Japanese Martial Arts: History, Styles, and Weapons

Western Martial Arts

The background of this island then nation of Japan portray a clear picture of a proud and powerful people forging a nationwide identity, robust culture, and unique life style from the crucible of war and uncertain peace. Central to this culture was your concept of martial canon, to be able to combat aggressively as well as defensively, both for the very practical purposes of waging war along with strong notions of work, honor, and personal development. It was from this militaristic and spiritual basis that japan martial disciplines styles, of which there are legion and which is discussed throughout this article, developed. BJJ


Broadly talking in, the history of Japanese people martial arts can be broken down into two categories: Koryu Bujutsu (bujutsu meaning the practical app of martial tactics and techniques in actual combat) and Gendai Budo (budo meaning a way of life encompassing physical, religious, and moral dimensions with a spotlight of self-improvement, fulfillment, or personal growth).

Koryu Bujutsu encompasses the more ancient, traditional Japanese people fighting styles, while Gendai Budo is more modern. The division between them occurred after the Meiji Restoration (1868), when the Emperor was restored to practical political power and Japan commenced the process of modernization in hurry. Prior to the Repair, the Koryu styles targeted extensively, if not specifically, on practical warfare. The Samurai, or warrior body were likely to be professionals of all varieties of battle, armed and otherwise. Their particular martial arts evolved as weapons and technology would, but the focus always remained the same: win in actual combat, for their own honor and for the cause of their ruler.

However, with the Meiji Restoration and the modernization of Asia, like the large-scale introduction of firearms, the traditional Japanese people fighting kinds of the samurai became outdated and no longer useful for their practical purpose of military services combat. In their get up, the Japanese fighting methods styles evolved into what came up to be known as Gendai Budo, which concentrated much less on broad-scale armed service application and far more on self-improvement and personal growth. They became not simply a tool for armed forces victory, but an essential component of a rewarding, meaningful, and spiritually linked way of life.

Oddly enough, this distinction can be noted in the different terminology: the traditional techniques were referred to as bujutsu, which specifically pertain to waging war, as the modern styles are along known as budo, that are far more involved with personal betterment.

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