Hanging up in the front of Sensei’s dojo is a famous series of eight poems – the Kempo Hakku (Eight Laws of the Fist). The poem comes from article 13 of the bubishi – an historical text recording martial knowledge and techniques from South China (mainly Fukien) and Okinawa.
Apparently, the Kempo Hakku was a favourite of Kanryo Higaonna and Chojun Miyagi Sensei and the third line actually served as the inspiration for the name Goju-Ryu. In training, Higaonna Sensei frequently points at different kanji characters when explaining principals and techniques. I finally managed to track down the Japanese and English translation. Has a nice ring about it when you read the Japanese...
From top to bottom, right to left it reads:
1. Jinshin wa tenchi ni onaji.
The mind is one with heaven and earth.
2. Ketsumyaku wa nichigetsu ni nitari.
The circulatory rhythm of the body is similar to the cycle of the sun and the moon.
3. Ho wa goju no donto su.
The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness.
4. Mi wa toki ni shitagai hen ni ozu.
Act in accordance with time and change.
5. Te wa ku ni ai sunawachi hairu.
Techniques will occur in the absence of conscious thought.
6. Shintai wa hakarite riho su.
The feet must advance and retreat, separate and meet.
7. Me wa shiho wo miru wa yosu.
The eyes must not miss even the slightest change.
8. Mimi wa yoku happo wo kiku.
The ears listen well in all eight directions.