Donn F Draeger explains that classical Budo, or “martial ways” of Japan are not sports, nor are they combat systems like their forerunners, the bujutsu or "martial arts".
The classical Budo are foremost spiritual disciplines whose ultimate goals, achieved through systematic physical training, is self-realisation and self-perfection in the Zen sense.
Zen concepts and attitudes permeate all classical Budo discipline, and the entire method of training, and particularly the trainee: Total commitment to his master and his master's way of teaching, is designed to develop the quality called, in Zen terms, "mushin = no mind".
Classical Budo education is based on the concept of "self activity". It is this activity quality alone that guarantees lending karate a creative activity that seeks, discovers, realises and produces results.
I feel the need for training as something essential to my life and three basic implicit are:
Finally, the need to understand that all things in my life are subordinate to my dedication to training.
Nobody can walk "the Way" and pursue "do" without a great teacher - a true master is indeed "the pearl beyond price".
My dojo is an austere, humble place of natural and quiet dignity and it is my sacred space, linking the spiritual and physical elements of classic Budo.
"If you want to study Zen it is necessary for your to give up life and plunge into the pit of death" - DR Suzuki.
The literal translation of the term Kobudo is "ancient martial arts". Kobudo is a very old martial tradition that involves training and practice with a variety of handheld weapons.
As well as being rooted in a history of warfare, Kobudo is intimately intertwined with the philosophy of Zen Buddhism - "The Do forms are indissolubly tied to Zen".
According to Zen concepts, the worst obstacle to self-perfection is self-deception.
"The Do" prevents self-deception.
No "martial way" is complete without Kobudo.
Arguably the most refined “martial way. The origins of the bow dates back a long time in history, but after guns were introduced into Japan, the age of warfare using bows and arrows ended, and Kyudo became a forum to train the body and mind.
Kyudo: "The way of the bow".
No explanation possible. When the time was ripe, Kyudo chose me, and no doubt my current martial art training was the bedrock on which I naturally progressed into Kyudo.
Kyudo is the Japanese Martial Art of Archery. The art focuses on physical, moral, and spiritual development, rather than just the ability to hit a target. Archers aim rather for the perfect shot in kyudo. This shot is not only accurate but dignified and aesthetically excellent.
Slow controlled and precise movements make this form of archery more a form of meditation.
Essential to an appreciation of kyudo is to understand the importance of the relationship between technique and feeling. The concentration of mental and subtle physical energy within the framework of technique is what makes kyudo interesting and demanding.
Keeping to the natural form of the body and the proper technique.
Kyudo archers should strive to be courteous, compassionate, with morality and dignity never showing aggression.
Kyudo must look beautiful the archer should show control, express dignity and grace in their movement.
I am member of the South African Kyudo Federation and our members are graded internationally with the International Kyudo Federation and we attend international seminars Tournaments and examinations once a year.