It happens to me from time to time to ask the question of $ 1,000 to my students. What is the budo for you? Of course, the easy answer they give is art that is taught here. But this response is unsatisfactory. Returning to our question differently. Are all the martial arts of Budo? What do you think?
Does chaining punch and kick can be considered of Budo? Did someone try to immobilize ground respecting sports rules may be regarded as of Budo? I do not know the exact answer. All I can do is give one view of the matter, mine. And of course, it will not be everyone will agree with my views. But as a blog is done to stimulate thoughts, I start on the subject.
I think most people will agree that Budo is a path that takes the warrior. Budo aims to teach those who practice it, how to protect themselves and how to survive. And if we push a little further our thinking, it aims to help the warrior to protect his lord, his family.
To achieve this what ingredients are needed to form a competent warrior? Of course, the first step is learning techniques. How to hit, dodge and control an opponent? This is probably the easiest part of the way of the warrior. If you take a teenager or young adult, you motivate him so that he wins a tournament or two and at the end he strongly believes that he has become a great warrior. At this point is that we can say we practice budo? Personally, I think not. It lacks something essential, consciousness. This is what separates the martial art of the practice of Budo.
In martial arts, you learn to be reactive. A punch moves towards us, we dodge and against attack. It’s an action-reaction play. In Budo, we know in advance what the next two attacks of the opponent. We will work in order to influence his mind. We will handle it to give him false certitudes or to doubt his abilities. If your martial art does not influence your opponent psychologically it is not Budo, it is only an exchange of strikes and techniques. And when I talk to manipulate his mind, I do not mean to leave a shout in order to make the jump. When a student comes to martial arts school tries to surprise me with a kiai like that, it always makes me smile.
We must get to easily distort the perception of the opponent. We must avoid focusing solely on the person in front of us. Budo teaches us to be aware of everything around us while fighting the main enemy. Budo teaches us to become unpredictable. If we do not know ourselves what is done, how the opponent can he know? If you fight when you have only one desire, to kill your opponent, you are far from the path of Budo. Of course, we must have the desire to survive, overcome, but it is detached manner without being dominated by emotions. Moreover, one who follows the path of Budo learning to use different types of emotions.
Most people who practice martial arts techniques attempt to perform as they learned them. Those who practice Budo do not feel embarrassed to adapt their knowledge to the needs of the moment. If you always go the same way without varying angles and distance, all you do is martial arts, you have not yet reached the road to Budo.
Oh yes, last one important point: the teacher. If the teacher refuses to answer questions, perhaps it’s because he has not found the way of Budo either. For me, if I am told that I will understand it later is not an acceptable answer. All teachers who practiced true Budo have always answered my questions.
So just do you practice a martial art or you go in the way of Budo?
Yushuu shihan Bujinkan Québec