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Iain Abernethy
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Hi All,

I had an interesting discussion this week on ““Karate-Do” and “Karate-Jutsu” and what those terms mean to different people. To some ““Karate-Do” is sport and physical exercise. To others it is a profound method of personal introspection. To some others it is the higher levels of training and what we move in to having mastered the combative. And some would say “Karate-Do” is sanitised and hence ultimately pointless martial training.

The same variation in opinions exists with the term “Karate-Jutsu”. To some it is the true, uncorrupted essence of the art. To others “Karate-Jutsu” is the debasement of a noble art such that it is nothing more than “a method of homicide”.

I feel it’s all semantics and there is no right and wrong with regards to how terms are used. But it is very interesting to see how people label what they do and it can lead to interesting discussions on how individuals approach and view karate.

I thought I’d kick off a discussion on that subject and set up a poll / questionnaire to see how our membership views itself. I think this could be interesting for members and visitors alike.

All the best,

Iain

PS Although I’ve used the term “karate”. Those of other arts are encouraged to get involved i.e. substitute [your art]-Jutsu or [your art]-Do.

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komatsu
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Is there a difference?If neccesary in a conflict the intent is the same.Karate Do is what you train in Karate jutsu IS your personal application of that training when it comes down to the nitty gritty.That is what bunkai jutsu is all about.
Some methods have eliminated so much of what they consider the DO aspect they may as well be teaching quickie self defense courses.

By studying the bunkai of kata your method doesn't become automatically a jutsu method .You just have a deeper understanding of your DO.Bunkai are bound to vary according to the martial knowledge of the instructor.Mine is heavily influenced by ju jutsu and aiki jitsu and to some extent ED PARKERS AMERICAN KEMPO and MONK FIST BOXING.

As for any physological benefits it depends on the individual .For some it is apparent and sometimes astounding like the DO has created a whole new person .For others the effect is nil sometimes because they already posses the desired qualitys so that there isn't any obvious change or "it's just a way to stay in shape or fun".

SENSEI NISHIO said "martial arts discipline is not in doing large obvious and spectacular things but in doing and adhering precisely to small unseen things the posistion of a foot a hand the depth of a stance whether we understand the purpose or not"
This is what the DO teaches .

KOMATSU

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common sense is so rarely used it is often mistaken for genius.pay attention at all times do your home work

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mike t
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I agree with that. To me, jutsu is simply 'what works in combat'. It's effective fighting, of all stripes, period. 'Do' on the other hand, I read as a 'way of life', as in a lifetime study of the art and science of fighting.

Yes there are philosophical aspects to 'do', the same way there are philosophical aspects to all facets of life. But my 'do' will be different than someone elses. There may be, as Komatsu begins to intimate, a 'UNIVERSAL' 'do' or 'tao' that is approached by such a lifetime study, but I think it manifests differently in different individuals.

The mistake martial artists make (IMO) is to try to choose one or the other, thus you see RBSD guys claiming to study "X-jutsu", as in: we don't screw around with any of that gushy philosophy ****!". Then on the other hand, you have a lot of martial 'ar-teests' out there that can't FIGHT their way out of a wet paper bag and who tend to claim just the opposite: "We're into a study of our art as a way of life, we're not a bunch of barbarians!" There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and as I have noted before, I think people eventually settle out leaning more one way than another based on personal choice and mindset. But there is a strong tendency I have observed among western martial artists to separate these two dimensions of martial arts into polar opposites with the underlying assumption that they need pick one or the other. To do so ignores the totality of what we study.

In fact, 'do' and 'jutsu' are two INTEGRAL sides of the SAME coin, 'do' being the yin to the 'yang' of jutsu. A martial 'do' without 'jutsu' is simply a personal philosophy; likewise a 'jutsu' without a 'do' is simply fighting. As my sensei is forever saying, "anybody can learn to kick and punch, that's not karate".

A martial artist needs to be grounded in an ethical framework, e.g. that we don't use our skills unnecessarily to harm others. However, this philosophy has embedded within it the INHERENT idea that we CAN effectively harm others should we choose to do so.

Where I believe any possible 'enlightenment' (e.g. a small personal understanding of that universal way mentioned above) MAY come about, if at all, is from a lifetime study of martial arts AS a JUTSU (science of fighting) GOVERNED BY a DO (moral/ ethical/ philosophical construct), and an internally focused training mindset where a person realizes that they are unlikely to use their skills ever; that subsequently, they are the ultimate 'enemy'; and that, again, ultimately the betterment of mankind is served if non-violenct solutions to human conflict can be achieved. Nevertheless, the metaphorical sword is kept sharp and the person remains focused on acquiring and maintaining expertise at using it.

DO thus reveals and informs jutsu, and vice verse, without being separable.

[ August 14, 2007, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: mike t ]

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Mike T.,
4th Dan Shorin Ryu

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Matt Sylvester
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On another note, when did the 'do' bit come about?

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Keep it Real
Keep it Practical
www.practical-martial-arts.co.uk

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Iain Abernethy
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Hi All,

Interesting to note where there is a split in views and where there is total agreement (so far):

“Karate-Jutsu” is a combat method that can also bring mental & physical benefits"(100% agree)

It would seem we don't subscribe to Egami's view that "Karate-Jutsu must be regarded as nothing more than a technique for homicide".

"I believe “Karate-Do” and “Karate-Jutsu” are aspects of karate as a whole" (100% agree)

Again, interesting that we all agree that karate is made up of both Jutsu and Do.

A fairly even split on how we define what we do (if forced to) and a difference in how we define those terms.

Shame we can't get hundreds of people to take part as I think the results would be even more interesting.

All the best,

Iain

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www.iainabernethy.com / "The aim of discussion should not be victory but progress." - Joseph Joubert

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Matt Sylvester
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we can get hundreds, ask them to participate in the newsletter and give away a free book or summat. People always like that [Smile]

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Keep it Real
Keep it Practical
www.practical-martial-arts.co.uk

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komatsu
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MAT asked On another note, when did the 'do' bit come about?
A reading of martial classics by various masters reveals it has always been part of the martial ways just not defined as the sole purpose of training but as a personal ethic.

I think the term DO was adopted from THE CODE OF BUSHIDO which in itself was codified and written long after the samurai had given up their swords and skill with weapons as their sole purpose of existence.
The DO can be twisted and perverted to suit sinister ends as the militarists did with the CODE OF BUSHIDO prior to WW2.Every MA should read this code along with another excellent work the BUDOSHOSHINSU especially those who adhere only to the DO as being the only interpretation of the martialways.The HAGAKURE and A CUP OF TEA(it's not about tea) are also excellent looks at the true martial mind.

komatsu

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common sense is so rarely used it is often mistaken for genius.pay attention at all times do your home work

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mike t
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Regarding Matt's 'do' question:

I don't think you can put an exact origin on it, it's kind of like asking when Modernism became the governing school of philosophy in the early twentieth century: the phenomena manifested in the late 1800's, but it's roots can be found a lot further back than that. In addition, use of the term 'do' within Japan proper seems to predate its use on Okinawa.

We know the Tokugawa samurai lived through relatively peaceful times, with generations practicing their skill 'for its own sake' while never actually testing it themselves in combat. So if it's purely a method of practice without personal combat-testing that makes a 'do' to you, it might date from the late 1600's or early 1700's.

Then in the late-middle 1800's you had the Meiji upheavals and the modernization of Japan and the various martial arts (which at this time I believe were still being referred to as 'jutsu's') kind of fell out of fashion for a generation or two. Their resurgence at the turn of the 20th century was well caught up in their repackaging as cultural art forms with a societal physical fitness benefit, within the context of a militarizing Japan.

I would be interested to know if anyone out there does when the term first emerged in print in Japanese literature of the age. I know Funakoshi used the term, but I'm not sure if there is a written record of a karateka using it before him. With the various reprints that Funakoshi's early books went through, it's not clear to me what the exact original titles were, but the term "karate-jutsu" appears to be in use only with the reprints, with the original title for his first book (apparently) "Rentan Goshin Toudi Jutsu".

See the HKS book list here:

http://museum.hikari.us/books/index20.html

Thus even Funakoshi's early use of the 'jutsu' term may have been in connection with 'toudi' and not 'karate, but was later reprinted as 'karate'. I can't tell, if anyone knows for sure.

In '32, Motobu was apparently still using 'jutsu' ("Watashi no karate jutsu"). In '33 Mutsu used "kenpo" and Mabuni used "karate-jutsu". . According to the book list at the HKS site, the earliest use of "Do" appear to be Miyagi in '34, followed by Funakoshi in '35.

At the 1936 meeting of Okinawan karateka, Nakasone kicks off the discussion pretty clearly:

quote:
In order to develop Japanese martial arts, I think Kanji for "karate" should be "Empty Hand" instead of "Chinese Hand" and "Karate-Do" should be the standard name . What do you think?
(My emphasis).

In other words, if you read the dialogue from the meeting, it appears that in addition to altering the kanji for how the 'karate' portion was written, a primary topic of conversation appears to have been changing the expression "karate" (regardless of how written) to "Karate-Do". Interesting that "karate-jutsu" is not mentioned at all (while jujtsu is).

Thus as far as it's application to karate, based on this evidence, I think it's safe to say it 'emerged' sometime between 1922 and 1935; October 1936 if you want an exact date of it's probable codification.

See here for Sanzinsoo's translation of Toyama's book on the 1936 meeting:

http://uk.geocities.com/sanzinsoo/meeting.html

Interesting to me that Furukawa also suggests at this meeting that kata names be changed into Japanese. It would be interesting to know, if anyone does, when Funakoshi started using Japanese names for his forms relative to this comment.

[ August 15, 2007, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: mike t ]

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Mike T.,
4th Dan Shorin Ryu

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mike t
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PS Komatsu's post reminded me of Nitobe's "Bushido", which I just googled was 1905.

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Mike T.,
4th Dan Shorin Ryu

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Iain Abernethy
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Hi All,

An interesting quote from Funakoshi about what "Karate-do" is:

quote:
"True karate, that is, Karate-do, strives internally to train the mind to develop a clear conscience enabling one to face the world truthfully, while externally developing strength until one may overcome even ferocious wild animals. Mind and technique are to become one in true karate." - Gichin Funakoshi
It is the " developing strength until one may overcome even ferocious wild animals " part that interests me. It would seem Funakoshi considered "do" should have a practical element.

If we go back a bit further to Mastumura we see him write things like:

quote:
"Bu [martial arts] spreads virtue ... Bu gives a peaceful heart ...

Meimoku-no-bugei refers to a person who has only a physical understanding of the marital arts. He can be a powerful and violent person who can easily defeat other men. He has no self-control and is dangerous and may even harm his own family.

Budo-no-bugei is what I admire. With this you can let the enemy destroy himself. Just wait with a calm heart and the enemy will defeat himself.

This again tells us that Matsumura believed true karate (to-de) to be more than solely fighting skills. Even the Bubishi contains lines like:

quote:
Being honest with yourself and others is the true way to living life to it's fullest ... I advise you all to have patience, silence, and awareness and to let it spread to your social life as well … etc
Funny how today we seem to get an arbitrary split between "do" (which is said to be all about character and health and nothing to do with fighting) and "Jutsu" (which is said to be all about fighting and nothing to do with health or character).

In the minutes to which Mike links there is a very brief discussion between Shimabukuro and Nakasone on the adding of “Do” to karate, with Miyagi then saying “I think the name "Karate-Do" is better than just "Karate”. There is no big discussion on whether it should be “Jutsu” or “Do”, just a quick explanation of the meaning of “Do”.

It would seem it is more of a modern issue … but that may be because the “jutsu” and “do” are a little more separate in people’s minds nowadays than they were in the minds of the past masters (i.e. modern training gives us more of a need for those labels)?

All very interesting.

All the best,

Iain

[ August 17, 2007, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Iain Abernethy ]

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mike t
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It's clear to me from the quotes you posted that both Matsumura and Funakoshi were acknowledging the existence of two 'kinds' of karate during their lifetimes, one with an ethical/ moral control structure and one without. So I think its reasonable to conclude that they were probably dealing with the same phenomena that we are today: that some people study purely the fighting aspects of martial arts, and some study the philosophical side. Thus Funakoshi talks about "true" karate, making an obvious effort to distinguish it from (we must assume) some kind of 'untrue karate', and you also have Matsumura's reference to two separate types of bugei, one he admires, and one he does not.

I agree strongly, however, that it is definitely more of a "modern issue" with people polarized on both sides. What appears to me to be new about the problem is the polarity with which the point is typically argued one way or another (meaning outside of this thread).

I would like an official word from our Japanese speakers on "Budo no Bugei".

My understanding has always been that "budo" translates as "martial way" (generally), or "to stop the spear" or "to stop the fight" (literally). A little research reveals that it also means "grapes" in Japanese and more native Japanese are likely to recognize the word in this context. [Roll Eyes]

My understanding has also been the bugei is typically rendered "martial art" in English. Summing up (perhaps revaling my own ignorance), I have:

Bujutsu - martial techniques
Bugei- martial arts
Bu- War or the science of war-making
Budo- the [philosophical] Way of War/ the Warrior

Thus, when Matsumura says "Budo-no-bugei". is he saying "The [Philosophical] Way of the Warrior of Martial Arts"? Or is he saying more "martial arts of the Way of stopping the spear" (e.g. winning through non-violence)?

In any case, I think the remainder of the quotation gets across the meaning of the term, but I would like to get some comment from our resident linguists if we can draw their attention.

[ August 17, 2007, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: mike t ]

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Mike T.,
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mike t
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LOL for some reason, the idea of fighting off "ferocious wild animals" (a Grizzly Bear comes to my mind) with karate just makes me grin... [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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Mike T.,
4th Dan Shorin Ryu

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komatsu
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Budo-no-bugei is what I admire. With this you can let the enemy destroy himself. Just wait with a calm heart and the enemy will defeat himself.

That one hits home .If someone is in your face yelling and making threatening gestures and you are doing the same the only thing working is your mouth definitely not your brain.
Focus on every aspect of him and he will let you know how he wants to lose if it becomes physical or let him defeat himself .There is no argument you can make or words to placate such an individual as they are prone to become more entrenched in thier point of view.You can only hope they run out of steam and give it up satisfied "they told you so".

komatsu

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common sense is so rarely used it is often mistaken for genius.pay attention at all times do your home work

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DannyZKJ
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My group has very much embraced the jutsu at the end of our name but it is mainly to differentiate our karate from the karate-do that is seen in most leisure centres up and down the country to explain the many other reasons would fill the forum.

However, I personally don't believe there is a difference between the true meaning of do and jutsu but I do believe that many groups have taken the Do as an excuse merely to develop a one dimensional "art" that places all their emphasise on aesthetically pleasing technique and the attainment of a heavily embroidered silk belt as their only goal in life.

The practical use and the true nature of karate which focuses on giving individuals the necessary skills, (social, physical and mental)to get through life has been totally disregarded. Focusing on the combative nature of karate jutsu as opposed to mainstream karate do, I can tell you their is nothing more spiritual than putting yourself in a situation were your years of training are being pressure tested...a great book about 19th century fighter Tom Molyneaux called Black Ajax talks about only truly knowing the worth of a man when you have "spilt claret" with him and he is not talking about drinking!!

Regarding Iain's quotes I also personally believe it is too simplistic to use Matsumura's quote on "Budo-no-bugei" as meaning that if we are calm and do not respond physically to confrontation then the enemy will be placated...for me I think that he was pointing out the fact that to "fight" you will be more successful in the act of actual fighting if your mind is clear and uncluttered without angry thoughts; in any fight, sport or otherwise if you "think" too much or react angrily there is a higher chance you will loose. You will also be more successful if you make your opponent loose their head and act with anger ...hence "With this you can let the enemy destroy himself" after all Mr Matsumura was reportedly a serious "digger" as they say in sunny Belfast.

Anyway just my thoughts.

Cheers
Danny

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Zanshin Karate Jutsu
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Tandoori
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Im obviously going to agree with the above [Wink] , But i also decided on adding Karate Jutsu after OKKO, this was done in pretty much the same reason as Danny, i didnt want to be seen as the same ole same ole Karate club that teaches out of a sports centre every week, Not knocking where a club teaches, but i really didnt want to be classed as another Karate club who are famous for spending hours and hours or £`s and £`s of students money drilling them up and down up and down up and down the Dojo.
The jutsu allows me to experiment with the students, bringing in other instructors from other styles of Martial arts and adding some of there practices to our own, I also think its a good advertising point, weve all seen the back of the local free newspapers, Karate taught by X trained by Sensei Tishy toshy tashy, with a pic of some japanese dude your never going to get the chance to meet.
Our advertising has no frills and no pics, it just states OKKO Karate Jutsu (Applied Karate) people often turn up from other Dojo`s to ask what Applied karate Jutsu means....then ive got em. [Big Grin]

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enjoy it like its your last,

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