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❶A linear thrusting kick that is normally used in Shotokan Karate. By the 17th century, sumo was a professional sport, open to the public, and enjoyed by the upper classes and commoners.

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Matsubayashi-ryu / Shorin-ryu Karate Terms


Judo is definitely not gentle! Although traditional jujutsu ryu systems fell by the wayside because of cultural shifts in Japanese society and the popularity of Kodokan Judo, if it were not for the Kodokan, jujutsu would have faded into the mists of Japanese history with the coming of the modern era in Japan and the twentieth century. Judo has been accepted as an Olympic sport and is now practiced worldwide.

The International Olympic committee IOC accepted judo for men as a demonstration sport in and fully into the Olympic Games in Kano warned against training in judo exclusively for contest purposes where the philosophies of the Kodokan and the physical education aspects of Kodokan Judo might be lost to the idea of simply winning contests , he knew that judo needed the international exposure that only something like the Olympics could give it.

The development of Kodokan Judo had a profound effect in many ways on all martial arts both historically and technically. Budo The generic phrase for all martial disciplines developed after the Meiji era in Japan. This is a generic name of the martial disciplines native to Japan and came into popular use approximately in the s. Depending on the focus of the art or the family that taught it, the art was called kumi-uchi, yawara, wajutsu and other names. In the s and s, after the phrase jujutsu came into more popular use, jujutsu schools flourished, each specializing in a particular approach to combat.

Some systems favored throwing while other favored submission arts and other favored striking. When the Meiji Period started in , the jujutsu schools, along with everything else that were part of feudal Japan, fell from favor in Japanese society. The jujutsu masters were not held in esteem as they had been before with most losing their status in provincial government and losing their government patrons. In the late s, jujutsu had fallen into decline and Jigoro Kano, through his Kodokan Judo, became instrumental in preserving jujutsu in Japan.

He learned the art in his homeland of Okinawa, where it was known by various names, usually based on the style or school of the headmaster or location. The art flourished in Okinawa for years before Funakoshi took it to Japan where it became popular, especially among the colleges.

Other styles were eventually developed by Japanese who mastered the art such as Kyokushinkai-ryu and others, and each developed its own following. The roots of this martial discipline go back to China, when the fighting art was introduced to Okinawa in the s approximately. The Chinese fighting arts have a variety of names and approaches to combat, both empty hand and with weapons. Along with judo, kendo is taught in the Japanese publish school system as a method of physical education.

There are many styles of kempo and kenpo practiced throughout Japan and the rest of the world. Ninjitsu was not looked upon with favor by the people, and the art was considered necessary but less than honorable.

The ninja developed skills in many areas of killing, fighting, spying and adapting to many situations to accomplish their tasks. Sumo matches draw thousands of spectators and millions watch it on television.

It is, traditionally, the most popular sport in Japan. However, baseball is now more popular but sumo remains a favorite to many Japanese.

Yawara is often referred to as the manipulative arts of writs and hand locks in some systems of jujutsu. Yawara was one of several names used to describe what eventually became known as jujutsu in the s. The martial arts exist today largely because of the work of the four men whose brief biographies follow. There certainly have been many other influential people who have contributed their lives and talents to the teaching of the martial arts, but these four men are often regarded as primary innovators and pioneers who devoted their lives to their particular martial disciplines and to the overall development of the martial arts.

Jigoro Kano, Founder of Kodokan Judo photo at right. From this humble start, judo has grown to an activity practiced by millions all over the world. Jigoro Kano was born on October 28, in Mikage, Japan and died while on a ship during a world tour on May 4, He was an influential figure in Japanese sport, education and politics.

Kano was one of the founders of the Japanese Olympic Committee and lobbied to get judo accepted as an Olympic sport.

He was also influential in Japanese education and through his work, judo became part of the public school physical education program. Kano worked hard and reorganized the leading jujutsu schools of Japan, eventually reorganizing them into his Kodokan Judo and prevented them from becoming just an historical footnote in Japanese history.

He initiated a structured and educational approach to the study of jujutsu, which had not bee done previously. Jigoro Kano was the innovator of many things we do today in many martial arts. He developed the system of ukemi breakfalls so that students could practice safely and with confidence. He developed the first modern judogi judo training uniform. Before Kano standardized the judogi in about , there was no standard garment worn by participants.

He renames and reclassified many techniques and skills so that the names made sense and described the movement being done. Up to that time, there was no standard terminology used and each ryuha system used its own creating much confusion. Kano who developed the belt rank system, which is still used today. These are some of the innovations Jigoro Kano made. Eventually, judo was added to the list of sports in the Olympic Games as a demonstration in and as a fully-accepted sport in Kano was also an innovator in the concept of physical education, as there had been little work or research done in this area before, especially in Japan.

Through his efforts, judo and kendo were made part of the middle-school curriculum in Japanese public schools in Jigoro Kano is one of the most significant and influential people in the history of martial arts and his influence continues today. Okazaki made a considerable impact on the development of jujitsu throughout the 20th century.

Okazaki was the first jujutsu instructor to teach non-Japanese on a wide scale. The popularity of Kodokan Judo has often over-shadowed Prof. He studied various martial arts in Hilo, mastering several systems of traditional jujutsu as well as studying at the Kodokan in Japan and attaining sandan 3rd grade in Kodokan Judo.

He also studied different restorative arts as well as massage and was a master of kappo and katsu the arts of resuscitation. In , he moved to Honolulu and opened a massage sanatorium and began to teach jujitsu. By the miss, Okazaki attracted so many students that he opened the Hawaii Jujitsu Guild and taught his system of jujitsu to anyone, regardless of race or sex. Up to that point, it was rare for a non-Japanese to learn jujitsu.

In , the American Judo and Jujitsu Federation was formed, and for many years was one of the largest, if not largest, national jujitsu organizations in the United States. There are several other organizations teaching Kodenkan or Danzan-ryu as well. Kano and Kodokan judo, there was no single, uniform system of ranking used in the martial arts of Japan. The older, traditional martial disciplines of kenjutsu, iaijutus, jujutsu and other fighting arts used a menkyo license system of ranking their practitioners.

Most of these various systems used fairly individualized levels of initiation or licensing for instructors and none used the belt ranking system, as we know it today in such disciplines as judo, karate and aikido. The system of belt ranks devised by Jigoro Kano has changed somewhat over the years but the basic system of yudansha graded exponents and mudansha ungraded exponents is still in use.

The yudansha ranks are the black belts and the mudansha ranks are the belt under black belt, reserved for the novices. Mu is a phrase for a void or nothingness, dan means grade or rank and sha is a term meaning a person.

So, the word mudansha refers to a person not holding rank or grade. The word yu indicates possession of something, thus the word yudansha refers to a person holding rank or grade.

This use of yudansha and mudansha is called the kyu-dan system. The word dan means grade or step and the word kyu indicates class. Kano used three kyu ranks and five dan ranks, probably devising this system about two or three years after the founding of the Kodokan. In the four or five years after the Kodokan was established, Prof.

By the mids, Prof. Kano had expanded the yudansha grades to ten. The first people promoted to shodan, the initial or first grade in the yudansha ranks were Jojiro Tomita and Shiro Saigo.

We might then surmise that these two men were the first people to achieve the rank of black belt in judo or in any martial art. The color white represents simplicity, while the color black represents the opposite, having to do with possession in this case, possession of rank. Traditionally, the white judogi or dogi. Represents purity and simplicity and this is why the more traditional judo, jujitsu, aikido and other budo systems use the white uniform for practice.

While the kyu-dan system of belt ranks was devised by Jigoro Kano for Kodokan Judo, it became popular with the emerging martial arts of Japan in the early 20th century. Gichen Funakoshi saw the benefit of this ranking system and used it in his Shotokan karate system and was probably the first martial discipline outside of Kodokan Judo to use it. The kyu-dan belt rank system was eventually accepted into most martial arts systems in Japan, and eventually the world.

As the Japanese martial arts became international and there was less control of the various schools or systems from Japan, a variety of martial arts used the kyu-dan system.

As time went along, even the Korean martial arts such as yudo and taekwondo embraced the kyu-dan system, although using Korean terminology.

However, the traditional fighting arts of China, Indonesia, Burma and other countries sis not use the kyu-dan system of ranking, preferring their own methods, if any were used formally at all in these martial arts.

In western cultures, the use of belt ranks was not used for their fighting disciplines. Activities such as boxing, the various styles of western wrestling, sambo developed in the Soviet Union in the early part of the 20th century , savate from France and other western martial arts did not embrace the use of the kyu-dan system. While these disciplines may have used some type of classification for instructors or skilled exponents, the use of colored belts was not generally accepted.

The kyu-dan system of belt ranks devised by Prof. Kano is now widely used in all parts of the world for many martial arts, whether they are Japanese in origin or not. The yudansha usually wear black belts with many systems signifying high ranks above godan 5th grade with red and white, red, red and black or other color combinations. The use of wearing a belt of alternating colored sections of red and white for holders of 6th, 7th and 8th dan and a solid red belt for holders of 9th and 10th dan was first started by Kodokan Judo sometime in the s it is believed.

The use of a brown belt for holders of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd kyu in the mudansha ranks was used earlier by the Kodokan around the turn of the 20th century. With the popularization of martial arts throughout the world, a variety of belt colors have emerged for the mudansha ranks in particular. The various colors of yellow, orange, green, blue and purple seem to have been started in the s in Europe as external motivation for students.

Here is a list of the yudansha and mudansha ranks. Ikkyu 1st Class Brown Belt. Nikyu 2nd Class Brown Belt. Today, jujutsu is practiced in both ancient and modern forms that have also been included in judo, aikido, karate, wrestling, mixed martial arts. Swordmanship became the most important aspect of the Japanese martial arts, after horse-riding and arrow shooting. The main development of the sword occurred between A. During peaceful times, warriors trained and invented new techniques that were tested during war, and passed on.

The sword techniques changed from an art for killing, to include philosophy, personal development and spiritual perfection. Historically it was practiced with wooden katana bokken , and included rehersed forms, called kata, or sometimes called kumitachi, and similar to the partner drills practiced in kendo. Advanced students also include freestyle practice. The main aspects are smooth, controlled movements of drawing, striking, cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard.

Iaido is the modernization of iaijutsu, but in practice is often identical. The replacement of jutsu with do is part of the 20th century focus on personal and spiritual development, as in other Japanese martial arts. Naginatajutsu is the Japanese art of wielding the naginata, and most practice is in a modern form called naginata-do, and competitions are held.

During the late Edo period, naginata were used to train women, and most styles are headed by women. Sojutsu is a Japanese martial arts of fighting with the spear yari. For most of Japan's history, sojutsu was practiced extensively by traditional schools. In times of war, it was a primary skill of many soldiers. Ninjutsu was developed as a collection of survival techniques in the warring state of feudal Japan in the 14th century. The ninja used their art to survive in a time of violent political turmoil.

Ninjutsu can also involve training in disguise, escape, concealment, archery, medicine, explosives, and poisons, etc. The original Japanese martial arts schools were almost entirely sogo comprehensive bujutsu. With the long peace of the Tokugawa shogunate there was an increase in specialization with many schools identifying themselves with major battlefield weapons. Gendai Budo modern martial way , is a general term to describe Japanese martial arts that are more modern.

Either the art was founded after , or it changed its methodology and lost its koryu status. Judo gentle way , is a modern grappling-based martial art, usually practiced as a sport. It was created by Jigoro Kano — who was a brilliant martial artist who took the koryu arts of Kito-ryu and Tenjin Shin'yo-ryu jujutsu, and focused on freestyle practice and competition. Kano developed a system of techniques and training, which became an Olympic sport in , and spread throughout the world. The 'Kodokan', has students worldwide, with other schools founded by Kano's students.

Kendo way of the sword , is based on Japanese martial arts and sword fighting descended from several schools including Itto-ryu. The modern form of kendo took shape with the introduction of shinai bamboo swords , and lightweight wooden armour. This allowed the practice of strikes at full speed and power without risk of injury. Almost the entire practice of modern kendo is governed by the All Japan Kendo Federation, founded in Competitions are judged by points, with the first competitor to score two points on their opponent declared the winner.

Practitioners also compete in forms kata competitions, using wooden or blunted metal swords, according to a set of forms. Aikido way of harmony is a modern grappling-based Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba — It consists of striking, throwing and joint locking techniques and is known for its blending with an attacker, rather than meeting force with force.

It focuses on joining the rhythm and intent of an opponent in order to find the opening to take control. Also involves the spiritual and philosophical development of students. Aikido Success Blueprint offers you Key Action Steps to quickly improve your ability to develop aikido skills. A unique gold-mine of knowledge! Kyudo way of the bow , is the modern name for Japanese archery.

Originally in Japan, kyujutsu art of the bow , was a discipline of the samurai, the Japanese warrior class. From the 16th century, firearms gradually replaced the bow as the most dominant battlefield weapon. As the bow lost its significance as a weapon of war, and under the influence of Buddhism, Shinto, Daoism and Confucianism, Japanese archery became kyudo.

In some schools kyudo is practiced as a refined contemplative practice, while in other schools it is practiced as a modern day sport. Karate empty hand is a mix of Okinawan arts called 'te', and Chinese martial arts. Gichin Funakoshi — regarded as the father of modern karate, founded Shotokan karate, gave demonstrations in Tokyo in , and karate was included in Japan's public school system. Karate practice is mainly characterized by straight punching and kicking techniques executed from a stable, fixed posture.

Many styles of karate incorporate the forms kata developed by Funakoshi and his teachers, and practitioners also take part in full, light, and no-contact competitions. The principle of aiki is a joining of energy, or harmonizing physically and mentally with an opponent to avoid direct conflict. In practice, aiki is achieved by joining with the physical motion and the mental intent to redirect the energy and the will to calm down a situation.

Aikido is founded on the principle that controlling an opponent can be achieved by aiki to defeat them without causing serious harm. Budo way of war relates particularly with Japanese martial arts styles. Bushido way of the warrior is a code of honor for the samurai way of life. It emphasizes courage, bravery, and loyalty to their lord daimyo.

Courtesy , etiquette, politeness, humble, gentle, boldness, formal bow, etc.


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Japanese martial arts refer to the variety of martial arts native to the country of Japan. At least three Japanese terms are used interchangeably with the English phrase Japanese martial arts. The usage of term budō to mean martial arts is a modern one and historically the term meant a way of life encompassing physical, spiritual and moral.

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The following is a list of Japanese terms commonly used in karate training. Some of these terms are used at the Academy of Traditional Karate, though many more are included for reference. The typical pronunciations and English meanings are given, along with a kanji representation where available. The gentle way, a Japanese martial art: Ju. A listing of martial arts terms and definitions. ENGLISH (1) One (2) Position or Posture. 10TH DEGREE BLACK BELT. 2 people meeting in a Japanese-style match.

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Budo – Martial ways (literally “way(s) of war) Bugei – Martial crafts (Another way of referring to Japanese martial arts) Bujutsu – Martial arts (Yet another interchangable term for Japanese martial art). That’s why I want to explain 10 Japanese words everyone misunderstands in Karate today. (This holds true for all traditional Japanese martial arts.) And the word “dojo My top 10 Japanese words everyone misunderstands in Karate.