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Good budo vs good taijutsu
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I've started this as a breakoff of the "Good Taijutsu from outside the Bujinkan" thread, as it raised an interesting point that a friend brought up in a recent discussion.

Is good budo the same as good taijutsu?

Now, first we need to come up with definitions to understand the question:

1. What do you think "good" means? Efficient? Balanced? Achieves a purpose? Looks like Soke? It works? Follows certain criteria?
2. What do you think "budo" means? War? Killing? Survival? Something higher? None of the above?
3. What do you think "taijutsu" means? Technique? Kihon? Something else?

So, when you hear terms like "tasty budo", what do you thing that really means? What does it mean for someone to have "good taijutsu"? Can any of us really judge another art's "taijutsu" and would it qualify as "budo"?

How does this relate to your own training goals? Are you pursuing good budo, good taijutsu, or is there no difference? Do you even know?

I've thrown a lot of questions out there to help spur some thinking and conversation around this. I feel this is so foundational to understanding what and why we all are doing what we do, why we show up and train. Without a kind of foundational purpose, why show up?

Posted on: 2011/8/13 2:42
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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Interesting questions. For me "budo" means the Way of Warfare, and by Way I mean path, art, and practice. Bu means all things regarding warfare, essentially protecting self and others from harm. I see taijutsu as referring to physical skills. Being able to get thrown to the ground without being hurt, being efficiently able to do techniques against one or more attackers, and being able to climb over a fence can all be called good taijutsu. I see taijutsu as having the same connotation as "kung fu" with regard to physical skill. I am interested what others think about this.

Posted on: 2011/8/13 4:28
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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I think good taijutsu is a micro perspective. I think what some would describe as 'tasty budo' would be better described as 'tasty taijutsu'. Good movement that looks good and feels good (powerful, what have you).

Good budo I see as the macro perspective. Good budo is reflected in the overall life of a practitioner, and only becomes really apparent with time. It encompasses a lot of things; good sense, good connections, good taijutsu, timing, patience, resiliency, perception, emotional maturity and so on. The whole becomes much greater than the sum of these parts, and (with time) you've got yourself some very, very tasty budo!

Could be way off, but that's how I look at it now.

Posted on: 2011/8/13 5:36
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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I probably drop the 'do' to a large degree. leaving bujutsu as my focus. Function over form.

Maybe one day I will be able to exist as some divine warrior of a higher order, but for now I will concentrate on prevailing whilst an ordinary man.

Also, for some reason the 'do' approach suggests to me slickness and aesthetics in an unreal environment, rather than the ugliness, struggle and partial reliance on luck in real conflicts. A bit like trying to meditate whilst being slapped about the face with a fish to the tune of a clown car horn.

Posted on: 2011/8/13 9:58
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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Good to me means effective. Taijutsu, again to me, means the use of effective principles in body movement. Specifically where such movement is needed to survive, either in a "fight" or sudden occurrence like a fall or accident. It is movement that puts you in the safe/advantageous space immediately without you thinking about it. Budo, IMO, is applying those same effective principles to your life. When you do that your life becomes fuller and more 'successful".

Posted on: 2011/8/13 22:38
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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Since luck plays such a huge part of surviving real combat, then is it safe to say that luck is a large part of budo? It would seem that people agree budo has to do with survival and "effectiveness" in a general sense. So, how does luck play into it? Does luck have anything to do with taijutsu?

Do you think your training makes you more 'lucky'? Or is it simply a matter of more precise timing, distancing, angling and that innate sense to do what is correct in the moment without plan or thought? Can 'luck' be a measure of the quality of one's budo?

Posted on: 2011/8/14 2:51
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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Good topic Darren, I will do my best to give my POV.

Is good budo the same as good taijutsu?

Yes I believe so. I think of these as generic terms, not specific to the Bujinkan.


1. What do you think "good" means? Efficient? Balanced? Achieves a purpose? Looks like Soke? It works? Follows certain criteria?

Yes I believe good means effective, realistic and balanced (in all aspects of life). As far as looking like Soke, I don’t believe anyone could look like Soke. Sure the same basic movements and gross muscle movement is there, but Soke trained with Takamatsu, and learned his specific way of doing things. That plus the amount of time Soke has been teaching leads me to believe that no one has the same type and amount of influences to be able to move like him.

2. What do you think "budo" means? War? Killing? Survival? Something higher? None of the above?

To me it means all of the above and more.

3. What do you think "taijutsu" means? Technique? Kihon? Something else?

Again I think of it a just a generic term, like kung fu. A judoka, karateka, and aikidoka can have good taijutsu, although it will look different from yours and mine.

So, when you hear terms like "tasty budo", what do you thing that really means?

Something done exceptionally well.

What does it mean for someone to have "good taijutsu"?

See above.

Can any of us really judge another art's "taijutsu" and would it qualify as "budo"?

Yes.

How does this relate to your own training goals? Are you pursuing good budo, good taijutsu, or is there no difference? Do you even know?

I am striving to be a more complete and balanced person. I believe budo to be part of that path.

Does luck have anything to do with taijutsu? Do you think your training makes you more 'lucky'?

No I think training gives one more options.

Can 'luck' be a measure of the quality of one's budo?

Nope.

Hope this answers your questions. YMMV.

~Rob


Posted on: 2011/8/14 4:30
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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good budo is (usually) good taijutsu, but not all good taijutsu are good budo.

Posted on: 2011/8/14 13:43
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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Darren, I was once told that luck is " Labor Under Correct Knowledge". I've always liked that definition.

Posted on: 2011/8/15 1:42
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Re: Good budo vs good taijutsu
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I think that, from the outside, one who's budo is good will appear to be very lucky, over the long-term if not always from moment-to-moment. Sometimes luck involves screwing up at just the right time. ;)

Is it really 'luck' that's operating there? I don't think so. What is it then? Training and experience definitely, and the mushin that can result there from. Beyond that, I don't know, but the spiritual aspects of some of Hatsumi Soke's and Takamatsu Sensei's writings are intriguing, if not easy to draw conclusions from.

Posted on: 2011/8/16 4:07
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