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Budo the art and way of life
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The history of mankind is the history of battle. A study of the culture and history of mankind clearly
shows that since the dawn of time conflict has formed an integral part of mans' experience.
Fighting has been a nearly unbroken key note of world history; men as individuals against each other, and as societies formed, these struggles took on the character of each group actions, eventually becoming battles between nation states.
It is only natural the study of methods of combat has been intensely pursued and developed during the course of history. The study of traditional Japanese budo, which is based on techniques developed and proven through combat, if sincerely pursued, becomes both an art and a way of life.
The development of Jujutsu can be directly traced to the Sengoku era (1477-1567) when many schools were established and the art became widely practiced. During the fifty years period of the Kanei, Keian, and Kanmon eras (1624-1673), many experts of jujutsu developed and established their own schools. Various names such as Taijutsu, Wajutsu, Kenpo, Kumiuchi, Yawara, Kogusoku, Taido were employed to provide each school with a unique identity. Fundamentally all of these systems were means of throwing, holding, striking and in general comprised methods to defeat an opponent without the use of weapons. None of these systems, however, were complete and usually specialized in one particualr method of attack and defense.
The rapid modernization of Japan, which began with the Meiji Restoration (1868), brought profound changes to many aspects of Japanese life. Japan, liberated from three hundred years of Tokugawa regime, focused on the civilizations and cultures of the advanced nations in Europe and North America. Generally, traditional arts and occupations fell out of favor, as Japanese society increasingly sought western technology. It was in this period of change that Judo was born.
Professor Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo, conducted broad studies in regard to the teachings of various jujutsu schools. His research included personally studying with a number of prominent jujutsu masters, written instruction and historical documents. Professor Kano laid down a synthesis of jujutsu, omitting shortcomings and inconsistency. To these he added his own ideas, techniques and theories of physical education. Professor Kano wrote:
"Judo is the road to make use of power of the body and mind most efficiently. This practice of offense and defense through constant training means the cultivation of the human body and spirit and the embodiment of this spirit into one's own. In this manner one improves his personality and contributes to the world. This is the ultimate aim of Judo."
As Judo is but one form of budo, the words of Professor Kano can and should serve as an inspiration to practitioners of all the arts.
Budo - Kunst und Lebensform
-> Englische Version -> Publikationsübersicht
Übersetzung aus dem Amerikanischen: Christian Manz
Ein Artkel des "GENDO", dem Informations-Newsletter der IMAF-Kokusai Budoin.
Copyright © 2000 IMAF-Germany & Christian Manz. All rights reserved.
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