Japanese Martial Arts
Japanese martial arts have been influenced by Chinese martial arts. As a result, strands of Chan (Zen) Buddhism are woven into the martial fabric of bushido (way of the warrior) and budo (martial way). Bushido emphasizes courage, honor, duty, respect, benevolence, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, rectitude, wisdom and self-sacrifice.
In his Zen- and bushido-steeped 20 Precepts of Karate, founder Gichin Funakoshi outlined the aim of karate as being not about victory or defeat but about perfecting one’s character. His dojo (training hall) philosophy stated that one should seek perfection, excel in what they do, respect others, avoid violence and be faithful.
After World War II, bushido was replaced with the more peaceful budo. Gosei Yamaguchi stated that karate’s purpose was to protect oneself and train the mind and body and that the Way is not to attack or harm others but to exercise restraint.
Chinese martial arts schools see the sifu like a father, whereas Japanese schools view the sensei like an emperor.