I have expressed several times the fact that I believe that Budo have less to do with warmongering and personal defense than with physical and mental education, and that those who mainly seek martial efficacy in training are in my eyes wasting their time developing useless kills, and probably living in irrational fear. Today I would like to substantiate these claims with hard facts and ask the question: "What is the point of training to achieve martial efficacy in a peaceful world?
". Violence in human societies is on decline and it has been so for hundreds of years. As a consequence, we are currently living in the most peaceful and harmonious time that our specie has ever known. This phenomenon has been put forward in its most elegant and persuasive form by Harvard Professor Steven Pinker in his book "The Better Angels of our Nature
I propose to share some of his ideas and evidence, and to discuss how this affects martial arts practice. In a nutshell, I could sum it up as : "No, the world is not becoming a dangerous place, so chill out and enjoy martial art training for what it is: a healthy habit, albeit a slightly silly, and mostly obsolete one
(Original blog post may be found here
Very well written article adressing a number of important points. Personally I do not practice Budo for self-defence reasons - I agree more with Terry Dobson's point about martial arts; "the emphasis should be more on art and less on martial". Archery is part of my training as well - but I do not participate in local competition, do not hunt and don't expect to be attacked by a French knight on horseback any day soon.
Budo for me is a personal mental and physical exercise that I at times share with others - and I have to agree with you here; Budo is a slighlty silly and obsolete exercise.
Thank you for the article.