The Budo way…

A lot is spoken of the word “Budo”.

Budō is a compound of the root bu (武:ぶ), meaning “war” or “martial”; and  (道:どう; dào in Chinese), meaning “path” or “way. Superficially translated, it is read as “the martial way”.

But what is the martial way?

Surprisingly, just like karate itself, Budo has it’s roots in ancient India. The “way” has it’s origins in मार्ग, or margā, in Sanskrit, where margā denoted the path of dharmā.

Budō is the idea of formulating propositions, subjecting them to philosophical critique and then following a “path” to realize them.

And so Budo is the way to refine your inner self – a way of self-improvement, of self-purification.

This is the objective of martial arts. Not getting a spinning kick right, or knocking out opponents.

Through practice, one develops an awareness of the body, and then of the mind, and then of the spirit. They come together, integrated, in a flow, so that when one executes a punch…one becomes the punch.

And in this, lies the inherent beauty of martial arts. What you see on screen, and what most practice in person, is but a pale imitation of what can be.

For martial arts and meditation go hand-in-hand. One is incomplete without the other. In the yogic tradition, āsanās denote the physical component, in martial arts, it is the punches and the kicks. And just as in yoga, the “not-physical” part is the real deal.

Kuro-obi is a start, a door to a wonderful life of discovery, It is a pity that many stop at this door, and turn back. Others knock, but don’t open it. And the most unfortunate of all enter the wrong door, and think that they made it to the right one…