Budo Articles

I will try to put articles about budo and budo taijutsu on this page.

"Let's Ask This Person" (Hatsumi M.):
In Order to Protect and Pass Along the Traditions of Budo, One Needs to Separate It From Life's Means to Prosper
Translated by Sayo Owada

It is not something as easy as being laid off; people now are living in an age where they are being "thinned out".
Budo is something that you do in order to survive in a crisis situation. It is not just for self-protection or for fighting but also for world protection. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is everything that is necessary to fight to live. To win, to protect, and even running after you lose is protection.
Generally speaking, when one thinks of budo, judo, or kendo, it gives a feeling of "sport" - butbudo is completely different. Historically, unlike the peaceful world that we live in now, parents have killed their children and children have killed their parents to gain power. There is no theory or reasoning behind all of this, but it is not unusual for something like this to happen when there is an increase of people who desire power.

When I look at the world today, I see that reasoning does not work and people cannot live as a group. We are starting to see "natural providence" ("the law of nature") - the way we see the animals of Africa living in our society. There was a period a long time ago where children were thinned out to survive; however, now adults are being thinned out. It is not something as easy as being laid off.

One who is in [a] position to have to protect tradition should not use tradition as a tool to make money.

When I go abroad, I notice that countries that have rich tradition seem to be happier. They say that French people have strong characteristics but speaking of tradition and arts there is a lot left to appreciate. France is a country that is self-sufficient and therefore the country blossoms itself. At the rate that we are going, a small island country like Japan will have a scarcity of food soon I think. I don't think that we currently have the environment in which to preserve tradition and culture. Supplying food that blossoms the country, as farmers and farms do so are important. The land policy that we have now which enables us to use our land for farms is not right. Although Japan is a small country, I think that rebuilding of Japan starts by making good use of the land that we have.

With economic policies, if you put the changing economy as you[r] first priority you will with out a doubt fail. You should always put the economy as your second priority. It is the same with budo. I have no intentions on making my ryu ha any bigger than it is now. Writing books and lecturing is my main source of income, however I have no intentions on making money out of that. One who is in position to have to protect tradition should not use tradition as a tool to make money.

What is Budo? I would like people to understand the real value of what budo is.

I travel all over the world to speak about Budo but I do not intend spread or expand budo. I just want people to know what it is about.

International exchange is the same as knowing your next-door neighbor. Japan is known as a country of "appreciation" but at the same time there are very few that know what "appreciation" really means. You never have a deep relationship with people.

I do not think that the person who takes my place will necessarily be Japanese. It will have to be someone who is also financially stable as well so that they will not use Budo to make money. Even a single sword can cost up to hundreds and thousands of dollars. Someone who can separate his or her work from budo and take care of budo (is necessary).

Even though Japan is a budo country, Japanese people do not know the answer to "What isbudo?" They also do not know the value of budo. My dream is to build a budo museum. That is one of the reasons that I make so many videos.

To protect and teach the tradition of budo, I would like to have people understand the true value of budo.

[This article is reprinted with permission from the University of Michigan Bujinkan Dojo. My special thanks to Sayo Owada for her translation. This article was originally published a number of years ago; it is especially relevant in today's world.]

"Bujutsu is a method for the continuation of life, the protection of that which is important, and for a proper, balanced spiritual perspective"


Ura & Omote Archives

posted Dec 15, 2011, 5:57 AM by Charles Lucas, Dojo-cho   [ updated Jan 28, 2014, 4:04 AM ]

Ura & Omote began in 1995 because of a long-distance telephone conversation with my friend David Sink. We were both green belts at the time and were discussing a kata over the phone. He had to drive 12 hours or so to get to a teacher, whereas I could train with any one of 8 black belts who were a ten minute walk away from my apartment. It was then and there that I decided to help others who didn’t have easy access to a teacher, or to the information they needed to further their development in this art.

Since that time, I worked at keeping, at first, the newsletter and then its website going — although since 1998 the updates were getting fewer and farther between. I didn’t have the time to devote myself fully to the newsletter and the quality of it had lessened over time. Producing the newsletter and updating the web site ceased to be a love for me and had become a chore. I decided to close down shop — a decision which took me the better part of three months to come to.

Why an archive site?
Since that time I have received many requests looking for the articles and information that the newsletter delivered. I tried to fill these requests whenever possible, grateful that people were still interested in what the newsletter had to provide.

I realized that there were many people that I wasn’t getting too, and in order to make this wish-fulfillment possible, I've decided to put up an archive site of the articles from the newsletter. The seminar content, school listings, etc. will not find a home on this site since that information needed constant upkeep.

Those of you who have articles, archives, etc., on your web sites feel free to keep them up — but please give credit where credit is due, and don’t add anything to the articles or archives. You may also point directly to this URL from your sites.

Restarting Ura & Omote
I feel that the newsletter served its purpose in connecting and opening up new communication channels. This newsletter started at about the same time that the web was beginning to take off. Now, with so many websites out there, information is easier to obtain and seek out.

Please bear in mind my wish for Ura & Omote to rest in peace. I don’t want anyone to continue Ura & Omote. I would much rather see someone start a newnewsletter that continues with the spirit I started, but is their own thing. I feel that a lot of Ura & Omote was built on my personality — my drives, desires and self-professed “open-mindedness.” Therefore a fresh outlook from someone else would be welcome. A new newsletter — with a new name — driven by someone else’s desires, intents, personality and persistence of vision would be most welcome.

So, just click on the buttons on the left to read the archives!

And, in the words of Hatsumi-sensei, “Keep going!” I know I will.
— Liz maryland

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