Friday, 3 April 2009

The budo charter

I bought an Ozzy Osborne CD the other day and immediately put on Crazy Train. Reminds me of my youth when I'd listen to lots of heavy metal. Smashing. You don't half get the hoovernig done quicker with rock music playing! This particular CD was Ozzy Osborne Live at the Budokan. Hmmm. Budo kan. I'll have to google that. There's not much in English out there apart from a wikipedia entry telling of how the hall was built for the 1964 Olympics but is now mostly known for concerts such as Ozzy's. When I further googled Budokan English pages I came up with this: The Budo charter...

Call me naive (actually I'd rather you didn't) but I didn't realise that there was a budo charter covering Japanese budo (of which Shorinji Kempo is one). I often study the philosophy of shorinji kempo and it covers much of what is laid out in the charter below but this idea of promoting an overall vision for Japanese budo was new to me. It's quite a unifying feeling that I can sit next to a Judoka and feel as if, through different techniques, we have underlying broad goals.

The Japanese Budo Association (Nippon  Budo Kyogikai) states in its preamble to the charter, "a recent trend towards infatuation just with technical ability compounded by an excessive concern with winning is a severe threat to the essence of budo".  This charter seems to bring the idea of character building through physical training into a global vision.

Check it out and see if this fits in with your training pattern- or not.

Through physical and mental training in the Japanese martial ways, budo exponents seek to build their character, enhance their sense of judgement, and become disciplined individuals capable of making contributions to society at large.

ARTICLE 2:KEIKO (Training)
When training in budo , practitioners must always act with respect and courtesy, adhere to the prescribed fundamentals of the art, and resist the temptation to pursue mere technical skill rather than strive towards the perfect unity of mind, body, and technique.

ARTICLE 3:SHIAI (Competition)
Whether competing in a match or doing set forms (kata), exponents must externalise the spirit underlying budo. They must do their best at all times, winning with modesty, accepting defeat gracefully, and constantly exhibiting self-control.

ARTICLE 4:DOJO (Training Hall)
The dojo is a special place for training the mind and body. In the dojo, budo practitioners must maintain discipline, and show proper courtesies and respect. 
The dojo should be a quiet, clean, safe, and solemn environment.

Teachers of budo should always encourage others to also strive to better themselves and diligently train their minds and bodies, while continuing to further their understanding of the technical principles of budo. Teachers should not allow focus to be put on winning or losing in competition, or on technical ability alone. Above all, teachers have a responsibility to set an example as role models.

Persons promoting budo must maintain an open-minded and international perspective as they uphold traditional values. They should make efforts to contribute to research and teaching, and do their utmost to advance budo in every way.


Sue C said...

I think these articles provide a pretty good summary of what we should be trying to achieve and how we should behave. I like it!

Dan Prager said...

It's a nice expansion on the goals of self-improvement and mutual benefit, and gives a sense of the Japanese cultural flavor within budo.

Nitpicks? In the case of article 4 (The Dojo), I'm not sure that quiet -- breakfalls!, kiais! -- and solemn apply most of the time where I train, but they certainly play their part, most evidently during the opening and closing ceremonies.

Littlefair said...

Sue, does Shukokia have a 'code'? Probably similar to this one?

Hi Dan, good point :-) ...but I bet you kiai and breakfall loudly but with great intent!