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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.

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  1. Japanese Martial Arts Expert Dave Lowry: Do You Need to Go to Japan for Serious Karate Training?

    Japanese Martial Arts Expert Dave Lowry: Do You Need to Go to Japan for Serious Karate Training?

    As a serious karateka, do you need to travel to Japan? Do you need to go to the homeland of budo to gain the perspective necessary to understand your art? No. Yes. Maybe.
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  2. Way of the Ninja: Strategies for a Better Life Today

    Way of the Ninja: Strategies for a Better Life Today

    Tree climbing and throwing stars aside, ninjutsu encompasses principles of psychological self-defense that even the military use. Such valuable skills are readily available to you, too. Start changing your design for living right here!
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  3. Shorinji Kempo: More Than a Martial Art

    Shorinji Kempo: More Than a Martial Art

    You may have heard shorinji kempo mentioned as a legendary martial art or read about it in texts on judo and karate as an ancient Chinese-temple style. But shorinji kempo lives, and, what’s more, it’s growing.
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  4. Samurai Code of Bushido: The Roles of Samurai Weapons and Bushido Virtues on the Path to Self-Mastery

    Samurai Code of Bushido: The Roles of Samurai Weapons and Bushido Virtues on the Path to Self-Mastery

    Excellence in swordsmanship demands that one make a conscious effort to learn and execute correct techniques and practical cuts with samurai weapons while living in accordance with bushido virtues — the samurai code for living. With time and experience, and assuming a certain level of physical ability and perseverance in
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  5. Shito-Ryu Karate Trailblazer: Fumio Demura

    Shito-Ryu Karate Trailblazer: Fumio Demura

    Ask the average karate practitioner to name the main styles of Japan, and chances are he’ll rattle off shotokan, goju-ryu and wado-ryu with no trouble. But unless he’s really up on his art, there’s a good chance that he’ll stumble over the name of the fourth major style, snap his
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  6. Top 10 Karate Concepts Every Martial Artist Should Know

    Top 10 Karate Concepts Every Martial Artist Should Know

    For many practitioners, one of the most challenging components of karate training is learning the nuances of the terms used in the dojo. Any instructor can offer a one-word definition of each Japanese word, and that can certainly lessen the complexity of what’s being taught. But often a quickie translation
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  7. Japanese Weapons Master Masayuki Shimabukuro Demonstrates Samurai Sword-Cutting Techniques in Advanced Samurai Swordsmanship DVD Preview!

    Japanese Weapons Master Masayuki Shimabukuro Demonstrates Samurai Sword-Cutting Techniques in Advanced Samurai Swordsmanship DVD Preview!

    In their new Japanese martial arts DVD collection, Advanced Samurai Swordsmanship, samurai sword masters Masayuki Shimabukuro and Carl E. Long detail and demonstrate a variety of samurai sword techniques. In this exclusive DVD preview, Long introduces Shimabukuro’s cutting demonstration, or suemono giri. “We’re going to explore the more advanced section
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  8. Black Belt Goes to Disneyland!

    Black Belt Goes to Disneyland!

    Martial arts fans and practitioners are gathering to watch, learn and compete at the happiest place on Earth!

    On Saturday, August 27, Black Belt will be setting up a booth at the 2011 Origins International Martial Arts Festival at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. There will be tournaments, seminars and martial
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  9. George Kirby’s Top 10 Jujitsu Techniques: Basic Hand Throw

    George Kirby’s Top 10 Jujitsu Techniques: Basic Hand Throw

    For the last move in our jujitsu techniques series, check out the very first jujitsu weapons technique George Kirby learned.

    Here is what the jujitsu master had to say about it:
    “Believe it or not, this was one of the first techniques I learned under Seki and it was for a knife
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  10. George Kirby’s Top 10 Jujitsu Techniques: Armbar Rear Throw

    George Kirby’s Top 10 Jujitsu Techniques: Armbar Rear Throw

    George Kirby— a 10th-degree black belt in jujitsu—is an internationally recognized martial arts instructor and author, has taught jujitsu techniques and tactics to the Los Angeles Police Department. Because it allows you to control your opponent, the armbar rear throw is a popular jujitsu technique among law enforcement.

    See what the
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