by Christopher Caile
Modern Budo refers to the generation of "do" based martial disciplines
that developed after 1850 from Classical Budo which had been inspired
by former warrior arts (bujistu). Modern budo arts often include competitive
formats such as kendo (sword), judo (throws/grappling) and karate-do (strikes/kicks)
but not always as with most styles of aikido. As with classical budo,
modern budo emphasizes the personal, ethical and spiritual development
as the ultimate goal of training. Combat skills are practiced to perfect
the self, the discipline itself used to as a vehicle to preserve the traditional
warrior spirit (including their ethical and moral precepts). Classes are
generally also opened to the public. Modern budo is also often classified
under the term Shin Budo.
Modern budo was a product of dissatisfaction. Critics believed that something
had been lost in classical budo, that reliance on kata and repetitive
practice in training produced shallow technique. They argued that the
disciplines had become more form than substance and full commitment was
held back - neither the technique nor the people were really tested. These
views were the impetus for the development of many modern budo disciplines.
Many adopted competitive formats designed to revive the rugged confrontations
of warrior times, but remained mindful of the larger focus of serving
the individual's spiritual and self-development. Budo's (as well as Classical
Budo) emphasis on personal development, it should be noted, stands in
contrast to the practitioners of Bujitsu who gave personal service and
absolute loyalty to others. In recent times some have argued that modern
budo has itself gone too far, that emphasis on competition and winning
have corrupted the "do" roots of the disciplines and that these disciplines
should be described as "martial sports," not "martial ways." While some
modern budo as aikido, kendo, judo and karate-do have become widely practiced
and popularized the total number of modern budo schools has diminished
dramatically due to consolidation, neglect and loss of interest. Another
term for modern budo is gendai budo, gendai meaning "modern," the term
usually applied only to those martial diciplines with a wide following.
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