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Don Nordin
07-15-2011, 12:55 PM
Yesterday's Steven Seagal thread got me to thinking a bit. Budo as I understand it about honor, loyalty and devotion. Aikido is a martial art that focuses on defense. However Japanese martial arts in general seem to have a strong emphasis on concepts of Budo. Based on the above I would say a person can become quite proficent in mastering the techiques of Aikido, but he may not have a concept of Budo at all.
So do you think one can truely be an Aikido master if they have not grasped the concept of Budo.

Adam Huss
07-15-2011, 02:46 PM
Don,

What are you using to differentiate the two concepts? I consider them quite linked.

In regard to your statement about budo vs. aikido as something you deem a defensive art: I belive the kanji for 'bu' is a foot breaking the shaft of a spear....at least that is what I remember.

I would hope someone who calls themself master, grasps the concept of budo. I find my training is more fulfilling when it includes emphasis on 'martial' aspect of the art. By that I don't mean tearing at people's joints and being violent so much as displaying a seriousness to training, having a high level of spirit and energy, and having some element of risk in order to facilitate personal growth and overcome obstacles. With that, I feel it important to understand how aikido 'mat training' translates into everyday life, since that is where I spend most of my time.

My best to your training and the fine people of H-Town!

Osu!

Don Nordin
07-15-2011, 03:38 PM
Thanks Adam,

What you say is correct..
I should have stated Bushido rather than Budo. Bushido being the code of conduct that the Samurai lived by.
Thank you for the correction.

Chris Li
07-15-2011, 09:15 PM
Thanks Adam,

What you say is correct..
I should have stated Bushido rather than Budo. Bushido being the code of conduct that the Samurai lived by.
Thank you for the correction.

http://www.koryu.com/library/kfriday2.html

Best,

Chris

Janet Rosen
07-16-2011, 12:57 AM
Thanks for the link, Chris.

ryback
07-16-2011, 06:41 AM
Yesterday's Steven Seagal thread got me to thinking a bit. Budo as I understand it about honor, loyalty and devotion. Aikido is a martial art that focuses on defense. However Japanese martial arts in general seem to have a strong emphasis on concepts of Budo. Based on the above I would say a person can become quite proficent in mastering the techiques of Aikido, but he may not have a concept of Budo at all.
So do you think one can truely be an Aikido master if they have not grasped the concept of Budo.

Budo is in fact the way of the warrior,so in my opinion martial arts and Budo are one and the same.The concept of honor,loyalty and devotion are a part of this on the mats as much as off the mats,because i don't think that anyone could learn the technical aspect of Aikido to a master's level without understanding the depth of the art.Many Aikidoka "leave their Aikido hanging" in their dressing room next to their Gi after the lesson,nevertheless i don't think that can be the case with a true master of the art.As for Steven Seagal sensei,i don't know him personaly so i can only judge him by his technique.Thus, my only judgement can be:"who am i to judge him".To my eyes seems like a true master of Aikido with a deep knowledge of the protocols and the code and also fighting skills beyond rankings that make him a true warrior.Therefore to my mind and in my opinion he personifies Budo.

Adam Huss
07-16-2011, 12:28 PM
Thanks Adam,

Don,

no intention to correct anyone! I assume this forum is a place for people of different experiences to share their unique ideas and thoughts with each other...not a place for people to instruct and correct, and point out other's deficiencies. I think that is how a lot of bickering happens....

So please take anything I say as simply my opinion. I have noticed many people who train, do so with a limited amount of seriousness, have limited martial aspects to their training, and do not apply what they learn outside of the dojo...even in my own school. People can train for whatever reason they want. My training affects every part of my life, and I feel that separating the martial aspect of aikido is not possible for me....hence my response to budo being not a thing considered by a master seems off, to me at least.

I see you meant to say Bushido, which makes sense. I am not too familiar with that concept, other than its historical connotation and generic definition as a code of conduct of the samurai class, which was eventually written into feudal law, whose tenets are sometimes represented symbolically by the pleats of a hakama. I really know little of the subject of bushido, though.

dps
07-17-2011, 01:52 AM
Bushido is a mental discipline.

Aikido is a physical discipline.

You can do either one or both.

dps

Don Nordin
07-19-2011, 10:11 AM
Bushido is a mental discipline.

Aikido is a physical discipline.

You can do either one or both.

dps

That was precisley my question.

Cliff Judge
07-20-2011, 04:13 PM
Bushido should be something that people study to see how the very best qualities of a people can be turned towards the most wicked and despicable ends. It is baggage that should be discarded.

Don Nordin
07-21-2011, 10:31 AM
Bushido should be something that people study to see how the very best qualities of a people can be turned towards the most wicked and despicable ends. It is baggage that should be discarded.

Care to elaborate? From my perpective, the tenents of Bushido are goals that are difficult if not impossible to live by 24/7, but they are good to remeber and keep in mind. I think people are imperfect, and concepts like Bushido remind us of that.

Cliff Judge
07-21-2011, 11:47 AM
Care to elaborate? From my perpective, the tenents of Bushido are goals that are difficult if not impossible to live by 24/7, but they are good to remeber and keep in mind. I think people are imperfect, and concepts like Bushido remind us of that.

Big-B Bushido was part of the social engineering that the industrialists used to turn Japan into a war machine and turn her loose to "liberate" Asia.

It is all about reaching into a society's cherished, romantic notions of a past where it was believed that warriors became strong in order to maintain justice and protect the weak and asked for nothing in return, and taking these notions and using them to convince the people of Japan that their goal of conquest of all of Asia was a good and noble thing to do.

There's really not much else to the concept of Bushido than that historically.

This sets aside the notion of a little-b bushido, which of course can be anything you want.

Cliff Judge
07-21-2011, 11:54 AM
Meh.

I totally feel like a jerk for bringing that up in a way that makes it look like I am accusing you of being a sucker or a bad person for picking an innocent-seeming code of ethics and sticking to it. Sorry. There's just been a lot of very bad things done in the name of that code, things that are at odds to what I believe the true spirit of the warrior is. So its just my opinion.

(FYI I am aware that actual bushi were seldom particularly nice people and did plenty of horrendous things in Korea, and also that O Sensei enjoyed the patronage of war criminals. There's just something about the scale and level of cynicism of the social architects of 20th century Imperial Japan that I've never been able to sit quietly with.)

Janet Rosen
07-21-2011, 11:58 AM
Meh.

I totally feel like a jerk for bringing that up in a way that makes it look like I am accusing you of being a sucker or a bad person for picking an innocent-seeming code of ethics and sticking to it. Sorry. There's just been a lot of very bad things done in the name of that code, things that are at odds to what I believe the true spirit of the warrior is. So its just my opinion.

I understand you are not putting down the OP but also want you to know that you are not the only one who thinks that way about the actual ramifications of Bushido.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2011, 11:58 AM
Hi Don,

If you're interested in digging deeper...

BUSHIDO: THE CREATION OF A MARTIAL ETHIC IN LATE MEIJI JAPAN (https://circle.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/31136/ubc_2011_spring_benesch_oleg.pdf?sequence=1)

Chris Li
07-21-2011, 11:59 AM
Meh.

I totally feel like a jerk for bringing that up in a way that makes it look like I am accusing you of being a sucker or a bad person for picking an innocent-seeming code of ethics and sticking to it. Sorry. There's just been a lot of very bad things done in the name of that code, things that are at odds to what I believe the true spirit of the warrior is. So its just my opinion.

True, but you could say much the same thing about "Christianity", "Buddhism", "Democracy" or just about any other belief system you could name.

What's more relevant, IMO, is that such a coherent code of ethics never really existed in historic Japan, it's more of a modern creation and myth.

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
07-21-2011, 02:45 PM
Dear all,
For anyone wishing to search for information on Bushido may I suggest you refer to Wikipedia?The basic concept is based on chivalry , honour etc.
Of course like anything else eg Religions, political systems etcthere can be and has been terrible things done in the name of the aforementioned.
On the question of O Sensei being in the company of war criminals I would say that had the Japanese won the war in the Pacific, these men would probably be recognised as heroes.The winner of any war determines who is a war criminal/hero.
Cheers, Joe.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-21-2011, 03:26 PM
Dear all,
For anyone wishing to search for information on Bushido may I suggest you refer to Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is for bunnies.

A true scotsman reads scholarly books and doctoral thesis.

On the question of O Sensei being in the company of war criminals I would say that had the Japanese won the war in the Pacific, these men would probably be recognised as heroes.The winner of any war determines who is a war criminal/hero.

But they lost. Therefore they were doing things wrong.

Cheers.

Cliff Judge
07-21-2011, 03:31 PM
Dear all,
For anyone wishing to search for information on Bushido may I suggest you refer to Wikipedia?The basic concept is based on chivalry , honour etc.
Of course like anything else eg Religions, political systems etcthere can be and has been terrible things done in the name of the aforementioned.
On the question of O Sensei being in the company of war criminals I would say that had the Japanese won the war in the Pacific, these men would probably be recognised as heroes.The winner of any war determines who is a war criminal/hero.
Cheers, Joe.

Do make sure you read the discussion page on Wikipedia, though. ;)

Gorgeous George
07-21-2011, 06:22 PM
But they lost. Therefore they were doing things wrong.

Cheers.

Yes: but that's a completely arbitrary claim, as Joe said.

'If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.'

- Noam Chomsky

hughrbeyer
07-21-2011, 10:15 PM
On the question of O Sensei being in the company of war criminals I would say that had the Japanese won the war in the Pacific, these men would probably be recognised as heroes.The winner of any war determines who is a war criminal/hero.

Lazy and thoughtless. It's an ongoing debate in the west whether the bombers of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki are war criminals.

The losers write history books, and not all the winner's history books are laudatory. Not everything is relative.

DH
07-21-2011, 11:07 PM
Yes: but that's a completely arbitrary claim, as Joe said.

'If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.'

- Noam Chomsky
Sure...the Germans practicing genocide is equal to the Americans.
The Japanese practicing bayonet and stabbing men and leaving them hanging up to slowly drown and wail all night in their own blood is the same as the Americans
The Khmer rouge killing millions of men women and children is the same as the Americans
Everyone gets an "A" again, huh Graham?
Everyone is equal.
The Japanese started the war. I know a Japanese fellow who lost his extended family in Nagasaki and thinks the Bomb is the smartest thing we ever did to end it. It saved millions of lives on both sides.
On the whole I'll take Americas budo any day wharts and all over much of what I have seen. I just wish we stopped all outside action, war, money, charity, support, everything..and just left and concentrated on ourselves,

Gorgeous George
07-21-2011, 11:12 PM
Lazy and thoughtless. It's an ongoing debate in the west whether the bombers of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki are war criminals.

The losers write history books, and not all the winner's history books are laudatory. Not everything is relative.

It might be debated in certain circles, but it'll never gain widespread acceptance as it would contradict the narrative of those in power; plus, nobody will ever be prosecuted by the authorities - given that these same authorities instructed them to do what they did.

Of course the history books of those who have inherited power are all laudatory - that's why these people are commemorated; parades are held; etc.
Sure: people like Chomsky raise valid objections - but these are outsider voices. People in the UK hate Tony Blair, and regard him as a war criminal - but no warrant has been issued for his arrest.
US forces continue to commit war crimes as we speak - but does anyone dare speak out against them?

What Joe was talking about was the prevalent attitude in a society: that of The People - not the opinion of those who think, and are righteous; so his opinion was anything but lazy and thoughtless.

Gorgeous George
07-21-2011, 11:29 PM
Sure...the Germans practicing genocide is equal to the Americans.
The Japanese practicing bayonet and stabbing men and leaving them hanging up to slowly drown and wail all night in their own blood is the same as the Americans
The Khmer rouge killing millions of men women and children is the same as the Americans
Everyone gets an "A" again, huh Graham?
Everyone is equal.
The Japanese started the war. I know a Japanese fellow who lost his extended family in Nagasaki and thinks the Bomb is the smartest thing we ever did to end it. It saved millions of lives on both sides.
On the whole I'll take Americas budo any day wharts and all over much of what I have seen. I just wish we stopped all outside action, war, money, charity, support, everything..and just left and concentrated on ourselves,

'The Nixon- Kissinger bombing of Cambodia in the
early '70s was not all that different from the
Khmer Rouge atrocities, in scale somewhat less,
but not much less.'

'So like bombing of urban concentrations was not considered a war crime because we had done more of it than the Germans and the Japanese. So that wasn 't a war crime . You want to turn Tokyo into rubble? So much rubble you can' t even drop an atom bomb there because nobody will see anything if you do , which is the real reason they didn' t bomb Tokyo. That' s not a war crime because we did it.'

www.chomsky.info/talks/1990----.htm

The Japanese started the war? An interesting debate...there were events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbour, of course.

Whether the personal preference of one Japanese man constitutes a cast-iron case, i'd say is doubtful; as is the claim that murdering innocent men, women, and children in their tens of thousands (including, of course, those who died as slow, painful deaths, as the victims of the Japanese army did, but as a result of radiation sickness/cancer) was the most appropriate means of ending the war, as opposed to starting another one.

The case of the Contras - a US-backed group of militants who reportedly slit open the bellies of pregnant women etc.- might be of interest when comparing US and 1940s era Japanese atrocities.
I'll leave any discussion of Israel.

sakumeikan
07-22-2011, 02:45 AM
Lazy and thoughtless. It's an ongoing debate in the west whether the bombers of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki are war criminals.

The losers write history books, and not all the winner's history books are laudatory. Not everything is relative.
Dear Hugh,
Thank you for your very constructive criticism of my blog.
In my original blog I could have pointed out that it was an American president who sanctioned not just one atom bomb but two on the Japanese.Perhaps the Japanese were be used as test fire dummies?Was the then President/scientists war criminals or heroes?Was Churchill right in reducing Dresden to dust?If the other side in the conflict had won, would thse guys be in the dock on crimes against humanity?Pure speculation of course .
I could also mention the humanitarian work done by Bush/Blair in the invasion of Iraq.How many Iraqis civilian have died there?Blair[Bliar] is considered to be a war criminal by many in the U.K.
Lets not forget Viet Nam, the massacre of a village by American troop [a Mr Calley?]. The use of napalm, agent orange .
Of course the Japanese certainly committed terrible acts during the war but I dont think the West come up smelling of roses either.
As Robert Burns the poet states 'Mans inhumanity to man makes countless millions mourn'.
Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
07-22-2011, 02:53 AM
Sure...the Germans practicing genocide is equal to the Americans.
The Japanese practicing bayonet and stabbing men and leaving them hanging up to slowly drown and wail all night in their own blood is the same as the Americans
The Khmer rouge killing millions of men women and children is the same as the Americans
Everyone gets an "A" again, huh Graham?
Everyone is equal.
The Japanese started the war. I know a Japanese fellow who lost his extended family in Nagasaki and thinks the Bomb is the smartest thing we ever did to end it. It saved millions of lives on both sides.
On the whole I'll take Americas budo any day wharts and all over much of what I have seen. I just wish we stopped all outside action, war, money, charity, support, everything..and just left and concentrated on ourselves,
Dear Dan ,
I echo your sentiments written by you in the last sentence.Why we in the U.K feels it necessary to intervene every time there is conflict in other areas or donate millions of pounds in aid [at the same time as the population in Britain apart from politicians and bankers etc are struggling to pay the bills ] i never can understand.We should as you suggest put our own house in order first. Cheers, Joe

hughrbeyer
07-22-2011, 05:53 AM
There is a difference between the aggressor and the attacked; between those who fight to defend themselves and those who fight to build empires; between those who treat prisoners decently and those who didn't; between those who fought for a just cause and those who didn't.

When the means of fighting involves civilian casualties, it's regrettable and perhaps immoral, depending on the circumstances. But context matters, and details matter. Was Dresden justified after the Battle of Britain? Would it have been justified before? Was Hiroshima justified and Nagasaki not? Why?

These are legitimate questions and to pretend to address them with an easy aphorism is, I think, lazy.

Vietnam and Iraq are totally irrelevant to the original point, but I've no wish to try to defend either one, BTW.

Tim Ruijs
07-22-2011, 06:22 AM
Y... I would say a person can become quite proficent in mastering the techiques of Aikido, but he may not have a concept of Budo at all. .
Yep! Why not? But... :D
So do you think one can truely be an Aikido master if they have not grasped the concept of Budo.

I would like to distinguish between mastering the techniques and being a master. A master (shihan?) is exemplary in his ways, and has great technical skills. Someone who 'only' masters the techniques but has low moral values, is no 'true' master in my book.

sakumeikan
07-22-2011, 08:57 AM
There is a difference between the aggressor and the attacked; between those who fight to defend themselves and those who fight to build empires; between those who treat prisoners decently and those who didn't; between those who fought for a just cause and those who didn't.

When the means of fighting involves civilian casualties, it's regrettable and perhaps immoral, depending on the circumstances. But context matters, and details matter. Was Dresden justified after the Battle of Britain? Would it have been justified before? Was Hiroshima justified and Nagasaki not? Why?

These are legitimate questions and to pretend to address them with an easy aphorism is, I think, lazy.

Vietnam and Iraq are totally irrelevant to the original point, but I've no wish to try to defend either one, BTW.
Dear Hugh,
There is a surfeit of material on the web relating to the causes of conflict in Europe and the Far East along with book of the same ilk.I have read /looked at many of these .Yes , the questions of issues like morality /honour are important.Countries cannot state that they are championing the rights of freedom and democracy etc if they indulging in underground activities themselves.People in glass houses----
Have a nice day, LAZY JOE. [Its simply the case I am the laziest guy in town].Lyrics courtesy of Marlene Dietrich.

Cliff Judge
07-22-2011, 10:42 AM
True, but you could say much the same thing about "Christianity", "Buddhism", "Democracy" or just about any other belief system you could name.

One thing you cannot say about these things is that they were cynical propaganda created by people who had no personal belief in them, that were pressed upon a society in order to achieve a goal that was at odds with the spirit they were constructed to evoke.

You can say this about Bushido.

graham christian
07-22-2011, 11:20 AM
Dear Dan ,
I echo your sentiments written by you in the last sentence.Why we in the U.K feels it necessary to intervene every time there is conflict in other areas or donate millions of pounds in aid [at the same time as the population in Britain apart from politicians and bankers etc are struggling to pay the bills ] i never can understand.We should as you suggest put our own house in order first. Cheers, Joe

Hi Joe.
Politics as usual? Same old mad games of power and wealth.

As far as Bushido goes I look at it this way:

1) It is to do with warriors, the way of the warrior.

2) Basically it's a set of rules that warriors or if you extend it further armies are meant to or agree to abide by.

Modern day it's probably split up to expected behaviour and rules of engagement.

Honour then would be purely a matter of adhering to those rules otherwise you would be some kind of outcast, be it a Ronin or a terrorist.

It's interesting looking at the previous posts from this view for it makes you wonder what were the rules everyone or all sides agreed to say in the second world war?

In past times when armies had this set of rules that they would meet at a certain location, a battlefield and sort it out there was a certain 'bushido' involved.

Remember the old british red tunics, all standing out as a unit with formations etc. A certain set of rules applied there but they definitely didn't include camouflage.

So I would say that no matter what expert says there was no bushido really in old japan then to me of course there was. Any group of warriors would form some kind of set of rules of behaviour, engagement, training, etc. As to how unified it was is a different discussion.

Regards.G.

Chris Li
07-22-2011, 12:01 PM
One thing you cannot say about these things is that they were cynical propaganda created by people who had no personal belief in them, that were pressed upon a society in order to achieve a goal that was at odds with the spirit they were constructed to evoke.

You can say this about Bushido.

Well, I think that you and I have been reading a different history of Christianity. :)

Best,

Chris

phitruong
07-22-2011, 12:18 PM
On the whole I'll take Americas budo any day wharts and all over much of what I have seen. I just wish we stopped all outside action, war, money, charity, support, everything..and just left and concentrated on ourselves,

it's the "evil things happen when good men do nothing" or the "stand up for those who can't"

DH
07-22-2011, 12:42 PM
it's the "evil things happen when good men do nothing" or the "stand up for those who can't"
Right now we need to "stand up" and help us. The world pretty much hates us anyway, might as well take care of those who cannot help themselves...us...and be hated anyway. Otherwise there won't be anything left of us to help anywhere.
Dan

Lee Salzman
07-22-2011, 12:55 PM
Right now we need to "stand up" and help us. The world pretty much hates us anyway, might as well take care of those who cannot help themselves...us...and be hated anyway. Otherwise there won't be anything left of us to help anywhere.
Dan

That actually surprised me when I moved over to Finland. I thought, "Oh crap, I'm an American here, I'm gonna be a target..." And the attitude towards things, especially our wars, has been somewhat surprising. Largely, they just live in their own little bubble, just as much as we Americans do, just more concerned about their own country than anything else, and not much discussion of American issues really seems to penetrate here. They seem to have a firm enough understanding that we are not as stupid as our leaders. The couple I have managed to talk to in depth have been rather supportive, at least in the case of the Afghanistan war, of why we ostensibly went there in the first place, though they seemed foggy about the details of what the Afghanistan and Iraq wars represented. Then again, I'd probably not be having that sort of discussion with someone who was screaming "Die you American pig!" at me in the first place. :D

Don Nordin
07-22-2011, 06:49 PM
I received this from my Sensei today, It is from George Ledyard and sums up very well what I was thinking.

Aikido is a form of Budo. Budo is basically the use of the martial arts for personal transformation. Aikido as Budo is a "Michi" or Martial "WAY" (the "do" in Aiki-do). O-Sensei, the Founder, actually believed that through Aikido, the whole world could be brought into a state of harmony; he called our art "The Way of Peace". For him, Budo was a life and death matter. Given the right level of commitment one could truly become a better person, less fearful, stronger, braver, more compassionate. One could, in his or her own Mind and Body understand that everything in the universe is essentially connected. His creation of Aikido represents a radical transformation of how Budo was viewed historically. It is a unique art. It is not a "hobby", it is not a "sport", it is not a "workout", it is a Michi, a Way. The central maxim of Aikido is "masakatsu, agatsu" "True Victory is Self Victory".

George Ledyard

Don Nordin
07-22-2011, 07:12 PM
Let me clarify Sensei Ledyard wrote, Sensei Wilkinson provided it to me