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saulofong
12-21-2006, 05:10 AM
Would you consider applicable the translation of budo as martial art ?

The word martial has its roots in the roman mythology and it brings its own concept.

Here is an interesting article:
http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=90

Today, how would you translate or interpret budo ? Is there any other word that could describe it ?

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2006, 07:08 AM
We call it warrior spirit or warrior ethos in the army today...same concept. Do a search on the term BUDO on aikiweb...we have discussed this many times over the years on here.

Article is pretty good at describing the concept of budo.

Also lots of good info on aikiweb debating the difference between budo and bushido.

Josh Reyer
12-21-2006, 07:56 AM
Would you consider applicable the translation of budo as martial art ?

The word martial has its roots in the roman mythology and it brings its own concept.

Here is an interesting article:
http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=90

Not a bad article. I applaud them for getting the etymology for "bu" down, rather than going for the "feel good" etymology of "stopping spears". Unfortunately, they goofed with the non-existing word "Bujitsu".

Today, how would you translate or interpret budo ? Is there any other word that could describe it ?

I think martial discipline works fine.

Carl Thompson
12-21-2006, 06:05 PM
Not a bad article. I applaud them for getting the etymology for "bu" down, rather than going for the "feel good" etymology of "stopping spears". Unfortunately, they goofed with the non-existing word "Bujitsu".

I think martial discipline works fine.

The old problem of, -jutsu getting turned into --jitsu in English…

The first character meaning "foot" has also come to mean stop, based on the idea of planting the foot. Taken in conjunction with the second character of "halberd," "bu" can be thus interpreted as a means to stop a weapon (conflict), or to gain peace. This is consistent with the idea of practicing budo to achieve both inner and outer peace.

:confused: I'd never heard of this radical ever meaning "foot" but apparently back in China it's the pictographic meaning (http://zhongwen.com/d/164/x238.htm); In Japanese, it's a very common kanji meaning "stop" or "halt": 止as in止める (tomeru) or止め (yame!). 足 (ashi) is foot or leg.

Josh Reyer
12-22-2006, 11:11 AM
:confused: I'd never heard of this radical ever meaning "foot" but apparently back in China it's the pictographic meaning (http://zhongwen.com/d/164/x238.htm); In Japanese, it's a very common kanji meaning "stop" or "halt": 止as in止める (tomeru) or止め (yame!). 足 (ashi) is foot or leg.

Yes, currently it means "stop". But then, "stop" didn't always mean "stop", if you know what I mean. (It originally meant, "to stop something up", and not "halt".)

If you look closely at the ashi kanji, you'll notice that below the box is the kanji for tomeru! You see, the 止 character was originally a pictorgraph of foot, specifically a footprint. Look at the character for "walk" 歩, and you can see the character at the top representing one footstep, while the character below represents the other foot, hence, "walking".

Because 止 represented a footprint, it took on the sense of standing still (enough to leave a print), and from that, to stop, halt. To represent foot, then, 足 was created. This character, incidently, means "foot", not leg. The character for leg, also read ashi is actually 脚.

In general, it's best not to assume that component kanji parts mean what their individual characters mean, as there as been both linguistic shift in Chinese and Japanese, as well as orthographic shift in the kanji. For example, one may look at the kanji for shoulder 肩, and see "door" 戸 and "moon" 月. Hmmm, how did the Chinese get "shoulder" from a door on the moon?! But in fact, what looks like 戸 is actually a pictograph representing the skeletal structure from the collarbone down the arm, and what looks like 月 is actually a reduced form of 肉, "flesh".

Carl Thompson
12-25-2006, 09:12 PM
To represent foot, then, 足 was created. This character, incidently, means "foot", not leg. The character for leg, also read ashi is actually 脚.

Thanks for an excellent explanation. I didn't know they had a different kanji for leg (but I'm not overly surprised). Sometimes I wish they had a different sound for it -- how many people have been confused by "ashi ga hantai" ?

"Which ashi are hantai? My 脚 ashi or my 足 ashi?"
:D

MM
12-26-2006, 06:54 AM
Yes, currently it means "stop". But then, "stop" didn't always mean "stop", if you know what I mean. (It originally meant, "to stop something up", and not "halt".)

If you look closely at the ashi kanji, you'll notice that below the box is the kanji for tomeru! You see, the 止 character was originally a pictorgraph of foot, specifically a footprint. Look at the character for "walk" 歩, and you can see the character at the top representing one footstep, while the character below represents the other foot, hence, "walking".

Because 止 represented a footprint, it took on the sense of standing still (enough to leave a print), and from that, to stop, halt. To represent foot, then, 足 was created. This character, incidently, means "foot", not leg. The character for leg, also read ashi is actually 脚.

In general, it's best not to assume that component kanji parts mean what their individual characters mean, as there as been both linguistic shift in Chinese and Japanese, as well as orthographic shift in the kanji. For example, one may look at the kanji for shoulder 肩, and see "door" 戸 and "moon" 月. Hmmm, how did the Chinese get "shoulder" from a door on the moon?! But in fact, what looks like 戸 is actually a pictograph representing the skeletal structure from the collarbone down the arm, and what looks like 月 is actually a reduced form of 肉, "flesh".

Joshua,
Thanks for the more detailed post. I wonder, though. If you took the 止 character as meaning one footprint, or standing still to leave a footprint along with the rest of the kanji for "bu", wouldn't you get a definition more like, motion in stillness? Or perhaps, to cut in stillness? Something along those lines?

Thanks,
Mark

Ethan Weisgard
12-26-2006, 07:03 AM
A little bit off topic, but still... It seems to me that the jury is still out regarding the etymology of the kanji for "Bu" in terms of "stopping the halberd". Looking at the kanji for "hoko" (halberd) which is the part of "Bu" that is meant to mean halberd, there is one less stroke than in the part of the kanji "Bu," where you find one extra stroke in the upper left hand corner. The kanji is close to, but not the same as the part of the "Bu" kanji. I am in no way an expert in these matters, but I have heard and read that the explanation of the etymology has been adapted to fit with the intended meaning /origin. Have others run across this opinion?

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Josh Reyer
12-26-2006, 11:34 AM
Joshua,
Thanks for the more detailed post. I wonder, though. If you took the 止 character as meaning one footprint, or standing still to leave a footprint along with the rest of the kanji for "bu", wouldn't you get a definition more like, motion in stillness? Or perhaps, to cut in stillness? Something along those lines?

Thanks,
Mark

When the character "bu" was created, 止 did not yet mean "halt", but rather "to march", and so "march with pikes" represented "war".

Confusion arises from two sources: early (pre-modern era) Chinese linguists, not quite versed on source-based scholarship, often believed folk etymologies. These linguists believed that 止 meant "stop", and thus 武 was "stop spears", suggesting putting down a rebellion, or some other opposing force. The etymology I gave above is the accepted etymology of modern linguists. Also, often Chinese and Japanese speakers today, not necessarily versed in the history of their language, sometimes come up with folk etymologies. This is particularly common in the martial arts, where teachers like to use the folk etymology to underscore the "martial arts are for defense" idea.

Josh Reyer
12-26-2006, 11:38 AM
A little bit off topic, but still... It seems to me that the jury is still out regarding the etymology of the kanji for "Bu" in terms of "stopping the halberd". Looking at the kanji for "hoko" (halberd) which is the part of "Bu" that is meant to mean halberd, there is one less stroke than in the part of the kanji "Bu," where you find one extra stroke in the upper left hand corner. The kanji is close to, but not the same as the part of the "Bu" kanji. I am in no way an expert in these matters, but I have heard and read that the explanation of the etymology has been adapted to fit with the intended meaning /origin. Have others run across this opinion?


Well, as I have mentioned, modern scholarship doesn't believe that it means "stopping the halberd". Not because of the "hoko" part, but because of the "tomeru" part, which represented "marching", not "stopping". Please read my post above for explanations why the "stopping the halberd" etymology gets spread.

The "hoko" is most definitely "hoko". The character does look different, but it's merely a variation.

MM
12-26-2006, 11:52 AM
When the character "bu" was created, 止 did not yet mean "halt", but rather "to march", and so "march with pikes" represented "war".

Confusion arises from two sources: early (pre-modern era) Chinese linguists, not quite versed on source-based scholarship, often believed folk etymologies. These linguists believed that 止 meant "stop", and thus 武 was "stop spears", suggesting putting down a rebellion, or some other opposing force. The etymology I gave above is the accepted etymology of modern linguists. Also, often Chinese and Japanese speakers today, not necessarily versed in the history of their language, sometimes come up with folk etymologies. This is particularly common in the martial arts, where teachers like to use the folk etymology to underscore the "martial arts are for defense" idea.

So, budo would be defined more like, the way of war?

Josh Reyer
12-26-2006, 01:24 PM
So, budo would be defined more like, the way of war?

Yup, pretty much. Or perhaps more precisely "the military way". The character suggests armies.

Other "bu" compounds:

buki 武 + 器 "vessel" = weapon
buryoku 武 + 力 "strength" = military might, force of arms
bukan 武 + 官 "minister" = officer
bugei 武 + 芸 "skills, arts" = military skills, military arts
busou 武 + 装 "dressing" = armaments
buun 武 + 運 "fortune, fate" = fortune in war
embu 演 "performance" + 武 = military exercise, military demonstration"

Nick Pagnucco
12-26-2006, 02:00 PM
Beyond the history of particular words, I'm curious how people use them. (this is what I get for reading too much French Structuralism and post-structuralism :D )

In the US*, I (strongly) suspect that there are multiple and competing definitions of both "martial art" and "budo." How they're associated with other terms (self defense, violence, mysticism, etc.) is important. Budo is probably scene as a subset of martial art.

In the US, I would bet Budo suggests a historical tie to Japan, and some vague notion of ideals beyond 'street effectiveness' (another vague notion for most). I'd be more curious to know how these words get used in Japan. Do the Japanese use Budo the same or different way that Americans do? I've heard Bujutsu, Budo, Bugei... what are other terms in Japanese for 'martial arts'?

Focusing on the origin of a term moves attention away from current usage and everything in between. This, IMHO, can be a problem if its done too much.

Sorry... I don't mean to threadcap, but this is a lil mini-rant I've been bottling up for about 2 years.

* I'm going to just be making stabs at my guesses on the US martial arts discourse (or whatever you want to call it). As I know nothing about any other country, I'm not going to even guess. I'm not assuming the US = the world ;)

Josh Reyer
12-26-2006, 04:10 PM
Beyond the history of particular words, I'm curious how people use them. (this is what I get for reading too much French Structuralism and post-structuralism :D )


Actually, so am I. I'm a strict descriptivist. :D I only pedantic about etymologies when people start talking about etymologies...

In the US, I would bet Budo suggests a historical tie to Japan, and some vague notion of ideals beyond 'street effectiveness' (another vague notion for most).

I would agree. E-Budo.com, for example, concerns itself purely with Japanese and Okinawan arts.

I'd be more curious to know how these words get used in Japan. Do the Japanese use Budo the same or different way that Americans do? I've heard Bujutsu, Budo, Bugei... what are other terms in Japanese for 'martial arts'?

Well, you have Budo 武道 and Bujutsu 武術, which are generally used interchangeably. One could say that "do" generally suggests something like "like philosophy" while "jutsu" is simply pragmatic "skills", but that's not a hard and fast distinction. For example, in the Koujien dictionary "budo" is defined as 武術に関する道 "the ways related to 'bujutsu'", while "bujutsu" is defined as 武道の技術 "techniques/skills of 'budo'". They're kind of intertwined that way. Although "budo" has a semantic connection to "bushido".

One popular way of looking at it (though I will not say universal) is that "budo" refers to "modern Japanese martial arts", everything since the Meiji era, while "bujutsu" refers to pre-Meiji martial arts. But even then, older arts are often referred to as "kobudo" or "kobujutsu", the "ko" 古 meaning "old".

By themselves the terms almost always refer to Japanese martial arts. When talking about, say, kung fu, they often say "Chinese Martial Arts" 中国武術 "chugoku bujutsu". "Chugoku budo" is a rarer term.

護身術 "goshinjutsu" refers to "self-defense techniques", which can include budo/bujutsu, but also be apart from them.

格闘技 "kakutogi" refer to competitive fighting systems. Boxing, for example, as well as wrestling (but not sumo wrestling). Mixed martial arts, for example, are referred to as 総合格闘技 - sogo kakutogi - comprehensive fighting skills. Sogo budo or sogo bujutsu, OTOH, are budo, ancient or modern, that incorporate weapons work and unarmed skills together.

To put this in perspective, in the official books put out by the Aikikai, the Doshu (Kisshomaru) defined aikido first as "budo", and second as "goshinjutsu", but said it was most definitely not kakutogi.

As an interesting (but by no means definitive) experiment, here's what Japanese Wikipedia calls various arts:

Karate: Budo
Judo: Budo, but also a kakutogi, and a sport.
Aikido: (Gendai - modern) Budo.
Kendo: Budo
Kung Fu: Bujutsu
Taichi: (Chinese) Bujutsu
Capoiera: Kakutogi
Boxing: Kakutogi
Wrestling: Kakutogi/Sport
Escrima: Bujutsu
Jeet Kune Do: Budo
Sambo: Kakutogi
Systema: Bujutsu/Kakutojutsu
Brazillian Jiu-jitsu: Not called any of these words!
Tae Kwon Do: Kakutogi/Sport

Nick Pagnucco
12-26-2006, 10:27 PM
Jeet Kune Do: Budo
Sambo: Kakutogi
Systema: Bujutsu/Kakutojutsu
Brazillian Jiu-jitsu: Not called any of these words!
Tae Kwon Do: Kakutogi/Sport

Now THAT is interesting.
I'm not capable of figuring out the logic what is in what categories and why, but BJJ being "other" is a pretty interesting exception. Any ideas why?

Kevin Leavitt
12-27-2006, 04:02 AM
Probably because BJJ does not concern itself with romantic notions of labels. Is the spirit there? it could be...depends on the dojo. it ain't about the label, and you don't automatically inherit budo with a plain white GI top and a Hakama and some caligraphy you hang on the wall.

BTW, the lineage of BJJ is every bit as much japanese in direct transmission as many aikido dojos, probably more so in some cases.

Brazilians and those that align to that form of jiujitsu simply identify with a different set of priorities.

There is no logic to the categories, simply an observation that someone pointed out.

DonMagee
12-27-2006, 07:02 AM
When Rickson was in japan in the movie choke, and when I watched him do the demo in pride. He just called it jiujitsu.

I would assume the Japanese would also just call it jiujitsu. It's really not all that different.

Josh Reyer
12-27-2006, 08:49 AM
When Rickson was in japan in the movie choke, and when I watched him do the demo in pride. He just called it jiujitsu.

I would assume the Japanese would also just call it jiujitsu. It's really not all that different.

No, they do not call it "jujutsu" because it is not a koryu art. The article does state that when many people say "jujutsu" these days, it's an abbreviated reference to BJJ. But it's not grouped in with jujutsu because they're considered rather different animals.

I checked some earlier drafts of the BJJ wiki page, and initially it was referred to as a kakutogi. In the course of revisions, it got chopped off (essentially, from "BJJ is a kakutogi that was" to "BJJ was..."), probably for compositionally cosmetic reasons rather than any philosophical leanings about one word or another. Can't really be sure, though, since unlike the English page, the discussion page is completely unused!

Ron Tisdale
12-27-2006, 09:00 AM
Nice posts Josh, Thanks,
Ron

DonMagee
12-27-2006, 09:36 AM
No, they do not call it "jujutsu" because it is not a koryu art. The article does state that when many people say "jujutsu" these days, it's an abbreviated reference to BJJ. But it's not grouped in with jujutsu because they're considered rather different animals.

I checked some earlier drafts of the BJJ wiki page, and initially it was referred to as a kakutogi. In the course of revisions, it got chopped off (essentially, from "BJJ is a kakutogi that was" to "BJJ was..."), probably for compositionally cosmetic reasons rather than any philosophical leanings about one word or another. Can't really be sure, though, since unlike the English page, the discussion page is completely unused!


'When you think about it, it is really funny that it comes from judo/jiujitsu, brought over by a guy who trained that way, was taught to them, still trained the same way, still has the same techniques (Carlson Gracie Jr. taught wrist lock takedowns and judo throws at a seminar I attended), yet everyone feels a need to segregate it. Some say its not a traditional Japanese art. Other's claim it is sport and not designed for self defense, still others have other reasons why bjj is not in the same category as jiujitsu in general. The best one I heard was that jiujitsu is about killing people, and bjj is not. Something that I find laughable the more I think about it. Breaking limbs, and choking people is most certainly as much about killing people as any other jiujitsu class I've ever attended.

Of course I am not Japanese. I think of judo as just jiujitsu with a little 'can't we all just get along' added in. To me jiujitsu is just a generic word like kung fu, submission grappling, etc. There are so many takes, ideas, styles, philosophy that you are basically just saying "This is a system of fighting" I'd imagine that Fusen ryu jiujitsu looked a lot like bjj.

In fact just saying "I train in jiujitsu" really doesn't tell me anything about what you do. Is it small circle stuff, aiki stuff, judoish stuff, a lot of striking?, maybe its focused on ki, maybe its not. Maybe you take shots to the throat and kicks to the groin? Do you do body hardening? Finger locks? Pressure Points? Spar? Compete? Just like kung fu, it runs the gambit from Sport competition to mystical no touch knock outs.

But again, I am not Japanese and I make no attempts to understand their culture. I tried once, but I found it too frustrating, and I really never plan on going to japan.

Kevin Leavitt
12-27-2006, 03:31 PM
Don Wrote:

Some say its not a traditional Japanese art. Other's claim it is sport and not designed for self defense, still others have other reasons why bjj is not in the same category as jiujitsu in general. The best one I heard was that jiujitsu is about killing people, and bjj is not. Something that I find laughable the more I think about it. Breaking limbs, and choking people is most certainly as much about killing people as any other jiujitsu class I've ever attended.


The fact that the US Army has adopted it as the base of our combatives program should demonstrate a little I suppose as to the effectiveness of it as something other than sport.

I don't know to much about the koryu stuff and all, but can't say at the base level that I see any difference between this and any other art that I have studied. cept we don't tend to bow and meditate much.

I do think these things to be important.

Interesting is to check out Helio Gracie's book, it is pretty much basic jujitsu techniques that are common to all jujitsu systems. Not much on ground fighting, more on self defense, wrist locks,and arm bars etc from the standing position.

DonMagee
12-27-2006, 08:37 PM
Don Wrote:



The fact that the US Army has adopted it as the base of our combatives program should demonstrate a little I suppose as to the effectiveness of it as something other than sport.

I don't know to much about the koryu stuff and all, but can't say at the base level that I see any difference between this and any other art that I have studied. cept we don't tend to bow and meditate much.

I do think these things to be important.

Interesting is to check out Helio Gracie's book, it is pretty much basic jujitsu techniques that are common to all jujitsu systems. Not much on ground fighting, more on self defense, wrist locks,and arm bars etc from the standing position.

What is funny is that when I bring up the fact the army has adapted bjj, I am met with this statement (by the people who claim their art was designed for a battlefield and thus relevant no less), "Well they just do it to teach teamwork and build confidence, they don't really expect them to use it on a battlefield."

See battlefield art is a only good when it's your art that is a battlefield art. If it's someone else art, you just say, "Well on a battlefield you have weapons and friends, so you don't fight hand to hand."

I think the main thing that is different from jj and bjj is that bjj is constantly evolving. Some of the old world gracie guys do not want to see this. In fact Helio hates this. But there are tons of new guys in the world innovating, changing, and improving bjj. We see wrestling moves being brought in, judo throws getting integrated more (even if they were there in the beginning, a lot has changed in judo from Helio's day). We even see guys focusing on how to change and improve bjj to keep up with MMA competitions where guys are training exclusively in how to escape from a grappler and stand up. It is really an exciting time for bjj.

I feel that from what I've experienced from Japanese culture, they look down on this sort of thing. In fact, I get the feeling if it was possible, they would make every single person in japan a clone of the perfect Japanese man. To them being taller, shorter, left handed, opinionated, etc is a bad thing. I'm sure people looked down on guys like Ueshiba and Kano for daring to change the way it was done.

Josh Reyer
12-28-2006, 04:30 AM
Someone like Ellis Amdur is probably more qualified to expound on this than me, but the distinction between jujutsu and Brazillian jiu-jitsu is not about looking down on anything. It's a historical distinction. "Jujutsu" in Japanese encompasses the varieties of unarmed combat systems created in Japan before the Meiji Restoration. Judo, created in the Meiji Era, is not now considered jujutsu (although at the time the terms were basically interchangable), nor is aikido, which as an independent art is definitely dated to the 20th century. BJJ is a 20th century descendant of Judo, and has been largely refined and developed in a foreign country, so from a nomenclature POV it simply can't be classified with jujutsu. It's methods of training and transmission are also different from jujutsu ryuha. It's not a matter of looking down on BJJ.

Thalib
12-28-2006, 08:55 PM
We had a discussion of this way back

Thalib
12-28-2006, 08:57 PM
We had a discussion of this way back when...

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=52457&postcount=10

And I have written a blog that is similar, or to that effect here:

http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/journal/item/63

I appreciate the feedback...

Thank you...

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2006, 01:07 AM
Don,

I have heard many testimonial accounts first had of soldiers using hand to hand in actual combat. It happens, more often than not. We do not have a good system for documenting it though.

Matt Larsen at the Combatives School tries to capture the stories (lessons learned). He even had a column for a while in grappling magizine, although I did not see it in there last month.

I will point out that BJJ is the basis for the army combatives program...it is NOT the program. We have essentially adopted the MMA concept drawing from the best systems and experts that we find to build a solid foundation.

What you run into though is you have to codify a system in order to train thousands of soldiers to some sort of standard. Korean's have TKD, Russians have Sombo, U.S now has Modern Army Combatives.

It encompasses BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, Greco-Roman for the most part.

Matt Larsen has done an excelllent job maintaining the delicate balance between developing a core system and managing to keep the aliveness and quality in it so far.

Really the evolvement of it parallels the evolvement of the whole MMA movement. Which, I think is very healthy outlook.

For too long schools have model of "I am sensei, do what I say and you will be rewarded".

Gracies opened our eyes to a new way, and now you have Westerners doing what we do best sometimes is breakng the rules and paradigms and establishing a new methodolgy for learning and growing...called MMA.

It is an exciting time to be involved in martial arts!


I don't think it is necessarily Japanese culture exclusively that looks down on change....but human nature. It is easy to get comfortable and complacent with the familiar. If I am a black belt or an instructor, it is far easier to delude myself into thinking I am special by setting the conditions for my success and controlling them. We all do this everyday subconsciously.

I have been studying "acephalus" organizations lately. those without a centralized authority or leader. It is interesting but these organizations work. Straight Blast Gym is doing it (or trying). I read an article about a Brazilian Company that is doing it. Many Terrorist organizations work this way as well.

DonMagee
12-29-2006, 06:09 AM
Thanks for the info Kevin. It sounds like a great system. As you know, I do not advocate just bjj if you are going to get into a knock down drag out fight. I'm glad the army's system isn't just bjj either.

And I do agree it is an exciting time to be involved in martial arts. But I would say as long as you are training with instructors willing to be open minded enough to let the excitement in. I'm not going to get into that though.

I'll have to read into acephalus orgs. I've been pushing my company to switch from hourly to performance based pay. As you can tell, I sometimes have lots of free time. I wish I could spend it somewhere other then this chair.

I have a few friends recently out of the marines, they were not all that impressed with the combatives program they went though (They joined up in 2000). I hope they are following in the same stride.

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2006, 01:32 PM
I don't know much about the Marine Corps program, but I do know that they integrated it into everyday Marine life. Marines wear a different colored belt with the combat uniform denoting their rank in the MCMAP, they are also required to complete different phases of it for promotion etc.

Army doesn't do that....our regs say all soldiers are required to do it. But finding units that actually make it a priority is a challenge sometimes. Most soldiers will get exposed to the program in the next couple of years, most will get formalized training when they go to schools, just about every post that I know of has at least one Subject Matter Expert in the program that is available to roll with these days if they want to. I usually have 5 or 6 guys on any given day...but to me, that is not alot given the size of our post.