When people engaged in these types of budo speak of their arts, they nearly always discuss competition and compare strength, giving value only to those techniques which are useful in fighting or winning.
Generally, martial arts concern themselves foremost with techniques for winning in competitions, forced hardships for the sake of training, or extraordinary show-off feats to impress others. When people engaged in these types of budo speak of their arts, they nearly always discuss competition and compare strength, giving value only to those techniques which are useful in fighting or winning. Their practice is similarly devoted to the single-minded pursuit of victory. However, as is apparent from the results of such distorted thinking and training, any so called budo which trains people for physical superiority in competition produces great harm. Students who follow such mistaken methods often become insolent, brutish, and selfish problems for others.
The essence of budo is not a matter of defeating others or satisfying personal ambitions for victory. Rather, it is a path through which we can win out over our own weaknesses, establish true self-reliance, and learn to live and grow with others. So what is Budo really? How does one train in it? The Kongo Zen’s Shorinji Kempo which we practice from day to day can be divided into three portions which are called as “Gi-Jutsu-Ryaku”.
‘Gi’ consists of offensive and defensive techniques. ‘Jutsu’ is their application, and ‘Ryaku’ organizes the way in which they are used strategically. Collectively these skills are known as “Bu No Tai” (the body of Bu). For example, if we take a simple technique from ShorinjiKempo such as ‘Uchi Uke Zuki’ and apply the essence of ‘Bu no Tai’, we would get a result of ‘Uchi Uke Nage’. Now, if you check the ShorinjiKempo curriculum for such a technique, you will find none. That does not mean it is not ShorinjiKempo. To go beyond the form of techniques in the curriculum is ‘Bu no Tai’. By practicing these techniques as ‘Bu no Tai’, we not only train ourselves personally, but we learn a way to help eliminate harm from the local community, and we learn the principles of settling differences in the larger and international community. This is known as “Bu No Yo”, or the application and mission of ‘Bu’.
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