Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Three Components to Learning Traditional Japanese Martial Arts

Below is an excerpt from an excellent article that was posted at The Classical Budoka. The full article may be read here.

It started off pretty innocuously. A student in a friend’s koryu martial arts class asked what kind of influence Shinto, the nativistic Japanese set of beliefs, had on their training. My friend composed a lengthy email about the subject, asking me and another peer for further comments.  We added quite a bit of our own opinions, which were then annotated further by my friend. In total, printed out, the discussion could have taken several pages’ worth of commentary.

Now, koryu practice is usually not meant to be a sit-down lecture on such esoterica, which is why I think my friend preferred to discuss it via email and printed notes rather than take up more time in the dojo better spent training with a partner in the actual techniques. But it highlights the fact that in traditional Japanese arts (and, for that matter, many arts and crafts of any culture), there are three components to learning the art, not just the “practical” experience of the physical techniques. In Japanese, these are defined as Do, Gaku, Jutsu.


Charles James said...

I once coined the term, Gaku-jutsu-do, as a means of describing my practice and training.

I did not perceive that a simple change to that phrase would open the door to something unique for martial arts, i.e. do gaku jutsu.

I often visit the classic budoka blog but missed the connection to the article.

Many thanks for bringing it up and into my sight.

Awesome, thanks :-)

Rick Matz said...

I always enjoy reading your posts, Charles.