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.