In Japanese, drunk (武) means the war and dō (道) the Chinese way (: CAD or CAT , cf the Taoism). The budō ( 武道 ) are the Japanese Martial arts appeared between the middle of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century. The most known budō in Occident are the Judo, the Karaté and the Aïkido. They are the heirs to the medieval warlike techniques, the bujutsu .
The Kanji drunk indicates the war but watch makes of it a hand which stops a lance. If the French term “martial art” is included/understood like “warlike art”, the term budo can be included/understood as “the way to stop the lance”, to stop the aggression, therefore an art of defense, therefore (?) peace.
History of the budō
The warlike techniques ( bujutsu 武術) developed during the Moyen-âge Japanese changed following three phenomena:
- the arrival of the firearms, making null and void a certain number of designs of the war; the firearms (teppō) arrived towards the end of the 14th century of China but their use remained very limited (primarily used by the clans Hōjō and Takeda); they are the Portuguese, made in the middle of the 16th century, who will spread rifles, of much better quality;
- two centuries of internal peace of the era Edo (1600 - 1868), during which the warlike techniques are diverted combat of mass and evolve to refinement and the duels; the warriors (Bushi) become civils servant (Samurai S);
- the era Meiji (starting from 1868), which saw the disappearance of the feudal system, and in particular of the caste of the warriors (Samurai S).
Old the bujutsu is sometimes named koryu , “old school”, while modern martial arts are described as gendai budo .
Concepts common to the budō
Each budō is different. However, they all are overall resulting from the same culture (even if there are interbreedings, as for karate), and they have all joint research the martial effectiveness; same causes involving the same effects, very if the forms vary. One thus finds concepts common to all the budo :
- bun drunk ichi , “arts the warrior do only one”: during the period Edo, the shoguns Tokugawa promoted arts (Calligraphie, Ikebana…) in order to channel the violence of the warriors and to introduce refinement; arts since are regarded as belonging to the training of the warriors;
- Dojo : the place where the way is practiced; in Japan, the dojo are in temples; in all the cases, even if it is located in a gymnasium, a dojo is not regarded as a sports hall nor of drive, but as the place where the teaching of the budo is transmitted;
- Kata : a kata is a form, a sequence of movements alone or with two, making it possible to work certain dangerous techniques or certain knowledge-beings (postures, movements…) ;
- ki : one can color the ki as being the concentration; it is acted in fact of a vaster concept esoteric (cf will infra );
- Kiai : cry allowing the “unification of the ki ”; from a rational point of view, this cry allows the management of the breath during the effort and helps with the coordination of the movements; from a point of view esoteric, that consists in “striking the adversary” of sound ki ;
- Kihon : a kihon is basic movement of the practice; for example, with karate, the kihon are the postures and strike them, with the judo they are the catches… The kihon are implemented in the kata , in drives with two ( kumi -) as in “applications” (the movement is transposed to a situation close to reality);
- kumi -: the Kanji kumi (組) means “group”, “class”; it is used like Préfixe to indicate a drive to two, in general in the form of attacks: Kumite (attack with hand naked) with karate, Kumijo (technique of stick against stick) and Kumitachi (technique of saber against saber) with the aikido…
- my have : management of the rate/rhythm and the distance:
- rate/rhythm: to agree to the rate/rhythm of the adversary, to be “in its movement”, makes it possible to unbalance it or to strike it at the convenient period;
- distance: to be sufficiently far not to be reached (security distance), to be sufficiently close being able to reach the adversary; the distance “right” varies according to the discipline (contact in judo, distance from a kick in karate, distance from the sabers crossed in kendo) and according to the circumstances (if one places oneself in a “dead angle”, shikaku , one can be without anything to risk very near);
- '' omote '' and '' will ura '': the schools of martial arts (Ryū) had a public, said part omote , and a private part, said will ura ; there were techniques omote which were shown as a public or with the people of passage, the least effective techniques, most direct, and of the techniques will ura which were taught only with the faithful and advanced pupils, the finest techniques;
omote often became a synonym of “face” while will ura often took the direction of “by behind”;
- rei : traditional hello by inclining the bust, to see Hello in budo ;
- Reishiki : label, conventions guarantors of the respect between partners, the physical integrity and psychological at the time of the practice;
- SEN : could result in “initiative”;
- go No SEN : the defender counteracts the attack, but before the attacker completely developed its movement;
- SEN No SEN : anticipation of the unfavourable attack, counter-attacks simultaneous with the attack;
- sensen No SEN : anticipation of the attack, similar to a “preventive attack”; the adversary is already concentrated on the attack which he wants to make and can thus counteract the preventive attack with difficulty, contrary to a situation of go No SEN where the attacked person is in a state of vigilance and can counteract the attack;
- shisei : “position right”, one seeks with always remaining balanced, which forces to maintain the back right and to work with the legs (one often speaks about movement of hips, koshi sabaki );
- zanshin : attention, vigilance, the fact never of slackening, of taking into account the environment.
Ranks in the budo
- simplification: to remove the useless, parasitic gestures; those can inform the adversary about the intentions, constitute a waste of time, are a source of tiredness;
- esthetics: an effective and precise movement is a beautiful movement;
- effectiveness: power.
- shoden : initial level;
- chuden : mean level;
- okuden : advanced level.
Budo and spirituality
- at the same time because of their origins: the schools, or ryu , based on mystical secret principles ( Mikkyo ), in particular for the secret techniques ( okuden ) only taught with the most faithful students: importance of vital energy ( ki ), of breathing ( kokyu ), of the belly ( will hara ) which is the seat of the center of energies ( seika tanden , equivalent of the dantian Chinese , or “field of cinnabar”)…
- but also because of the will of their creators to educate the young people with the traditional values and of respect.
The recourse to spirituality was also a means of coding descriptions of the techniques so that write them (in the form of rollers) are incomprehensible by the uninitiated persons. The writings were thus seemingly only mystical dashes but were in fact of the metaphors: the “reflection of the moon on the lake” could indicate the distance between the combatants, the “two tops” could indicate the elbows…
Lastly, in the ideal, the samurai was to give up the life. It was at the same time a proof of total engagement to the service of its Master, but also a guarantee to keep its calm and thus its effectiveness in combat, not having anything to lose. This dimension strong Métaphysique was accompanied obviously by a great religiosity.
The concept most difficult to seize for an European is undoubtedly that of vacuum (the vacuum is one of the five elements of the Japanese tradition). Vacuity in the budo can be popularized by the following concepts:
- not-thought: not to disturb the spirit not to deform its perception of the world, to forget the fear to fight effectively; the spirit is similar to a lake reflecting the sky, if it is agitated (by the emotions), it deforms the perceived image (from where the expression mizu No kokoro , the “heart similar to water”);
the combatant who has a goal, that to strike his adversary, restricted its freedom; contrary, that which does not have a goal, and in particular that which does not want to harm, is free to act with its own way, it is thus victorious; it is another direction of the not-thought;
- not-action (equivalent of the wei wu wei , “act-without-to act”, of Chinese martial arts): not to be opposed to the attack but to guide it, perceive the intention of the adversary without letting appear its own intentions; thus the attack is controlled at the time when the adversary the formula in its spirit, the action finishes before to have started;
- non-being: to act not as opposition with the adversary and the environment, but on the contrary while linking itself with them, i.e. not to be opposed to the attack but to guide it, and take into account the constraints of the environment; from a mystical point of view, one cannot overcome the universe nor to overcome oneself! But while linking oneself with the adversary and the universe, one loses his identity (non-being);
- the vacuum is a metaphor of the spirit, because like him, it is immaterial, imperceptible; “to strike the vacuum” thus means to strike the spirit;
let us take for example the case of a cut of saber which would be carried out not on the adversary, but in front of him; this cut causes a reflex of retreat, a fear, the saber thus struck the vacuum with the clean direction (split the air) as with the illustrated direction (intimidation); it is one of the directions of the expression “sabers instrument of life” (in opposition to the instrument of dead);
- in Buddhism, the existence and non-existence are the same thing, which is hidden raised of non-existence whereas what is apparent raises of the existence; thus, in the belief of the Reincarnation, the being before the birth is non-existence, and the birth is the revelation this non-existence, which becomes existence then;
in the budo, one can say that the intention is non-existence and that the gesture is existence, it is only one and single thing which is initially hidden then revealed; the combatant must thus try to perceive the existence (movements of the adversary), but also the non-existence (the intention which precedes the movements);
This dimension in certain cases was completely put on side, in particular with the judo of competition and the karate full-contact . In certain cases, it on the contrary is strongly proposed still nowadays, in particular in the aikido and the Kyudo .
Application of the budo to the everyday life
As of the 17th century, writings of warriors - in particular the Traité of the five wheels of Miyamoto Musashi - mentioned the fact that the principles of the art of the saber were the same ones as the principles of the strategy, and could also apply to all the activities of the life (craft industry, trade…).
The passage of the jutsu towards the C is the ultimate dedication of this principle: by working martial art, the human one improves, and this improvement has reflected on its life of the every day. Thus, the budo does not stop with the doors of the dojo but must “fill up the life” of the budoka (practitioner of budo ). For example, the posture right (shisei) - right back and work with the legs - is not different from the postures of Ergonomie (to raise a load the right back by using the muscles of the legs), and a good posture of the back makes it possible to avoid pains due to a prolonged sitted posture. The principle of adaptation (“not-thought”) is an applicable very general principle everywhere. And so on.
Although the budo gave up the concept of confrontation, the notion of improvement of human is closely related to the concept of combat. To make an analogy with the Gymnastic : a physical exercise makes it possible to progress that if it is correctly carried out - placement of the body, breathing, balance, accuracy of mouvement… In the same way, a movement - basic movement, kihon , or codified sequence, kata - does not allow to progress that if it is carried out correctly, i.e. if it is “effective” in the context of a combat. The least error leads then potentially to death. Thus, it is well this original concept of combat to dead which is behind the progression in the budo , and thus in the daily life, even if the dimension of combat and a fortiori of death is completely absent from practice.
From this logic, to face the contemporary challenges, Japan drew from its culture of the strategy to design a model of creation of knowledge which provides tracks for a revival in the management of the organizations. See: the alarm clock of the samurai. Culture and strategy Japanese women in the company of knowledge , Pierre Beech, ED. Dunod, Paris 2006.
In the same order of idea, one saw an renewed interest for old texts such as the Art of the war of the Chinese general Sun Zi (fifth century BC) and his application in the strategy of company.
- Japanese strategic Culture
- Ju Jitsu
- Nihon Budo
- Taoism: Plenitude of the vacuum and other paradoxes
- Yoseikan Budo
|Random links:||Nez Perce | War of the Cow | December 1902 | Splatterhouse 3 | Joshua Slocum | Saint-Symphorien church of Nuits-Saint-Georges | Université_de_Californie,_San_Francisco|