The fundamental principles of Goshin-Jitsu are the preservation of the human rights vested in us by God, the insurance of peace of order, and the promotion of the happiness of mankind.

Among human beings there is no one who does not fear the need of self defense. The principles of Goshin-Jitsu include belief in God, regardless of what ones’ personal religion may be. Respect for virtue, obedience to the law, respect for parents and elders, submission to instruction of the teacher (for it is conceded that to study hard and to gain knowledge rebounds to ones’ ability). For to gain success and security in one’s work serves to protect ones’ future.

A violation of the law of society is a direct violation of the principles of Goshin-Jitsu. A person who violates the law of society, instead of protecting himself, is actually destroying himself both physically and mentally, and sooner or later the law will curtail his freedom.

Avoid trouble, when angry regard your conscience before taking drastic action. Impress upon yourself that the fist is a treasure in the pocket and that is should never be displayed in public. However, in unavoidablecases exert your every effort to defend and protect not only yourself but others as well.

Goshin-Jitsu is simply translated as “self defense”. That only describes a portion of the true meaning, and it is an inaccurate translation. “Goshin” means “to protect human life”, it does not limit this to oneself, but includes any human life regardless. To respect human life and to guide people to the path is the true nature of Goshin-Jitsu. The aim of the training should be pointed toward the development of these humanistic qualities.

It is easy to hurt or injure someone during a counter attack, but it is much harder to save the life of another. It takes great skill to accomplish this. Goshin-Jitsu really means “life protection arts”.


“Hi” means to cover and “ken” means fist, the compound of which means “to cover the fist”.  “Hiken”, as illustrated with the right hand held as a fist and the left hand covering the fist, signifies that the fist is like a treasure in the pocket and should not be displayed in public.  It also represents a potent force as atomic energy and should not be used except in the protection and promotion of happiness among one’s fellowmen.


“Ogami” means to pray and “te” means hand, the compound of which means “to pray to God”.  “Ogamite”, as illustrated with the palms of both hands held together, signifies a feeling of deep humility and a prayer for God’s forgiveness and aid should it become necessary to resort to the use of the Kenpo arts in the defense of the human rights.  Likewise it is a prayer to God to intercede so that the problem of contention may be amicably settled, and to extend mercy to one’s opponent for he knows not right from wrong.


“Mu” means empty and “te” means hand, the compound of which means “empty hand”.  “Mute”, as illustrated with both hands held together with palms forward and a small opening made by the index fingers and the thumbs, indicates that one is without ill will.  The fingers represent Mount Fuji and signify lofty ideals for peace and beauty, and strength to defend the human rights.  The opening represents a panoramic view through which one may see only that is beautiful and good.


Pine: an evergreen tree, tall stately and majestic in appearance, prolific in growth, and is one of the most useful trees to the human race.  It symbolizes strength, courage, faith and success in the face of adversity, and is also used as a symbol of good omen, especially on New Year’s.  The Kenpo student should consider each day as New Year’s Day throughout his life filled with love, joy and happiness.


Bamboo: tubular, nodular, straight and rhythmic in appearance, is very beneficial and protective to the human race.  It symbolizes mainly a frank disposition.  It also symbolizes honesty, dependability, purity and love for fellowman.


Plum blossoms, which burst into full bloom during the bitter cold winter, symbolize durability, perseverance, patience, preparedness and beauty of spirit.  During the spring, summer and fall it draws out of the earth all the rich vital elements that give it strength and energy, and brings forth out of its sturdy branches not only beautiful blossoms but fruits as food greatly loved by the people.

-Profess James M. Mitose