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What is the purpose of Budo?


Everything stated in this article is my opinion only, as of this moment.

I guess if you poll the majority of the world's population and ask "what is the purpose of martial arts?", the dominant answer will be "to subdue the opponent". This is how I thought at the beginning of my journey in the world of martial arts, but lately, the more I think about it, I come to other answers: in my opinion, the purpose of martial art, Budo, is to control. To control myself and above all to control the situation I am in and things are especially true in my opinion for the martial art of ninjutsu and ninpo. I will detail and explain:

The purpose of fighting and the purpose of martial arts is first and foremost to end the conflict. In my opinion, the common knowledge is that the end of the conflict means "submission and decision". I don't think so. why?

· First, think for a moment about what is "submission". Submission means that the opponent can no longer fight back, submission means that the opponent cannot - now and in the future (!) recover and attack. At the bottom line, this means the opponent no longer exists! From this, it is easy to come to the conclusion that "submission", in a real fight, means complete elimination of the opponent, i.e. - his destruction, killing him. But the elimination of the opponent does not necessarily end the fighting or the threat! Because every "opponent" has friends, supporters, fans, etc., so - at the very least - the elimination of the opponent will lead to a state of temporary calm...

· In the old days, "elimination", i.e. killing, murder and extermination was a "fashionable and acceptable" thing. Today such an action, even if carried out by a state, arouses objections and even sanctions, so that you may destroy the opponent, but - in the long run - you will suffer; A country will suffer sanctions and a single person may be sent to prison and punished by the legal system.

· So what is the solution you ask? The best solution, the right strategy, in my opinion, is of course peace and turning the enemy into a friend. This is the ultimate goal in ninjutsu and in ninpo, but it is a difficult solution to implement and sometimes it takes time - which you don't have - to implement. So what is the right tactic? How should I act in the immediate term, to achieve my security?

· Obviously, there is no "miracle answer" that fits every situation. But in my opinion, there is a goal I must strive for: the goal is to control. First, it is about self-control: I must not be dragged after the opponent and I must not be dragged into the emotional minefield, I must first gain self-control, over my thoughts and actions. In Bujinkan, in Ninpo, we use the following terms:

  • [1]Fudoshin - "The Undeviated Heart". It means, I don't act emotionally and I'm not triggered by external manipulations.

  • [2] Zanshin - complete relaxation and focus on the goal and action, without distractions.

  • Muto Dori - according to my understanding of Hatsumi: is "the ability to act and function properly under a very great threat"[3].

· Self-control also allows me to control the opponent and the main goal is control over the entire situation. Because as soon as I manage to control the situation, I can steer it to the place I want to reach, with minimal friction and minimal damage to the opponent and, of course, to myself. Controlling and reducing the damage to the opponent to the minimum required is the way to calm the confrontation and even to turn the opponent into a friend.

· Therefore, to the question "What is the purpose of Budo?", my answer: control.

[1] [2] [3]

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