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Gendai Budo or Bujutsu: Old Forum Topic


Gendai Budo or Bujutsu: Old Forum Topic
Original Poster: setsu nin to
Forum: Japanese Martial Arts
Posted On: 13-03-2004, 15:13

Orginal Post: setsu nin to: Gendai Budo or Bujutsu

It is my understaning that Japanese MA after the Meiji restoration are referred to as Shin Budo or Gendai Budo (Modern Martial Way) and those before are referred to as Koryu Bujutsu (“Old Tradition” Martial Method/Art)

Concerning Jujutsu, the majority of Systems and styles taught today would fall in the catagory of Shin Budo/Gendai Budo but, the focus of most these styles is similar to the focus of Koryu Jujutsu systems as opposed to that of Aikido, Judo and the like (which I would concider Shin Budo/Gendai Budo).
What are your thoughts concerning the actual legitimacy of the current Jujutsu systems and can they hold a one to one comparison to the Koryu Jujutsu of old.

Ex: Small Circle Jujitsu-Wally Jay
Yoshitsune Waza- Michael Depasquale
Danzan ryu- Okazaki Seishiro
Hakko ryu- Okuyama Yoshiharu
Kobukai- Russ St. Hilaire

Just to name a few.

These arts draw there lineage back to multiple Koryu Jujutsu, but at the same time some cannot show a strong link. Any thoughts on the history of Modern Jujutsu would be appreciated.

That’s an interesting question Bushi and one that, to be honest, I’ve never given much thought to. However, now you’ve got me thinking.

The first thing that springs to mind is that I personally, would not consider most jujutsu taught these days to be such. That’s not to question the combat effectiveness of these styles, just their use of the term.

I would tend to disagree that they’re closer to koryu bujutsu than gendai budo. Though there are exceptions (Hakko ryu for one), it seems to me that most jujutsu taught today, whether the clubs like it or not, is of the “sport jujutsu” kind, a sort of amalgamation of karate and judo that ends up looking like neither and even less like koryu jujutsu. Key to this, in my view, is the lack, sometimes total, of weapon skills, and effective ones at that, which of course were fundamental to most of the ryuha of old, and with good reason. Some of these gendai jujutsu schools teach techniques that don’t really illustrate the life-and-death struggle of the koryu schools, where basic technique might include breaking kumiuchi long enough to reach for your dagger so that you can stab the other guy in the kidney. That of course though is a mark of the times rather than any fault of these modern dojo, but it does make for a key difference between gendai jujutsu and, what I would term, “real” jujutsu.

That said, while I don’t think many of these schools should be using the term “jujutsu”, I don’t have the same contempt for them as I do the “gendai ninjutsu” schools, like Ronald Duncan, etc. Why this is, I’m not sure, perhaps because the jujutsu schools are far less likely to be trying to make money off any kind of fad. I would repeat that I don’t question these schools’ effectiveness. Wally Jay is an exceptional grappler as are many of his ilk. To be honest, I think the only thing I have against modern jujutsu is that they’ve coloured people’s perception of what jujutsu is to the point that these karate/judo crossovers are considered the norm for a jujutsu dojo, which does a massive disservice to real jujutsu.

setsu nin to
Exelent thread Bushi , congeatulation!

My opinion is that we can divide Japanese martial arts in two (well much more, but in these case two) groops. First group is Koryu and Gendai martial arts and second group is -jutsu and -do martial arts. So first I would like to say something about differences.

Koryu and Gendai
We may talk how some martial art have traditional techniques or modern techniques, how it have traditional roots and so many thing more and acording to that put it in traditional or modern group, but its so easy to prove is some martial arts Koryu or Gendai. All Japanese ryuhas which were found before 1868 are traditional and all ryuhas which were found after are modern. Ofcourse you have to prove that some ryuha is found before 1868 to be considerd traditional.

-jutsu and -do
Point of diference between -jutsu and -do arts is not time when some ryuha is found. Time doesnt mean much.
For example there is no traditional Aikido school, becouse they all are found after 1868, but in year 2200 (youst example) all schools that were found in Meiji period will become traditional too so we wont use 1868 year (end of Edo period) any more to decide which ryuha is traditional and which is modern. We will use year 1912 and than some Aikido schools will become traditional.
Thats why we cant use -jutsu and -do devide to decide which ryuha is traditional and which is modern.
Diferent between -jutsu and -do is in aproach to the art. I wrote many times before about that. Peacful way -do start developing in “time of peace” in Japan. -Jutsu ryuhas lost some of important becouse there was no wars as before, so in that time were developed -do arts (Kyudo, Kendo, Iaido, Judo…). Ofcourse -do arts were not developed in same time, so we cant put strict one year and said that they were developed in same year, but we can say that they developed in Meiji period. -Do ares are more peaceful than -jutsu arts, they are more based on developing of peace…

And in the and “Is there legitimacy for Gendai Jujutsu?”
Yes, there is legitimacy for Gendai Jujutsu. If ryuha use aproach of Jujutsu it can be called Gendai Jujutsu.
Is there Koryu -do arts? No, there is no Koryu arts jet, maybe some -do arts become Koryu in future.

Does some Gendai Jujutsu school have aproach of -jutsu is some other discousion in my opinion. In my opinion its realy big problem today. You may finde modern Jujutsu schools which werent developed from Jujutsu, they are Jujutsu just becouse its popular and they are money factory, nothing more.
Today everyone can open Jujutsu Dojo, but will it be Jujutsu, thats qoestion.

I will use just one example how far it can go.
Colonel Santiago Sanchis is founder of Ju Jutsu Do??? Acording to some world known magazines and his profile he is one of the best experts in police and military combat in West. Now my question is, how can some expert create something as Ju Jutsu Do? Its 100% contradictory. Same art cant be -jutsu and -do in the same time. It can be -jutsu or -do.

So if I read you right, There are three BASIC Categories: Koryu Bujutsu, Gendai Budo and Gendai Bujutsu. I can agree with this. I find it disheartening that after the Meiji many Jujutsu ryuha fell off. I mean it is mind blowing that over 700 ryuha could disintegrate to around 20 Koryu of today. It is quite sad for such an impressive jutsu.

setsu nin to

Yes, we could say it that way, but I wouldnt terms Budo and Bujutsu put so strictly with -do and -jutsu arts. Its truth that these terms today often used with -do and -jutsu arts.
In my opinion these Budo and Bujutsu are two diferent aspect of same thing. Budo is more mental/spiritual aspect while Bujutsu is more physical/trchniqual aspect.


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