Budō, the Japanese martial ways, have their origins in the age-old martial spirit of Japan. Through centuries of historical and social change, these forms of traditional culture evolved from combat techniques (jutsu) into ways of self-development (dō).
Seeking the perfect unity of mind and technique, budō has been refined and cultivated into ways of physical training and spiritual development. The study of budō encourages courteous behaviour, advances technical proficiency, strengthens the body, and perfects the mind. Modern Japanese have inherited traditional values through budō which continue to play a significant role in the formation of the Japanese personality, serving as sources of boundless energy and rejuvenation. As such, budō has attracted strong interest internationally, and is studied around the world.
However, a recent trend towards infatuation just with technical ability compounded by an excessive concern with winning is a severe threat to the essence of budō. To prevent any possible misrepresentation, practitioners of budō must continually engage in self-examination and endeavour to perfect and preserve this traditional culture. It is with this hope that we, the member organisations of the Japanese Budō Association, established The Budō Charter in order to uphold the fundamental principles of budō.
武道憲章 – Budō Kensho
- Objective. Through physical and mental training in the Japanese martial ways, budō exponents seek to build their character, enhance their sense of judgement, and become disciplined individuals capable of making contributions to society at large.
- Training. When training in budō, practitioners must always act with respect and courtesy, adhere to the prescribed fundamentals of the art, and resist the temptation to pursue mere technical skill rather than strive towards the perfect unity of mind, body and technique.
- Competition. Whether competing in a match or doing set forms (kata), exponents must externalise the spirit underlying budō. They must do their best at all times, winning with modesty, accepting defeat gracefully, and constantly exhibiting self-control.
- Dojo. The dōjō is a special place for training the mind and body. In the dōjō, budō practitioners must maintain discipline, and show proper courtesies and respect. The dōjō should be a quiet, clean, safe, and solemn environment.
- Teaching. Teachers of budō should always encourage others to also strive to better themselves and diligently train their minds and bodies, while continuing to further their understanding of the technical principles of budō. Teachers should not allow focus to be put on winning or losing in competition, or on technical ability alone. Above all, teachers have a responsibility to set an example as role models.
- Promoting. Persons promoting budō must maintain an open-minded and international perspective as they uphold traditional values. They should make efforts to contribute to research and teaching, and do their utmost to advance budō in every way.