Some philosophies and insight from Bernie Haughey Sensei

  • Develop intelligence and courage.
  • Train and practice everyday.
  • Be polite and courageous.
  • Be true to yourself and others.
  • To achieve happiness, you must make great effort.
  • Have purity of mind and intention.
  • To attain the black belt is but a symbol of the first chapter of the philosophy of bushido.
  • Seek out the truth – sharpen your mind. There should be no escape from the constant practice.
  • If one becomes conceited about their black belt, then they will be defeated.
  • No amount of training is enough. It must continue without end and great endeavour.
  • Be relaxed with your movements – have smooth movements so you can release energy when needed.
  • Everything you do, try to do it perfectly.
  • There is no way to perfection but through patience and effort.
  • You should strive to make the maximum effort to use your spirit and ability, to make your life worthwhile. Even the smallest effort brings some meaning and life.
  • Utilise your opponent’s strength to your own advantage.
  • The ritual of training will develop Zen.

Student Creed and Code of Conduct


AGKK – Australian GoJu Kai Karate - AGKK Core Values


We encourage our students to become positive role models, and to live by the Australian Goju Kai Karate, “Student Creed”:

  • I will avoid all dangerous things to my mind and body
  • I will develop self-discipline and complete all things undertaken to the best if my ability
  • I will always strive to bring out the best in myself and others
  • I will cultivate respect and maintain courtesy to my parents and all people
  • I will always be dedicated and honour my word and my commitments
  • I will only use martial arts constructively and defensively to aid my fellow person

AGKK Karate Values Code Of Conduct

AGKK - Philosophy of Karate


I will endeavor to uphold a strong moral character and ethical principles in every aspect of my life.


I will act and behave in accordance with these training values both inside and outside the dojo.

AGKK – Australian GoJu Kai Karate - Receiving Black Belt


I will exhibit respect for my fellow students and people regardless of age, physical ability, gender, nationality or religion.

Self Control

I will strive to understand the consequences of my actions, and use every resource to promote peaceful outcomes at all times.


I will strive to attain my goals through hard work and the development of my character.

Self Discipline

I understand that karate techniques are for self-defence purpose only and must never be used inappropriately in the schoolyard, at work or at home.

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You are welcome to inquire about beginning or enhancing your Karate journey either by contacting Bernie Shihan on 0409 474 494 or using the inquiry form below.

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