The design was developed from a moko (traditional maori tattoo) of an ancestral maori ariki . "Ariki" were past leaders of the maori people who guided and looked after them.
There are three koru (fern-leaf curl) elements which represent the pursuit of prosperity, culture and education. The general shape of the design represents the outline of a patu (maori weapon - club). The three colors of the tohu (emblem) represent the past, present and future.
PAST - The color black represents our ancestors who have gone on before us and our spiritual connection to them. It symbolizes where we came from and the customs, traditions and treasures that are passed down through the generations (nga taonga tuku iho). This is also demonstrated in our karate "way of life" by passing on the teachings, customs and principles that have been passed down to us from our masters.
PRESENT - The color red represents struggle, perseverance and hard work! It symbolizes the life source that empowers one to push through or overcome barriers. This can be achieved individually, but also collectively with support from the whanau (family), hapù (extended family, community) and iwi (wider community).
FUTURE - The color white represents the feather of the white kotuku (heron), and symbolizes a peaceful and harmonious future.
This tohu (emblem) shows two twigs of the Evergreen crossing with the two characters "kenko" and "juku" in the centre.
The Evergreen sprig symbolizes spring, growth or youth, meaning that one is forever young in spirit - always learning. The pairing signifies that this is in cooperation with others.
The character "kenko" broadly means "health" of mind, body and spirit, and is used here to represent one's wellbeing. The characters do have a more deeper meaning however, "ken" means humility (to humble oneself) and "ko" means to associate with. The character "juku" means tutoring school. In this context, "Kenkojuku" means the study of karate to be a good person.
"Always be ready to release your mind" - Gichin Funakoshi