Shotokan: Karate Ni Sente Nashi


Karate Dojo Scrolls

“There is no first atttack in Karate.” A maxim that has become so closely associated with the name of Gichin Funakoshi. It is inscribed upon his memorials in Engakuji Temple, Kamakura, Japan, and Onoyama Koen in Naha, Okinawa. Rest assured that our dojo scrolls are guaranteed 100% accurate translations that will bring credit to your dojo!

On our dojo scrolls are written maxims such as this that are of particular significance to all martial artists. They remind us of the core principles governing our training and how we should live our lives. Rest assured that they are guaranteed 100% accurate translations that will bring credit to your dojo!
After years of research, we discovered the best way to reproduce calligraphy scrolls is to use a commercial Japanese twelve color art printer using special pigments, not toners. This gives a permanent image with an “organic” look rather than a toner’s shiny plastic appearance. Our karate dojo scrolls look just the same as those found in Japan and Okinawa. (Please see photo of the Higaonna Dojo in Naha, Okinawa).


Clearly, for Funakoshi, the maxim karate ni sente nashi was of great importance. In addition to including it as one of his Twenty Precepts, he stated in a 1935 magazine article that he “view(s) it as (expressing) the essence of karate-do” (Funakoshi, Karate no Hanashi 65). Nor is he alone in this view: Shoshin Nagamine, respected founder of the Matsubayashi school of Shorin-ryu karate, wrote that, “This phrase…embodies the essence of Okinawan karate” (Nagamine 13). Similarly, Masatoshi Nakayama, longtime head of the Japan Karate Association, stated that, “…it is not an exaggeration to say that it is these words that succinctly and fully express the spirit of karate-do” (Nakayama 80).

Mark Tankosich,

—Hiroshima University of Economics Journal of Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences.

Funakoshi Memorial

The Funakoshi Memorial inscribed “Karate Ni Sente Nashi” in its original location in Naha, Okinawa, on the side of Highway 58 close to the entrance of the Okinawa Budokan. It has subsequently been moved a short distance into Onoyama Park where it sits at the base of a stone staircase leading to a Shinto Shrine. The stones behind the main obelisk record the names of those who contributed to the creation and placement of the memorial.


Additional information

Weight 0.25 lbs
Dimensions 17 × 11 × 2 in