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Thread: JUTSU AND DO

  1. #1
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    Default JUTSU AND DO

    samurai-1.jpg

    I have been studying fighting all of my life. My focus is, and always has been, fighting effectiveness. When I was a young kid studying karate, I may have given the philosophically-correct answer to the question, "Why are you studying Karate-do?" - "So that I never have to use it sensei", but I was lying. I was training so I could kick ass in a fight and harbored no illusions about world peace or philosophical shaolin-esque harmony or any of those silly things spouted in the modern McDojos by oversized instructors.

    My studies later into the founding teachers of karate in Okinawa and Japan showed me these guys were not sandal-wearing peaceniks as some like to portray them. They were regular men, some good, some not-as-good, that were good at fighting and at teaching others to fight. Hardly the prancing American hippie in a hakama getting harmonious in the dojo. So what happened? How did the physical become "spiritual"?

    According to my research there are several factors.

    1). In the early part of the 20th century, Japan...which was the center of Asian fighting systems at the time...was westernizing. Their search for modernity was all-consuming, and may of the old combat systems had no modern application. They being focused on combat effectiveness. The goal of archery was to hit the target, the goal of sword was to cut down the enemy, the goal of jujutsu and karate was to strike down the enemy etc. Hardly in line with the social and government goals at the time.

    So the focus was removed from combat effectiveness and shifted by the leaders to one of spiritual self perfection. That was acceptable.

    2). Eventually, following the path set by Judo and Kendo, the various martial disciplines became sports with the shift moving from usability in a fight to the ability to score points in a match. And just as we see in the gun world, the methods needed to kill an attacking enemy on a dark street are not the same as those needed to score well.

    When sport became the focus, the combat application began to be forgotten...just as is happening in the American gun world. The suffix "Jutsu" as added to Ken-Jutsu, Ju-Jutsu, Karate-jutsu, was changed to "Do". The difference being "jutsu" being a results-based method of winning a fight, and "Do" being a spiritually-based method of character building and spiritual introspection as well as a martially-based game.

    The good news is that as westerners got good at these systems, a polarization began. The sports, spiritual, esoteric type guys had and still have no focus or interest in fighting actual people for real. But there were and have always been the guys that shook their heads at the hippy karate and refocused energies on defeating enemies in fights.

    The same division and distinction happened in the gun world.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
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    I remember one day coming into my dojo and someone had written a bunch of “DO” principles on the board. A visiting instructor had taught a seminar and written all these principles, in English and Japanese, and it was clear that rather than sweating on the mat, the emphasis of the seminar was a moral lecture. (Not saying morals aren’t important but I do not believe teaching morals is the highest purpose of martial discipline. People tend to come into my dojo with a pretty solid moral compass, and those who don’t never last long.)

    Anyway, these principles were the standard stuff that you always see...and in my opinion are a lot of flowery words that can be boiled down to simply “Don’t be an asshole”. Which I totally agree with (as a general rule), but I don’t like using 400 words when 4 will do.

    I also don’t like investing a bunch of moral significance into flowery words. “Don’t be an asshole” is an important principle...but it’s a simple one and you don’t achieve anything by talking endlessly about it. It’s meant to be lived. Go BE what you want to be rather than handstroking all day about it.

    As I was thinking these things, my teacher Ito came through the door. “Hello Yamamoto-san” as he smiled and shook my hand. Then his smile faded as he looked at the board, reading the principles on the board. “What do you think, Sensei?” I asked, suppressing a laugh because I knew what he was going to say.

    “That is a bunch of bullshit. Karate is for FIGHTING.”

    Osu.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

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  3. #3
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    Hmm...I tend toward a middle course. The study of the fighting arts tends to develop good character. Mostly because people with poor character never have the dedication or humility to develop real proficiency. On the other hand, it's essential to keep that fighting link. Otherwise, you aren't studying a fighting art at all.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike OTDP View Post
    Hmm...I tend toward a middle course. The study of the fighting arts tends to develop good character. Mostly because people with poor character never have the dedication or humility to develop real proficiency. On the other hand, it's essential to keep that fighting link. Otherwise, you aren't studying a fighting art at all.
    Not saying I disagree. But I do think that good character really needs to be instilled in the home. All disciplines will continue to develop character, IMO, by the simple hard work of practicing them (and that's kind of my point...the benefit comes not from talking about it but DOING it). But the initial programming comes from parents, or at least it should.

    Of course an instructor is also a good mentor and when a student needs some direction a good mentor can provide it.

    People don't come to me for sermons on how to be a better person. I'm not a pastor. They come to me to become better at performing violence. That is what I TEACH. But the WAY I teach, how I treat people, how I exhibit character...they learn from that as well. This is part of the art of teaching without teaching. Yes there is character development but IMO it's largely leading by example.

    I do some effort on character development in kids classes, but even then it's mostly indirect. Character comes as a by-product of doing hard work.

    My humble opinion.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Kansas
    Pistol Groundfighting, Washington

  5. #5
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    Good character comes from father, family, and church.

    The ability to kick the asses of those who lack it comes from the sensei and the dojo.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  6. #6
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    After reading this thread I hope it’s ok to rant a bit. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that Karate (read any Martial Art) is useless. Kata is dancing and nobody fights like that, it just a waste of time. Time and time again I have tried, (unsuccessfully, so I stopped) to explain to them what Karate and the other arts (The Arts) where. The Arts where originally designed with one purpose in mind; to disable or outright kill an opponent so you may live for another day. Kata was a way of codifying the teaching because not many were literate back then, so kata was the “book”. In it are how to move how and where to strike for best results. The Arts where a way to teach survival, if something did not work do you think anyone who’s life depended on knowing The Arts would spend time teaching it or practicing it? The answer is yeah but it does not work is what I usually heard. My answer was: Unfortunately in many cases you are right because what you are seeing as passing for The Arts, are not even close to what it really should be. Find a school that actually teaches the real Arts. I know it’s tuff but they are out there. Most likely will not have a recognizable school name or be a McDojo. I eventually switched to the Chinese arts as their linage is more pure and has not been subjected to many of the things Gabe mentioned. I had a friend in college who learned his Kungfu from a friend’s father, who was a Chinese immigrant. The style had no concept of pulling a punch or sport sparring. Very few people wanted to train with him. OK rant off.

  7. #7
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    Waiting to hear some,aikido guy is offended
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Waiting to hear some,aikido guy is offended
    I was an aikido guy when I was younger, it was cool, and had quite a few friends at the dojo, after classes went out for dinner and it was a fun social event. For actual fight training it was Muy Thai the other four days of the week though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Waiting to hear some,aikido guy is offended
    I am, and I am not offended at all. Aikido was the first art I learned as a child. (Dad thought it was a good idea). I learned from a Sensei who learned it during the occupation. While the school was Aikido, at the higher levels it was re-taught more as Aikijutsu. This is the way we practice it here, this is what you do for real. Throws were nice throwing into a wall or something hard was better. It was also accepted except for a complete incompetent no one telegraphs like we did in class. So we practiced a clinch that would draw a reaction for a technique. If that didn't work our Sensei was also well versed in grappling, so it went down into a choke. Man I hated that.

  10. #10
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    I am not an Akido guy but......

    In the old films of Uechiba, when he went in, he often hit very hard with an open hand strike on the way in. Much easier to move someone you have knocked silly.

    It seems to have gotten diluted.

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