In the martial arts there are many ways and many applications to a technique, it depends on what is wanted to be achieved and what mentality the practitioner is training in and wanting to achieve. Ju-jutsu, judo, Kenjutsu, kendo, Karate jutsu, karate-do and many more. The question is WHAT IS IN A NAME? More than you could ever imagine. Grasshopper. Many instructors today have opinions about everything and many are armchairs critics, they are either “purest of this or other art” Many state that in their particular country there are not “jutsu” practitioners just “do” practitioners. “What is the difference?” some may ask. You may get an answer similar to: “in iai-jutsu you must actually draw blood each time you draw the katana” So this maybe correct that there are not jutsu instructors or students because they will be seriously injured or killed. There are extreme cases of confusion cause by misuse of jutsu and do to define Okinawan or Japanese martial arts. The most common misuse in todays times of information overload and everyone being a expert in their field is to describe a combat approach as jutsu and the sports approach as do. How many times have you heard an student stating that his instructors teaches the version of his particular martial arts as ” Killall Ryu” or “Killall Jutsu” because his instructor can kill anyone with a single blow. In the other instant another student will brag that his teacher only teaches do, which is for human and psychological development and to attain a higher and very important and secret spiritual attainment. All this “snake-oil stuff that has infiltrated the martial arts is a lot of BS. To understand the implications of the words jitsu and do, and how they apply to martial arts in the modern world, we must go back to two simplier words, gyo and shugyo. This may also clear up a great deal of debate that a practitioner can only “practice” or “master” one art or sport.
GYO Gyo in its literal translations, refers to practice or behavior. When you enter a dojo for the first time, you begin gyo. If you are a lazy, or selfish, or have any faults, that is you gyo. Budo training must or should teach you to change your gyo to something more beneficial or desirable. When analyzing the kanji for gyo when notices that it immediately looks like a intersection or crossroads, so it is clear when anyone come to a crossroad their have to take decisions and action must be taken and constructive activity must be emphasized in ones life study or activity undertaken by the individual. There is also an element of stability in the writing of the kanji and this is what we strive to attain by the practice and activity of Budo, a stable, mind, body and spirit. It is at this point that the student wants to become like the master. But it is important that the Master also is cognizant to always looking at himself and becomes a figure the students want to emulate.
Next Blog will explain Shu Gyo and Jutsu. Until next time sweat everyday train everyday.