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Old 02-25-2016, 10:35 AM   #51
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

Katherine - I very much agree with you here. For me, one of the most valuable reasons to study budo is to grapple with that problem. Perhaps it's unseemly to quote myself, but in Dueling with O-sensei, I wrote:
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In the first edition of this book, I wrote, "When I practice my koryū, I make every effort to reach the spirit of the founders, who were born and died in a bloody era of survival. Such practice has both kept me safe, and enabled me to help and protect other people. But as I practice, I often stop and think, ‘What are you doing? There are millions of people, right this minute, slaughtering others using methods not too different from what you are practicing now.'" . . . . Is there then any self-defense or justifiable homicide? Of course there is, but a part of the justification lies in having striven with every fiber of one's being to never be in such a position that one is forced to take a life, and certainly never a life where survival of self, comrade or country is not at stake.

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Old 02-25-2016, 10:50 AM   #52
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Well, yeah, anybody who thinks budo is a traditional martial honor code lacks understanding of what the word refers to.
So enlighten me. What's your definition?

I don't think the two concepts are as easily separable as you seem to assume. If the goal of budo is self-development, what does the "developed self" look like?

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 02-25-2016 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:52 AM   #53
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Perhaps then one should define what is Budo compared to Bushido? The thread I feel, is leaning towards bushido instead of Budo. The way of the warrior or The way of war. What is one practicing? That should be the question.
What does the "way of the warrior" even mean in a peacetime civilian society?

Katherine
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:14 AM   #54
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
What does the "way of the warrior" even mean in a peacetime civilian society?

Katherine
For me it means values that a certain class of people follow or think makes them such a group. A 'warrior' could be anything from a boxer to a lawyer. A group with their own values and code that dictates their conduct in society.

The way of war refers to the skills and strategies that one employs in battle. The way of war for a carpenter for example, is the way of managing his tools and resources to build houses or furniture. The way of war for a lawyer would be legal research and arguing of their case in court.

Which begs the question, what is the way of war for the modern warrior? I believe that we are focusing too much on how a modern warrior should act instead of how a modern warrior should fight.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:21 AM   #55
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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For me it means values that a certain class of people follow or think makes them such a group. A 'warrior' could be anything from a boxer to a lawyer. A group with their own values and code that dictates their conduct in society.
And what are those values?

Katherine
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:33 AM   #56
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

"Warrior" has a specific meaning, as distinguished from soldiers. A warrior is a man (or woman) of war, with the added nuance of one who takes autonomous action. Thus, spec ops folks are warriors. The purest warriors, I believe, were the Comanche's, because males literally had no rules to follow, or leaders to bow to. There were certainly alpha figures, but they were followed by those subject to their charisma and because the 'followers' shared the same goals. Warriors make their own rules. Soldiers follow the rules of war, as defined by their society, and follow orders.
The word warrior has harmed, in my view, both policing and the military. If you are not small-unit and autonomous, then I don't believe you are a warrior. Furthermore, warriors live off of enemy territory. Soldiers have supply lines. When a police officer is called a warrior, s/he occupies enemy territory, and this sets up a pernicious mind set, in my view (to be sure, if attacked by an enemy, a warrior spirit is what keeps you fighting, and that is something anyone who must fight needs access to).

With that preamble, this idea that a carpenter is a warrior of wood, etc., is something that came in with Carlos Casteneda and Dan Millman, a romantic image . . . all too similar to the idealized image of warriors who write their own publicity (like the gunki monogatari of Japan). To be sure, since we are all going to die, one can frame all life as war--but that debloods, literally, the word.

Back to "budo" - bushido is an ideology, rooted in older ideologies (warrior codes) on how to act within society, how to follow one's leaders and how to rule. Bugei are specific martial arts (pre-Meiji, perhaps a better word than koryu to describe these martial traditions. Draeger made an artificial distinction between budo and bujutsu. He tended to be a concrete man, whereas the Japanese were much more fluid. For example, Araki-ryu is considered by many to be among the most violent/rugged in technique among remaining bugei. From it's inception, we find the word budo to refer to it. And my instructor, who detested aikido, used to say, "That's not budo."

We translate it as "the way of the warrior" and then, conflated with Zenist ideology, thanks to Omori Sogen (a famous Jikishinkage-ryu teacher who was among the right wing terrorists of pre WWII), it becomes a method of achieving enlightenment, even though that was never its objective. Remember too that almost every leading Zen teacher in pre-war Japan found a way to rationalize any violence in support of the war, assuring soldiers that if they killed innocents, it was a blessing because they were moving them on to their next incarnation before they could accumulate negative karma.

In short, then, I believe that we need to maintain a discomfort with ourselves that we train martial arts, including aikido. We train in how to exert violence on vulnerable human beings (or beings we make vulnerable, once we impose aiki upon them). The moral demand comes from awareness of this fact, and what we make of it.

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Old 02-25-2016, 12:01 PM   #57
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Indeed. Authoritarian regimes have historically developed a variety of mechanisms to desensitize their "enforcers," both to help them put aside any qualms and act as instructed and to prevent them from rebelling against the regime. Given the historical role of "budo" in Japan, is it really an ideal that citizens of western democracies should strive to emulate?

(Of course, many of the same techniques are used in the training of military and police units -- particularly "elite" units -- under non-authoritarian regimes. This is one of the reasons why civilian oversight of such units is important.)

Katherine
In interesting element in the Hunger Games novels involves the national force used to control in the individual sections of population. One of the tactics used in the book involves replacing the "native" police force with one unfamiliar with the sections and people who live within. This, of course, has a larger meaning but it implies the advantages of using a "national" enforcement over a local enforcement, who may hold sympathy or other conflicting emotions with the native population.

What is the difference between a doctor and a killer? Sometimes, there is no difference. There is a reason why the Hippocratic Oath is a powerful one - it is sometimes the only thing that separates the two.

In an earlier post, I implied that somewhere along the way, we decided Budo was good. It's the promise that we make to society that we will use what we know responsibly. It's what allows us to hang a sign and say, "C'mon in and learn how to hurt people. Don't worry folks, we follow a code of ethics that only allows us to fight drug-fueled rage monsters who would take advantage of a defenseless commoner, like yourselves."

Budo, Bushido, BS. I don't think you need to split hairs to get to the point of the promise. Robin brought up a point twice now that casts a wider net to include some comparative cultures. All cultures with a military class solicit this promise because it is the way people feel comfortable allowing the military class to exist - the force will not be used against them. There was a reason why no army could enter Rome...

I think a moment of reflection about what we truly endeavor to learn is a sobering experience.

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Old 02-25-2016, 02:38 PM   #58
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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So enlighten me. What's your definition?

I don't think the two concepts are as easily separable as you seem to assume. If the goal of budo is self-development, what does the "developed self" look like?

Katherine
Just spent the entire thread talking about it but hey - my martial studies have taught me a lot about patience.

A budo is an activity whereby one goes to a dojo and is trained by a teacher and fellow students. It involves the repetition of tutelary patterns of movement and thought where the junior student is molded by the senior student.

The goal of each budo is different and in fact are the secrets of the system. You cannot understand them without undergoing the very particular changes that a long time spent training in that system brings about, and its usually a matter of not really knowing what it is until you see somebody do something that seems to express it perfectly.

You posted another thread about helping your neighbor by entering her home with her so she could collect her things and leave her abusive significant other. You knew he was in there. I thought that was an excellent expression of the spirit of Aikido, particularly the part where the man thought it best to lock himself in a back room, whether or not that was because he knew you were there.

BTW I don't think that self development is a goal of budo per se, it is more an desirable side-effect.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:45 PM   #59
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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And what are those values?

Katherine
Your talk of chivalry and other such codes meant to make violent men adapt to civilian life. The chivalric code, bushido. Or for modern soldiers, any of the creeds or mottos individual military units possess. You are more aware of them then me I must say.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:20 PM   #60
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Your talk of chivalry and other such codes meant to make violent men adapt to civilian life. The chivalric code, bushido. Or for modern soldiers, any of the creeds or mottos individual military units possess. You are more aware of them then me I must say.
Well, see, this is my point.

I am pointing out that many historical "martial values" are not all that compatible with a pluralistic democratic society.

In response, people are complaining that I am incorrectly conflating budo and bushido.

So, I asked, "what values does budo seek to develop?"

And the answer comes back: "bushido."

Katherine
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:26 PM   #61
kewms
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
In short, then, I believe that we need to maintain a discomfort with ourselves that we train martial arts, including aikido. We train in how to exert violence on vulnerable human beings (or beings we make vulnerable, once we impose aiki upon them). The moral demand comes from awareness of this fact, and what we make of it.
I emphatically agree.

Hence my insistence that, if we are going to claim to be studying "budo," we understand what that has meant, historically, both positive and negative. If we are *not* training to exert violence *and* grappling with the moral demands that imposes, what are we really studying?

Katherine
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:33 PM   #62
kewms
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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In interesting element in the Hunger Games novels involves the national force used to control in the individual sections of population. One of the tactics used in the book involves replacing the "native" police force with one unfamiliar with the sections and people who live within. This, of course, has a larger meaning but it implies the advantages of using a "national" enforcement over a local enforcement, who may hold sympathy or other conflicting emotions with the native population.
Which, of course, is a tactic of repressive regimes everywhere. Use the uneducated farm boys to keep the city slickers in line. Recruit thugs from street gangs when you need to crack heads out in the provinces.

On the other hand, it was US Marshals who escorted Ruby Bridges, the first black student at an all-white school in New Orleans. Sometimes local law enforcement is part of the problem.

Which is why the conversation can't end with "budo is good."

Katherine
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:39 PM   #63
kewms
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Just spent the entire thread talking about it but hey - my martial studies have taught me a lot about patience.

A budo is an activity whereby one goes to a dojo and is trained by a teacher and fellow students. It involves the repetition of tutelary patterns of movement and thought where the junior student is molded by the senior student.
How is budo different from, say, flower arranging or tea ceremony?

Your description is value free. Was that intentional? That is, would a hypothetical Darth Vader ryu meet your definition? If not, why not?

Katherine
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:45 PM   #64
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Well, see, this is my point.

I am pointing out that many historical "martial values" are not all that compatible with a pluralistic democratic society.

In response, people are complaining that I am incorrectly conflating budo and bushido.

So, I asked, "what values does budo seek to develop?"

And the answer comes back: "bushido."

Katherine
Huh. I would say that Budo develops the mindset of war.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:21 PM   #65
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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How is budo different from, say, flower arranging or tea ceremony?
One of these involves tea and one of them involves flowers. Performance of either of these arts produces a tangible object which can be shared with and consumed by others.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Your description is value free. Was that intentional? That is, would a hypothetical Darth Vader ryu meet your definition? If not, why not?
Sure. I wouldn't bother with it, it would just be a bunch of people who are like "dur I wanna generate unusual power."
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:04 AM   #66
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

and here i thought budo is the way of dealing with the monkey and the lizard inside each one of us. i am pretty sure there is the chicken somewhere in there. they said "you are what you eat." and i have been eating quite a bit of chicken and other vegetarians lately.

always wondering if the Chinese picked the 12 animals on purpose. you have the lizard and the monkey in there. you have the pig and the chicken. the male species probably like the goat. wonder if we were meant to study those animals inside us. anyone know if there a dragon or two that i could eat? i wonder if it tastes like chicken.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:34 AM   #67
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

First, it's not Darth Vader ryu. It's the Dark Side of the Force and Darth Vader is just one of our sempai. If you don't have unusual power, then you just have usual power... and that puts us back at you are not different than normal people and normal people are not martial artists. We're kinda kidding, but kinda being truthful. Everything about our training should be "unusual." Who wants to know how to damage a joint, or stab a sword, or throw a knock-out punch? Not normal people. Sure, they'll watch a movie and fantasize what it's like, but fantasy does not drive their reality. This is Matrix-like red pill stuff, once you make that decision you don't go back to thinking like regular people.

Second, the conflation of civilian and military roles (conscription) is a different fighting class than people whose only job is fighting. Most of what we do is somewhere in "civilian with advanced knowledge of fighting." For some, you can add, "...and demonstrated skill." We want to seize the "fighting" status, but not necessarily the bad things that come with it. For us older folks, it's like going camping to "rough it," and then buying an inflatable mattress after that first night sleeping on the f%24ing hard ground. We want to "rough it," but maybe not all that "roughing it" entails...

All this stuff goes back to knowing where you are in your training. There is nothing bad about knowing where you are in your training, even if that level is lower than others (or higher). This problem is not having a clear picture of what we are doing or why we are doing it. If budo is not about fighting, then don't say you can fight because you do a budo. If budo is about fighting, then don't close your eyes and flinch when you need to punch someone. If budo doesn't have a goal, then don't use a progressive metric to describe your training. You gotta start somewhere and back it up with your training. When I work out with you, I should understand what it is that you are changing.

I would however, at least challenge the argument that budo takes a long time. That would not have been practical in fighting times and is generally used to excuse bad training (either incorrect form or improper practice habits). You should notice regular changes to whatever it is you are changing. When I work with you, you should be better than the last time.

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Old 02-26-2016, 04:33 PM   #68
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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I would however, at least challenge the argument that budo takes a long time. That would not have been practical in fighting times and is generally used to excuse bad training (either incorrect form or improper practice habits). You should notice regular changes to whatever it is you are changing. When I work with you, you should be better than the last time.
It's not that it takes a long time, it's that its a thing you can keep getting better at forever.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:43 PM   #69
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post

... But I do think it's safe to say that many people who claim to be studying "budo" don't have much understanding of what that actually means.

I also think that many aspects of traditional "martial honor" codes -- eastern and western -- are extremely problematic when adopted by civilians in the modern world.

Katherine
I agree.

I think Peter B mentioned the book in one of his other columns, but a new book on bushido is, in my opinion, required reading for anyone who wants to cast any light on the topic of this thread. It is Inventing the Way of the Samurai, by Oleg Benesch. It is published by Oxford University Press and the ISBN is 978-0-19-870662-5. A biography of the author appears in the front flap of the dust jacket. This book, together with a new edition of the Hagakure, translated by Alexander Bennett, and two books by Eiko Ikegami throw much light -- and also some darkness, which must also be kept in mind -- on the concepts of budo and bushido. A large Japanese monolingual dictionary, the multi-volume Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, gives many references illustrating the history of these concepts, but will not be of much value for those who lack facility in classical Japanese. Ikegami, like Benesch, needs to be read with great care, since both make assumptions that need to be seen for what they are. I found it of great value to have the Japanese originals to hand of some of the texts to which they refer.

In this connection, I recall a remark made recently by Hiroshi Isoyama Shihan. He stated that budo was extremely difficult to translate, for martial art was not really adequate (he did not mention the other phrase often used, which is martial way). I found the remark perplexing, since I have lived here long enough to know that most Japanese, including Japanese aikido experts, do not have a corresponding expertise in linguistics or translation studies and I suspect that Isoyama Sensei was really suggesting that budo was untranslatable -- which is highly problematic. However, Ethan Weisgard was also present and I hope he will comment if he sees this thread.

Best wishes,

Peter G.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 02-26-2016 at 06:55 PM.

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Old 02-26-2016, 06:57 PM   #70
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

Yes, there are many things to improve on and you can get better forever.

But, maybe more bushido (?) than Budo - looking clearly different than another student, advancing in a different direction or using a different vector, accommodating for a different body type and so on: not encouraged in some dojo. People don't agree on what Aiki is, or what the basic techniques are, So rank is hard to quantify. Some teachers are punitive regarding students who learn from outside the art and outside the dojo. Some teachers I swear were feeling threatened by their students. Some teaching methods by certain teachers I have experienced appeared aimed at NOT educating their students; knowledge being power and a commodity. Rank being a carrot to dangle in front of someone's nose who will go on to pay dues for a decade.

I completely agree that Budo is a lifelong pursuit, but I am not convinced that every teacher I've encountered was aimed at introducing me to life long learning. Some were about money, some were about feeding some need of their own. Some teachers just see "not the same" and want some conformity - military derived training?
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:40 AM   #71
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

Hello Peter and other participants in this thread. This is a very interesting discussion and it is very clear proof that Aikiweb is such an important platform for communication in our global Aikido/Budo community. Great work, Jun!

I have just finished reading the book "Sword and Spirit - Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan, Volume Two" Edited by Diane Skoss, Koryu Books. I highly recommend the book (many of you must already have read it), and especially the articles "Neglected Treasure - The Koyo Gunkan" by Alexander C. Bennet, and "Kabala in Motion - Kata and Pattern Practice in the Traditional Bugei" by Karl F. Friday.
There is so much information to be found in these fine articles that pertains to this discussion.

In the book, in one of the articles (I cannot find the exact spot as I write) the matter is brought up that the different terms "Budo/Bugei/Bujutsu" and more are in many Ryuha very much interchangeable.
I think that there was a kind of base understanding of what was meant in general when speaking of "Budo" or other terms that was part of the times. I think that we in modern times are trying to classify and separate the terms more than was done in the olden days.

The way I see it is that "Budo" refers to the physical and spiritual training done in the given discipline, whereas Bushido is the code learned through the training of the given discipline / disciplines.
As a footnote: it is often sad that the term "Bushido" is a fairly recent term, some giving credit to Nitobe for actually coining it.In the abovementioned article "Neglected Treasure" the "Koyo Gunkan," compiled by Obata Kagenori in 1615, the term is used for the first time, according to the author of the article.

Dr. Peter Goldsbury: thank you for helping in making the first part of the interview project such a wonderful experience. May we have many more such enjoyable and productive talks with these fine Sensei, and others, as well.

In regard to Isoyama Sensei's remarks about the English term "martial art": I understood it as being his opinion that the term in English did not do justice to the term and concept of "Budo." It is true - we didn't mention the English term "Martial Way" which is sometimes used, albeit much less than the term "Budo." My feeling is, as I mentioned before, that there is an inherent understanding of what the term "Budo" encompasses in Japan/Japanese Budo circles. And Isoyama Sensei, who speaks English very well and has grown up in a very international environment, has understood this lack; that the term "art" in "martial art" doesn't cover all that is inherent in the Japanese term "Do."
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Old 02-27-2016, 05:42 AM   #72
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

Quote:
Isoyama Sensei was really suggesting that budo was untranslatable -- which is highly problematic. However, Ethan Weisgard was also present and I hope he will comment if he sees this thread.

Best wishes,

Peter G.
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Hello Peter and other participants in this thread.

In regard to Isoyama Sensei's remarks about the English term "martial art": I understood it as being his opinion that the term in English did not do justice to the term and concept of "Budo." It is true - we didn't mention the English term "Martial Way" which is sometimes used, albeit much less than the term "Budo." My feeling is, as I mentioned before, that there is an inherent understanding of what the term "Budo" encompasses in Japan/Japanese Budo circles. And Isoyama Sensei, who speaks English very well and has grown up in a very international environment, has understood this lack; that the term "art" in "martial art" doesn't cover all that is inherent in the Japanese term "Do."
To someone who owns a Japanese identity-card, but who's loyalties and obligations by tradition primarily centers towards his family, his clan - i.e. in modern times the rather confined group he belongs to, including the company that employs him, the things from the cradle to the grave, you know - the saying that for the dyed in the wool English "strangers" begin at the end of the street where he's living and "foreigners" outside the boundaries of his parish, and that he might evolve nevertheless to accept that he owns a "British passport", may not be understood as a joke.

Of course, "Budo" can be translated. Translation has been done, but so far, as a new group of anthropologists has been trying to show for some time now, probably with deformation through the hybris of taking our ( western, scientific, you name it... ) logic as the only one of value. Thus not properly defined and the many shades of gray, culturally included, being left out

That's not to say we can't have "Japanese" friends who would happily die for us (and vice versa) should necessity ever arise.

Isoyama may be well aware of all this and, yes, he may be right.

Best,
Bernd
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:21 PM   #73
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I agree.

I think Peter B mentioned the book in one of his other columns, but a new book on bushido is, in my opinion, required reading for anyone who wants to cast any light on the topic of this thread. It is Inventing the Way of the Samurai, by Oleg Benesch. It is published by Oxford University Press and the ISBN is 978-0-19-870662-5. A biography of the author appears in the front flap of the dust jacket. This book, together with a new edition of the Hagakure, translated by Alexander Bennett, and two books by Eiko Ikegami throw much light -- and also some darkness, which must also be kept in mind -- on the concepts of budo and bushido. .
Thnak you very much for the gentle nudge to read Benesch, Peter

On the topic of the "two books by Eiko Ikegami," I've just added my 1995 Daily Yomiuri review of one of them to my profile at academia.edu., and perhaps it still has some residual value for a reader or two who may be considering your suggestion (or who should be but isn't yet).

Hope this helps, look forward to seeing further results of your interviews.

Best regards,

FL

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Old 02-29-2016, 12:05 PM   #74
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
... All cultures with a military class solicit this promise because it is the way people feel comfortable allowing the military class to exist - the force will not be used against them. There was a reason why no army could enter Rome...
Yes. The reason was that the people and their tribunes (or, if you prefer -- the mob and their demagogues) did not like competition in the field of dealing out political violence. There is nothing moral about the issue, and everything political. Nor does the moral calculus invariably run in only one direction on that measure. This country was founded on a set of observations about this particular problem, in fact, because the threats to peaceable or decent living can come from either -- or both -- directions.

There was no lack of military in Roman Italy proper -- the Social War made that eminently clear. Crossing the Rubicon marked the entry into Italy, and military command in Italy was forbidden to all except the elected consuls. Governors, like G. Julius Caesar, only had command in the provinces outside Italy by delegation -- not by legal right.

It is not that the people must be made "comfortable" with the military class existing -- it is the measure of change in the balance of power between a small minority corps of professional forces and a broader, less well-trained but more numerous set of popular forces that will naturally exist unless actively and ruthlessly suppressed. Not so different from today, actually.

It is this precise division and balance in favor of popular forces in Japan that Nobunaga, Toyotomi and lastly Tokugawa exploited to end the Sengoku period and before ruthlessly bottling the genie back up again. In Rome, before the legions more fully professionalized (the Social War) the balance was in favor of the popular and tribal forces, who forced their citizenship. With the advent of the fully developed legionary system, and suppression of the tribal ally forces the balance shifted in favor of the professionals. In the Late empire the increasing reliance on provincial tribal levies reverted to the old ally system , and central control progressively broke down. In Japan, with firearms, the balance was in favor of the popular armies. The Edo retrenchment on firearms technology was precisely to restore the old balance of terror in favor of the professionals. Arguably, the advent of modern irregular war with garden store IED's, endemic cyber capabilities, and terror tactics has tilted the balance again in the Middle East-- back to the tribes -- and elsewhere as well, perhaps.

Budo cannot be placed outside of its context, historically and functionally, and if it is to have relevance it must find context.

Those trained to think WITH their bodies in situations of violence are those most disposed to lead others in such settings of active conflict. Such people form the nuclei around which coalesce BOTH professional forces serving the parties in power (or seeking it) -- AND of popular forces that may resist exercises of such power that offend them -- or begin to move to preemptively attack the forces that attempt it. Defects of budo on one side leads to tyranny. Defects on the other side leads to anarchy. Neither is desired, but the balance is hard to keep.

The result of these contests when they occur is never foreordained. But the seeding of more budo-disposed minds and bodies among the population inherently make the job of the professionals much harder in imposing results dictated by power, as opposed to those that the people will generally acquiesce in.

I have occupied both sides of the balance in my lifetime. Both sides are necessary to balance -- and budo is necessary in both... and the less balanced budo between the sides -- in my opinion -- the more likely there is to be war -- or its near substitutes.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:46 PM   #75
Cliff Judge
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Re: Am I Really Practicing Budo?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Y
Budo cannot be placed outside of its context, historically and functionally, and if it is to have relevance it must find context.
It is pretty clear that Budo either adapts quite readily to different historical and functional contexts, or that its contextual requirements don't include history or functionality.
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