78. Budo and Class

A budo student of mine recently sent me an Internet link to an article and video, thinking it might make for good commentary on this blog. The article described a recent MMA fight in which one of the participants gave a middle-finger salute, to his opponent, in the middle of the fight. This fighter has done it before in the past, in other fights. But perhaps as a kind of poetic justice, he lost that match. So much for his bad behavior. The guy is a loser.

I thought about the incident a lot, and not just in particular. Boorish behavior, I realized, is all over “martial arts.” There’s no getting around it. It happens. But if you narrow it down to budo; the Martial Ways (implying a kind of spiritual as well as physical training) of Japan, it’s frowned upon. It’s not part of the classical warrior’s code. What that guy did in his sport may be fine for his sport. So if that’s what their sport is all about, then go for it. Who am I to say anything about boorish behavior there?

However, in the context of Japanese culture and history, the bujutsu arts, or bugei, the predecessors of modern budo, were the fighting arts of a warrior class. It was a hereditary social class that prided itself on its traditions and heritage. As a social class, no matter the personal wealth, a member of the buke was expected to carry himself or herself in a certain way, as the “flower” of society, as a representative of all that was good and noble about the culture.  He had to have “hin” (elegance or quality, as my martial arts teacher would tell me).

Especially in times of war such ideals are, of course, often abridged or forgotten. The history of Japanese classical wars is rife with episodes of rank brutality, traitors, turncoats, atrocities perpetrated on civilians, the purposeful slaughter of innocents, the torture of the weak and defeated. Seppuku, the act of ritual suicide so fascinating to Western Japanophiles, may have arisen not just out of a sense of honor (to avoid the shame of being captured alive) but out of fear of incredibly cruel torture.

And yet, from the earliest beginnings of the warriors on to their self-imposed demise in the Meiji Period, countless samurai philosophers have stressed the necessity to embed altruistic ideals in the head of the practical fighting bushi, be it man or woman. Different clans and families created many kadenho, or “house rules” that described the comportment and attitude a warrior should take. Bujutsu teachers would write not only about the technical, tactical and strategic implications of their art, but also about the way to develop a proper mindset, and how to confront and survive the chaos of battle, the mind being the last battlefield. They realized that a brutalized warrior was not a warrior at all, but a beast, a madman. To contain the madness of war, the violence of combat, and to survive in times of peace, a samurai had to adhere to a set of guiding principals that made him more than just a killer of humans. He had to live up to a higher sense of purpose.

Much of the writing may be culture-specific. Every culture will have a different view of what war and combat is all about. For example, Maori warriors would stick their tongues out at British redcoats during the colonial wars in New Zealand. Even more disdainfully, some of them would drop their clothes and moon the Brits with their exposed rear ends, although I suspect that they were mindful of being just out of accurate musket range after a few such encounters in which they might have been shot in the buttocks. The peruperu style of haka, an aggressive war chant, was performed before battle between Maori tribes, with exaggerated gestures and postures, to scare the enemy.

By contrast, samurai are encouraged to be understated and restrained. It’s influenced by classical Japanese society. Being upper class meant being elegant, noble, and wise, sort of like a medieval “Jedi Knight.” Think of the contrast between two characters in Kurosawa Akira’s epic movie, “Seven Samurai,” between the leader of the samurai, who epitomizes the best traits of the bushi, and Mifune Toshiro’s character, a samurai wannabe.

Kanbei, played by Shimura Takeshi, is introduced to us in a scene that describes his selflessness. In order to rescue an infant held hostage by a thief, he nonchalantly shaves his head to pretend to be a priest, in order to get close enough to the criminal. For many Westerners, the shot of him cutting off his topknot and shaving his head by a river is a throwaway scene. For Japanese, however, it’s a momentous moment. The topknot hairdo signifies warrior status. To cut it off usually meant you were being thrown out of your caste, or forgoing all your ranks and privileges to become a pauper, farmer or priest. Yet, Kanbei easily cast aside the outward trappings of his hereditary rank in order to save the life of a farmer’s child. For farmers and onlooking samurai alike, that act of humanity, and his superlative martial handling of the criminal, was a cause for great admiration, so much so that a young warrior intent on learning how to “be a samurai” asks to become his student. It’s not just about technical ability to swing a sword or throw people around. It’s about mental and spiritual training. Kanbei gathers his group of warriors who follow him not for riches or victory (one samurai comments early on that he thinks it’s a losing cause. Again. But, unlike other battles for land and power, a noble one. So he’ll join the group not for glory or riches, but to follow this noble leader one more time.)

One may argue that in this day and age of predator drones and missile attacks, that the lessons of the bushi are archaic. Perhaps. And much of it is, as I noted, culture-specific (learning how to properly dress a decapitated head for presentation to one’s lord is, after all, not something I’m going to ever use in my job as a college professor, after all). On the other hand the general admonitions to humanity, humility, elegance, humbleness, fortitude, rectitude and so on do still resonate across time and cultures. Those same traits are admirable in many different cultures and military and warrior traditions. In large part, they form the ethos of what philosopher Joseph Campbell called the Universal Hero, the evolving epic hero of all great adventures in all times. Maybe we don’t read much about samurai heroes like Kanbei or Kusunoki Masashige, or the woman warrior Tomoe Gozen, but the same archetypal warrior-philosopher-hero can be found in modern epics, such as “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Batman,” and so on. We may have moved away from Achilles’ grief, from the tales of King Arthur’s struggle to bring peace to England, from even the “Gods and Generals” of our own epic Civil War, but pop culture still serves our need for tales of unadulterated, selfless heroism.

Even on a practical level, such lessons may still be relevant. One of my students is now on his third tour of Afghanistan. He’s a smart guy, so he eventually ended up in charge of the day-to-day intelligence gathering from captured insurgents. He was quick to point out that the US Army doesn’t do waterboarding or torture. Instead, the military quickly re-discovered that the best way to get a prisoner to spill his guts was to treat him with honor and dignity. It was a technique first perfected in modern times by a German officer, of all people, during World War II. He interrogated captured British and American officers. As my student noted, that officer didn’t torture anyone. He simply sat down and offered food, coffee and cigarettes, and lent a sympathetic ear. He became, in an odd way, sort of like their new Best Friends Forever, albeit it was for the purposes of extracting military secrets. Before long, he had his prisoners unknowingly telling him all sorts of important information. His skill at parlaying his small acts of kindness into usable information was so good that during the postwar War Crimes trials, his former Allied prisoners became his staunchest defenders.

My student and his Army cohorts use the same concepts. The way to treat a prisoner, he said, is not to humiliate them (unlike what was done at Iraq’s Abu Graib Prison), not to torture, not to debase. Most of the insurgents have had a rough enough life already. Some are mentally retarded. Some are drugged out and forced to be suicide attackers. Some were sold into the Taliban by cash-strapped families. Only a few are hardcore fanatics. Most of them react best to human kindness and empathy, sometimes the first act of kindness they’ve ever received in years. Torture them and they will only tell you what you want to hear, not what may be the truth.

That is just one example of how lessons learned from classical warrior training and philosophy still have relevance. I could go on and on with other examples drawn from the historical record and from anecdotes I heard from veterans of war.

But basically, the way you survive, mentally as well as physically, is to have a secure set of values that enable you to see yourself not as a bully, aggressor or murderer, but as a warrior, with a set of values and ideals that set you apart from the terrorist, rapist and criminal. The classical bujutsu systems knew this, and trained you overtly and subliminally, in a value set. A lot of modern budo also attempt to do the same, although not all teachers and not all schools recognize this beyond giving lip service to those ideals.

As far as “sports” goes, however, what relevance does old-fashioned warrior attitudes have? Again, it depends. Perhaps the modern MMA style fighting is encouraging a kind of behavior in keeping with the subculture of the fans and its athletes. That’s their kuleana (property) then, and I shouldn’t butt in. If bad behavior sells, then go for it. It’s all about the money, after all.

I doubt, however, that if the sport’s businesspeople want to further expand the appeal of the sport and make even more money, they really should allow or encourage such behavior. It doesn’t make good business sense. A lot of parents will just frown on having such foul-mouthed, lewd and rude people serve as role models for their kids, who spend a lot of money on tickets and merchandising. That’s why big money sponsors of sports like professional basketball and football have clauses in players’ contracts that kick in if the athletes act badly. Acting like a jerk affects the bottom line. Even, I would hazard to opine, in a blood sport.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? People forget that in America, “class” is not really a matter of your heritage or wealth. It’s how you comport yourself, and part of being willing to get an education is to learn, inevitably, what it means to have class. –As in having some common sense, common courtesy and propriety. Sometimes we forget that being “classless” means not having a social hierarchy based on accident of birth.  You do not have to be born into some kind of warrior class to take on the noblest attributes of that ancient social class. You do not have to be uber wealthy to be magnanimous and charitable, or learn a bit of decorum and social etiquette, such as how to eat properly when at a restaurant that gives you cloth napkins instead of paper towels. Give me a break, I’m not Miss Manners, but it irks me to see kids at our college cafeteria hunch over their lunches, one hand surrounding their plate, the other holding their forks in a fist and shoveling food into their mouths and talking at the same time. And that’s just the girls. That’s like jailhouse etiquette; eating and making sure nobody steals your food or you’ll stab them in the eye with your fork.

In the case of that fighter, well, he’s a minor footnote in a sport that is struggling to gain repute and acceptance as a mainstream spectator sport. He’ll fade away sooner rather than later. The impact that he and others of his ilk have on youngsters, however, will last longer. Give me more time and I can harangue your eardrums about how bad behavior in pop culture icons lead directly to bad behavior in my teenage students at the college I teach at. It’s gotten to a point where I post copies of the Student Code of Conduct in each of my classes because, inevitably, I get one or two students who think it’s funny, creative or visually appealing to turn in digital art projects that are lewd, obscene, misogynistic, racist, sexist, abusive, full of illegal drug iconography, or violence-prone, with literally no redeeming social value. That’s their milieu. That’s the kind of pop culture they live in. But that’s not college, and that’s not showing class or intelligence. If they aspire to go beyond what their lives are, they need to learn a new way of thinking. Only a few days ago I had to zero out a student’s project grade because she turned in a web site design where the big photograph on her main page was of her giving the viewer a two-fisted middle finger salute. Like that’s funny, ha-ha. I had to explain to her how that was simply in poor taste, with no sense of composition, creativity or layout. And that obscenity does not equal creativity.

Much of classical bujutsu training is completely foreign to this kind of mentality. To think that one should have dignity and a sense of class! Who do we think we are? The sad thing is, many youngsters may have that pugnacious attitude but pop culture is conversely so full of attempts to strive towards a sense of such classiness: Jedi Knights, noble superheros, knights in shining armor, elegant elves with bows and arrows, samurai warriors. But so many youngsters forget that, as that old Spider-Man movie noted, “with great power comes great responsibility.” To become a hero, you have to act like one, not like a gangsta wannabe.

We think that being class-less means that we should forget about basic social etiquette and proper decorum all the time. That’s not classless. That’s just no class.


17 thoughts on “78. Budo and Class

  1. This is a beautiful treatise on the spiritual implications of budo. However, I feel you are being a little unfair to the MMA community based on this one incident of boorishness. I have seen poor, distasteful behaviour in every walk of life – by politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, MMA fighters and people in my dojo. This low brow act by a small person that happened to have taken place in a MMA fight is probably more revealing about the man then it is about MMA as a whole. For every one middle finger that happens in MMA there are a hundred instances of camaraderie between hard working fighters training with the budo spirit of hard work, sacrifice and perserverance. I don’t particularly like the part where they bash in each other’s heads but everyone tests themselves in their own ways.

    1. Kamil,
      Perhaps. But so much damage is done by representatives of the MMA community that are self-inflicted. For example, I once mentioned to my computer class that I did some martial arts, but not the popular MMA style. I joked that it was too violent for my tastes. One student said she knew what I meant. Her boyfriend was a MMA fight promoter and she said the fights were really brutal. Yes, I said, sometimes the fights in the rings can be a bit much. “The ring?” She replied. “I don’t mean that! I can handle that. But it’s the fights in the parking lots that really bother me! All the drunk guys and girls get so pumped up after watching all the fights and they’re so drunk, they end up beefing each other. Sometimes the fights in the parking lot go longer than the actual matches!”

      I’m not saying this. This is a person who regularly attended those MMA matches, whose boyfriend was deeply involved in promoting the matches, and even she couldn’t stand the violence among the audience members. That said, I applaud any attempts by MMA folk to regulate and control the sport, to turn it into a reputable audience sport, and to develop training centers and teaching methods that get away from the attitude of brawling and fighting.–Wayne

      1. Wow! I have no experience with that. I train a couple of months out of the year at an MMA gym nearby just to see some less planned, less measured attacks than I get at my dojo, and it’s nothing like what your student described. It’s competitive to be sure – a little more confrontational generally as everyone is young and eager to prove themselves, but otherwise, those guys aren’t really that different from the people at my dojo. They certainly aren’t getting into fights in parking lots after watching a fight on TV. But if that is the subculture that is growing from MMA or being encouraged by the promoters, then that is a big problem.

  2. Kamil,
    I should note that the story about fights in the parking lots was told to me about ten years ago. I suspect, and I notice that MMA sponsors, as the sport has progressively gained more television time and audiences, have been actively trying to clean up their own act. I applaud that. I wish them well if they are trying to take out the negative elements of the sport. It can be for non-professionals a very, very physical training regime that can test young people to their limits. But that’s why this kind of show of poor sportsmanship goes back to a major problem of MMA, never mind the technical qualities or worth of training. The current promoters of MMA, I think, are trying to shed this negative stereotype but you get stuff like this happening, and it just looks bad. Also please note I may have singled out MMA but I also place the blame on society in general, and even in other kinds of budo we are not immune from low-class, bad behavior.

  3. Thank you for your wonderful article Sensei! I admit I do watch MMA and am a fan but I agree with your ideas about some of the MMA community. I think competition and money bring out the best and worst in people. I see all of the arrogance and bravado in the ring trickling down to our youth who are looking for role models. It is a shame that most of the MMA community and public look down at most traditional martial arts as “Not effective” or “Impractical”. I think traditional martial arts have a lot to offer on etiquette and respect. Learning to be “Classy” is something I think our youth of today need in excess of.

  4. All, there is also an article by Dave Lowry in the last Black Belt magazine about retired sumo wrestlers and their concept of “decorum.” You can carry yourself with dignity and still have fun. There’s a difference between that and arrogance or aloofness. I met some of the wrestlers he mentions and they are a great bunch of fun guys. They don’t have to act tough because they ARE tough. But really funny, self-deprecating, respectful and funny. I was young too, and full of it, I will admit. This is just an old man’s cranky voice talking, after learning some hard lessons.

  5. Wayne – unfair to MMA (BTW, it ain’t struggling so much…). I may as well say that traditopnal budo is a haven for child rapists due to all the scandals of budo teachers messing with their students. There is a certain street mentality amongst many MMA practitioners, but seems to me that the classical Japanese jujutsu world was rife with that sort of thing as well.

    As far as the martial ethos part – excellent. Though we are in the age of the predator drone, men still go in rooms and engage in close combat. Guys like J. still need to connect mind to mind. There is very much a place for it.

    1. Points taken, Kit. My POV might be from a couple years back, after all. The biggest facility in this area is not traditional martial arts, but the new MMA/BJJ/weight/exercise complex built in a huge warehouse. I’m still not convinced, however, that the sport has matured to a point where its exponents are held in as high a regard as other sportsmen, such as basketball players, football players, etc., as role models for good behavior. And I did, in a very old Furyu article, note that big dojo McDonalds have a problem with some few bad apples being convicted of molestation. Those things have be cleaned up and very actively denounced by other practitioners. It has nothing to do with “talking stink” about another teacher or school. It has to do with exponents of the art banding together to promote the art or sport as one that espouses proper values and behavior. The person serving as the figurehead for the new training complex seems to be trying to offer himself up as a hardworking, dedicated sportsman, a good role model for youngsters. More power to him. Getting kids to emulate his own personal behavior, rather than that of a street punk, is a good thing.

      I will note, however, that another video my student sent me depicted a rather famous MMA teacher, a young man who’s already written a couple of books, screaming and yelling at some Gracie student who showed up at a seminar, getting into a totally useless confrontation, going chest to chest in a staring “I dare you” match, and then brawling in front of the seminar participants, concluding with both of them going down to the ground and the teacher being knocked out in a choke hold. So it’s no wonder you get punks hanging around who are enamored of that kind of behavior.

      Admittedly, egoistic stuff like that, and MMA-style matches and challenge duels with very little rules, were what gave koryu jujutsu a negative image around the turn of the last century. It took Kano Jigoro to systematize the techniques and then offer up a “new” Kodokan judo style that, from my perspective, really wasn’t so much “new” as innovatively fitting for a new era and mentality. His emphasis on creating physically capable “gentlemen”; educated, erudite, and disciplined, was in keeping with the modernization and unification of his country. So he lectured strongly on mutual respect and cooperation, sportsmanlike conduct, and the values of modern education. A lot of the old jujutsu schools faded away because they couldn’t let go of their “tough guy” punkass attitudes. Even tough guys get old and weak, after all. So then they fade away and what do you have? Parents around the neighborhood would say, “No, Taro, you’re not going there to train because all you learn is how to be a bully and beat up people, and Jiro went there and got his teeth kicked in and got knocked out a couple of times. You need to study to get into Tokyo University.” In fact, one of my computer graphics students told me that he can’t tell his parents he is crazy mad about training in MMA and wants to become a professional because they disapprove of the sport due to its negative stereotype. And it’s not because of anything I’ve done or said. There’s a large segment of society that does not think highly of the sport, however popular it may be to some extent. And it has to be addressed. The warehouse-sized clean, modern, well-supervised training facility with its emphasis on MMA training is a good idea, if what you want to project is professionalism, and it already attracts a lot of young men and women, and kids, apparently.

      The judo dojo, in like manner, was a place in the town or village where you could constantly revitalize training by inducting young men and women who wanted a safe, healthy, vigorous training regime coupled with an emphasis on moral values reinforcement and learning. There was a national, unified set of competitive rules. Its founder was a nationally known modern educator with contacts in the highest level of academia. You wore clean, Puritan-ish white practice outfits for cleanliness and hygienic purposes. Small wonder that a lot of jujutsu teachers switched over to judo, to where the money and prestige was, and Kano encouraged it. He also encouraged koryu to work together with him to retain the best methodologies of the koryu, as legacy arts. I know of at least one example of such a situation still extant when I interviewed a koryu teacher who also taught judo. The koryu was for learning old “antique” (as he put it) techniques, the heritage of grappling arts and for older folk. On every other day, he taught judo to mostly young kids and teenagers, and that was for competition and vigorous training. He enjoyed teaching both. My own teacher’s teacher had recollections of participating in the last of the old jujutsu type shiai. They were basically pretty rough affairs, sort of like rough judo or MMA with very little rules and often no time limits. They were great places to test out techniques, so I can see the worth in them, but as a longterm training regime…I dunno. My former karate teacher even remembers MMA style fighting back right after World War II, when a lot of people cross-trained in karate, judo and even aikido in Japan, and he had to be able to grapple as well as kick and punch barefisted. Such bouts, sort of like a Kyokushinkai fight with grappling, were pretty crazy. Another old-time I knew who studied in Okinawa after the war, confirmed that story; he trained not on a US military base dojo but in a regular machi (town) dojo under the head of the system, and the bouts he entered were pretty much “last man standing” type of bouts, not points fighting. That faded away when a more systematized type of shiai developed. When more systematization and social acceptance came in (to get more students), the rough parts were polished away, for good or bad. You just couldn’t leave it that way and yet retain young kids whose parents had negative attitudes about jujutsu, or karate, or whatever. Anyways, I’m starting to ramble.


  6. Hi Wayne, good article. I have a friend that runs a MMA group at his dojo. There is a distinct change of attitudes from a dojo atmosphere to a club mentality. Lot’s of swearing, jokes involving male & female genitalia and the like. None of this would have been allowed in his karate classes with his students.

    God forbid should a new student or a parent untimely walks in.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I would hazard that even some “traditional” dojo can go overboard on the macho part, to their detriment in terms of attracting parents looking for a dojo for their chilren, and women, although there will always be a segment that prefers such environments. Again, I’m not criticizing training regime or techniques. I’m trying to cast a light on bad social behavior. As Kit pointed out, there may be different kinds of bad behavior in other kinds of martial arts. None of which should be condoned at all.

  7. Wayne, great topic. The word Kokoro comes to mind. As it was defined to me, it points to character. In my dojo and ryu that is highly important. It is demanded by the ryu that people of only good character be taught. I think you are correct saying MMA hasn’t mature. I believe because it is sport that is not interested in a person’s character or its development in the way Japanese martial arts has come to concern itself with correct behavior; part of tradition. In MMA there is no consequences to the group or individual for the poor actions of a fighter. At least in my school, if I acted poorly in public, it reflected back upon my sensei (as a person and a teacher) and the dojo. There would be public scorn from the other dojos in the ryu, and in the local martial arts community upon all of us. But in MMA, that doesn’t happen, I think it is because MMA is a basal sporting contest.

    I remember when I was a kid, a neighbor liked to watch his dog fight with other dogs. He would tease the dog and get him all wound up, making him as aggressive as possible before he unleashed the dog upon another. I later reasoned part of that prepping of the dog was to heighten the excitement and entertainment value of the attack. This neighbor was not very intelligent or educated, and was of low character which he took pride in. None of us respected him, none of us liked him. We all kept our distance. His poor attitude and behavior had consequences, he was not like or praised for his actions.

    MMA sees respect only as a matter of the ring, at times it reminds me of prison culture how some of these fighters behave. Why should they show good character? MMA is so popular bad behavior is accepted and personified as a positive attribute of a fighter. MMA has is nothing to lose if a fighter “flips the bird,” it adds to the excitement of a fight, just as in the dog story. Kokoro, is greatly lacking in MMA, it is not part of or valued by their culture. MMA is a modern day soft barbaric event, embraced by an audience and a culture who finds the more feral the fighter, the more thrilling the entertainment experience.

    When Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols carried out their heinous plan, my sensei said shortly after the event, “…they should have come here to train in the dojo.” What my sensei was saying is the real importance Japanese martial arts has is in developing good character. Where the perceived mission of a dojo is to develop technique (developing tool and ability to win in a fight) has little importance and takes a backseat to developing the far more important kokoro.

    1. Jon, to be fair, I think most sports have a place in society, if taught properly. I remember playing football in high school. My first two years, I had very good coaches who stressed sportsmanship, teamwork and discipline. During their time, we won more games than anyone expected us to, even though we were a very small school. Then new coaches took over. The head coach just came out of playing professional football and he was disappointed in our numbers and physical size, and instead of working around our limitations, he expected us to play like professional football players. When we kept losing and losing, he allowed fist fights to start during practice, and encouraged bullying and bad sportsmanship, perhaps as a way to develop aggressive behavior during a game. We lost all our games. I believe the same problem exists in any physical contact sport. Unless people of good character show the way, bad examples will be what viewers think of the sport.

      Even for “traditional” budo, recently one of my jujutsu sempai praised Kimura Masahiko when he saw a video of this legendary judo champion on YouTube. He thought Kimura was an outstanding example of judo as budo. But then he saw other judo videos of players acting badly and asked, “Is this really judo? What is going on?” It had less to do with Kimura’s awesome strength and training regime as it had to do with his attitude, and with the bad attitude of some poor sports in modern judo. The bad apples are the ones that other people will see.


  8. Great article, however I think you should first make a clear distinction between budo martial arts, and combative sports. Just because you compete in a combative sports, that does not make you a practitioner of budo martial arts. Many of these MMA competitors are past kickboxers, boxers, muay thai practitioners, etc. etc. and have never once donned a gi nor set foot into a dojo with a budo environment. Whilst your article is in principle sound, it is only opinion, and unfortunately, the youth of today is voting against your train of thought. They like the radical cocky fighter who is sure of himself and posts the one finger salute. They like the fighter who believes he is so good that noone can touch him. Fortunately to support your argument we have fighers the like of GSP and Machida, both from a budo background and proud of it, and both extreme gentlemen in and out of the ring. And many people aspire to be like them. But don’t assume that just because you practice MMA, you practice a martial art, in particular one with budo substance.

    1. Benjamin, I believe that your premise is partially correct. I like this statement “Just because you compete in a combative sports, that does not make you a practitioner of budo martial arts.” But I suggest that there are many Kru from Muay Thai that teach in the spirit that we know as ‘Budo’. They meet the tenets of what a warrior art is.

      Would you challenge some of the elder Fujian province sifus that they do not practice a warrior code because they never stepped foot in a dojo? Or that the Native American Indian did not teach a warrior ethos?

      I think that Wayne delineated the difference between the Koryu arts vs. Gendai Budo

      “However, in the context of Japanese culture and history, the bujutsu arts, or bugei, the predecessors of modern budo, were the fighting arts of a warrior class. It was a hereditary social class that prided itself on its traditions and heritage. As a social class, no matter the personal wealth, a member of the buke was expected to carry himself or herself in a certain way, as the “flower” of society, as a representative of all that was good and noble about the culture. He had to have “hin” (elegance or quality, as my martial arts teacher would tell me).”

      MMA is a sport. Eventually, like what happened to Judo when it became an Olympic sport it will get watered down. 3 schools in my area advertising MMA despite they have no experience in that sport.

      Just because GSP, Machido have studied Gendai Budo and they carry that experience into the ring and for the most part show the MMA types how they should act.


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