Jutsu versus Do Redux

Status
Not open for further replies.

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,410
Reaction score
4,066
Location
Michigan
In karate, there are a couple of Japanese terms that roughly define the argument between martial arts as a method of self-defense (strictly) and martial arts as a more general method of character and personal improvement. The term 'jutsu' refers to skill, among other things, specifically the kind of skill needed to defend oneself. Put roughly, karate-jutsu is fighting, and the skills necessary for doing so. There is nothing in jutsu that is not related to physical conflict and survival. On the other hand, the more often-heard term 'do' refers to 'way' or path. Many things in Japan are 'do', including archery, calligraphy, tea-making, and of course, karate-do.

However, these days when one hears the term karate-do, one tends to think simply karate. But what kind of karate? Sport or self-defense, usually. In other words, one trains karate to excel in competition, or to defend oneself in a fight. That's not really what 'do' originally meant, I think.

Sometimes, one reads advertisements for martial arts studios aimed at children, which emphasize other tangibles which will be gained along with training for sport or combat, such as self-discipline and respect for others and oneself. These are of course good things and much to be desired. But again, not really the entire meaning of 'do'.

A 'do' is meant to be a lifelong pursuit, and a constant, ongoing, refinement of oneself. Of course, one must learn and have 'jutsu' as well as 'do', but here is my point.

I think of 'do' as a larger part of 'jutsu'. In a Venn diagram, 'do' would entirely encompass 'jutsu'. Jutsu, on the other hand, does not speak to (nor should it have to) development of character, mental and spiritual healthiness, or the larger ways of peaceful avoidance of conflict.

In other words, a martial artist may choose to concentrate more on the 'do' than the 'jutsu' aspects of their martial arts journey; or vice-versa. But the two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, although one can choose to only focus on the physical aspect of the techniques necessary to compete or defend oneself in a physical struggle, that is not the only valid way to approach martial arts; but the core techniques of one's art cannot be ignored either. Kata, for example, cannot be empty, without practical applications, untested as valid tools to defend oneself. However, one also does not have to stop there. It depends on the martial artist and their journey, their personal path, their inner growth.

In short, do needs jutsu, and jutsu needs do. How much emphasis one puts on them is up to the individual martial artist. There is no wrong way.
 

Hanshi

Blue Belt
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
217
Reaction score
163
Location
Virginia
Well said, Grandmaster Mattocks. Any fighting art should not be so narrow as to not contain an all-around field of student development. A gentleman & warrior, so to speak, with warrior training and an ethical foundation.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,259
Reaction score
1,104
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hi Bill,

While much of this is popular understanding, unfortunately, it's simply not historically or factually accurate in many regards. I appreciate the intent and perspective, however I'm always going to prefer a more nuanced (and accurate) telling. To cover what I mean...

In karate, there are a couple of Japanese terms that roughly define the argument between martial arts as a method of self-defense (strictly) and martial arts as a more general method of character and personal improvement.

Here is where we get the first disagreement. Simply put, and leaving off the entire "no martial art is realistically a method of self defence, or self defence system in its design", then there is no separation. There just isn't. The perceived "separation" is an artificial one imposed by (dominantly) Westerners who always want to compartmentalise and segment aspects of a subject. This is reflected in the medicine, religious teachings and approaches, scholastic, cultural, and political ideologies (although the political one is getting more and more Westernised due to a global perspective as we go on) in comparing the East to the West (most in particular, Japan, but it covers most Asiatic cultures, really).

The terms you're about to introduce (jutsu and do) aren't, in a Japanese sense, differentiated in the main. In terms of martial arts, they're almost used interchangeably, in fact. Teachers of "jutsu" arts also refer to what they do as "budo", without any separation or distinction between them. The idea of the categorisation you're about to discuss came from Donn Draeger, who was trying to get across the differences (as he saw them) between oder, classical arts (who tend to prefer the use of the "jutsu" term), and more modern, largely 20th Century arts (who have a higher usage of the suffix "do"). Having a rather German upbringing, he aimed to give concrete, absolute definitions to the terms in order to give some starting point for his readers... unfortunately, Japanese works almost exactly the opposite, where things aren't absolutely defined, but instead depend entirely on the context of their usage. The most accurate way to describe the difference between the terms, though, is in historical preference, and that's about it.

The term 'jutsu' refers to skill, among other things, specifically the kind of skill needed to defend oneself.

Hmm, that's a no there... Taken as a term,"jutsu" (銵) doesn't mean "skill". That would be "Ren" (蝺), often combined with other terms, making Tanren, Renshu, Shuren, Jukuren (all referring to various forms of refining, maturing [skills], honing, forging, etc). Leaving that as it may, though, what jutsu actually refers to is (typically technical) methods and manners. In others words, it's not technical skills, it's technical methodologies. But, again, it's contextual... the methods and manners of a particular art can be non-technical as well; zanshin, an awareness maintained after a technique (in basic terms) is a methodology that is more mental than physical, but can still just as easily be classed as a "jutsu" method... how to tie an obi is a jutsu... as is how to fold a gi or hakama... none of these are "skill(s) needed to defend oneself", as that concept simply isn't a part of the idea of "jutsu".

Put roughly, karate-jutsu is fighting, and the skills necessary for doing so.

And, historically and realistically put, karate-jutsu was never a thing. At all. Ever. There was no system that used that name (historically), and none that thought in these parameters. There was a book by Funakoshi when introducing karate to Japan that used the term "jutsu" in its title, 銵 (rendered in various translations as "Karate-jutsu", or, more commonly in earlier translations, "To-Te Jitsu [sic]", although its full name was "Rentan Goshin Todejutsu", or "Practical Skills For Self Protection of Chinese-hand"), written in 1922 as a way of providing insight into the new art from the Ryukyu Kingdom. It gives some basic history, fundamentals (fists, kamae, and some basic throws and grappling, interestingly), then step-by-step photos of a few kata.

This is the only case I can find of the term "Karate (To-te) Jutsu" being used historically, and it was used only to give a point of familiarity to the Japanese audience, who were used to martial arts containing the term "jutsu". The newly formed (1906) Dai Butokukai was acting as a central point for all Japanese martial arts, and was in the process of standardising them, starting with kenjutsu... which was, essentially, what we would call kendo today... except the name hadn't quite taken off at that point. It was gaining popularity with Kano's Judo, but most other systems were still using the "jutsu" suffix. In Okinawa, there was no suffix at all.

Beyond this, all other references to, usages, or application of the term "karate-jutsu" are purely Western. They are almost exclusively modern, (typically) American takes on karate, where they are aiming to differentiate what they do from what they perceive as "watered down" (not blood-thirsty enough), and too focused on not being Kobra-Kai, I guess...

In other words, put roughly, karate-jutsu is a fantasy of Westerners, it is rarely in any way different from any other form of karate (except in the typical higher emphasis on sparring, and removal of kata and "filler" that is not understood), is not about "fighting" (as that's rarely understood in the first place), and is only superficially about the skills for doing so (without taking into account cultural, social, and other influences on how violence actually occurs). It's an attempt to be both credible (a "real" martial art) and fantasy all at once, with little respect or regard for either.

There is nothing in jutsu that is not related to physical conflict and survival.

And that, simply, is incorrect. As mentioned, "jutsu" means technical methods and manners, so there are any number of things that have nothing to do (directly) with physical conflict and survival that are, indeed, completely "jutsu". Do you sit in seiza? That's a "jutsu" (technical method). Is that about survival on the mythical "street"? How about how you fold your uniform? That's just as much "jutsu", as it's a technical method or approach... not much physical conflict in folding in the arms of a gi top (uwagi)...

I would also take a bit of issue with the whole "nothing in jutsu"... there is nothing "in" jutsu... there are jutsu in everything. Jutsu is not a philosophical or ideological construct, it's simply the technical methods employed, if we're going to be literal. There is no such thing, in this sense, as a "jutsu" art or a "do" art, and, therefore, there is nothing "in" jutsu that is not "in" do, and vice versa.

On the other hand, the more often-heard term 'do' refers to 'way' or path. Many things in Japan are 'do', including archery, calligraphy, tea-making, and of course, karate-do.

"Do" is more often heard because it's the more modern term. That's all. Gendai Budo (Modern martial arts), systems that are under the leadership of the Nippon Budokan (the spiritual successor to the Dai Butokukai of the early 20th Century), and dominantly post-WWII structured (although a few pre-WWII arts are included, the current forms are highly influenced by the post-war mentality) arts, dominantly use the term "do". Part of it is changes in the preferred terminology (that began with Judo in the late 1800's, continued with Karate and Aikido in the 1930's, and went on to include Kendo, Jukendo, Jodo, and Iaido through the 50's), part of it is a re-branding of martial arts coming first out of the samurai era, then, more influentially, coming out of the horrors of World War II, in order to maintain social acceptance, and so on.

You're right, of course, that many things use the "do" suffix... Chado, the Way of Tea, Shodo, the Way of Calligraphy being a couple... the first usage of the term Judo, by the way, was in the Jikishinkage Ryu, some 150 years before Kano came up with the term... Musashi wrote about Ken no Michi (the Path/Way of the Sword) in the 1600's, with the characters being the same as Kendo (Do is also pronounced "michi"), but it should be noted that the usage of the suffix is (and was) far from universal (many Tea arts prefer the term Cha no Yu, meaning the rituals or ceremonies of Tea), nor, even when present, was necessarily applied... calligraphy practitioners may only say they study Sho (calligraphy itself), rather than Shodo... the actual practice didn't change at all. It's the same in martial arts... sword practitioners may only state that they study Ken (sword) or Iai (drawing the sword), rather than any kind of separation between Kendo and Kenjutsu (unless being specific in certain schools/systems), or Iaido/Iaijutsu. Same with staff students, Jodo and Jojutsu is rarely anything more than saying which group you belong to.

However, these days when one hears the term karate-do, one tends to think simply karate.

Well... yes. When one hears "karate", one thinks "karate". The "do" suffix isn't actually a factor, honestly.

But what kind of karate? Sport or self-defense, usually. In other words, one trains karate to excel in competition, or to defend oneself in a fight. That's not really what 'do' originally meant, I think.

And, one may ask, Bill, what you think "do" originally meant? And what you mean by "originally"?

The origin of the term (in this usage) is an importation from China, where the term was pronounced "Tao" (the native kun'yomi reading in Japan is michi, as mentioned before, and is used commonly to mean a road or path, as in 7th Street - nana no michi 銝). It was imported along with a few religious and philosophical concepts, such as Taoism (the study of the natural way of the universe), and Buddhism, where the term was introduced to Japan in the form of the buildings used to study this religious teaching of Buddhism... dojo (place for the way).

So, when you talk about what "do" originally meant, the concept has been inexorably linked to martial study since the inception of formalised study in defined locations.

When it comes to karate, of course, we're incredibly lucky to know exactly what was thought when the decision was made to commonly adopt the term "karate-do" to describe what they were all teaching. The decision was made on October 25, 1936 (the reason that October 25th is sometimes referred to as World Karate Day), with a gathering of many top instructors of karate who were residing in Okinawa at the time. The main thing they were debating, however, wasn't the idea of "do" or not "do", it was the writing of the main karate as either "Chinese Hand" (as in Funakoshi's early book... when it was re-worked to the later Karate-do Kyohan, he more importantly changed the karate kanji) or the alternate "Empty Hand" 蝛箸. The concept of "do" or not was briefly discussed, in relation to how others were using it (emphasising cultivation of the mind), but had little bearing on the rest of the meeting. Interestingly, this meeting also provides some insight into the development of what I would call "modern" karate... the germination of the idea of sporting approaches, standardised uniforms, terminology, the creation of new kata to suit various school-aged children, and more. The transcript can be found in a number of places online, such as this one: The meeting that changed Karate history forever璽璽璽Okinawa 1936

I would stress, however, that the usage of the term "do" and its application regarding "cultivation of the mind" was not a comment on the historical emphasis of karate, nor any comment on the usage (or not) of karate-jutsu (it didn't exist, really), but a comment on the attribution of the term due to the work of the Dai Nippon Butokukai, who were working diligently to separate the study of martial arts from the idea of the oppressive samurai regime that had ended a few decades prior to its formation. The simple fact of the matter is that the "cultivation of the mind" was just as much a major emphasis and aspect of the older (jutsu) arts as the modern ones.

Sometimes, one reads advertisements for martial arts studios aimed at children, which emphasize other tangibles which will be gained along with training for sport or combat, such as self-discipline and respect for others and oneself.

So, a few things. First, training for sport is a modern thing. This is more true of karate than it is of other systems, such as Judo, but it's very much a modern thing. Second, training for combat, for children? Don't know anyone that would say that... "Is your child meek? Want them to be feared on the playground? We'll teach them how to shank the school principal with an improvised weapon made from a ruler!" Assuming you meant the ubiquitous "self defence" myth, even there, it's unrealistic and inaccurate to describe the training, and the methods trained, to be considered to be optimised for, or really designed for, self defence in any way... in other words, the less-tangible aspects (confidence, bodily control, sensitivity, mental focus, awareness, disciplined behaviours etc) are the real emphasis of, frankly, any martial art worth its salt.

But, and here's the real thing... the aspects that define a "do" art (in this case meaning the modern arts who overwhelmingly use the do suffix) as apart from a "jutsu" art (meaning the older, historical arts that do not use the "do" suffix in the main, whether jutsu is actually used or not) are more found in things like sporting applications, and (typically) a more constrained in their scope, as well as a different stress in mentality and the sense of risk/stakes.

Many, if not most, historical systems were as much about developing specific personality and psychological traits as they were about any kind of combative technique. When we deal with Japanese arts, they were dominated by the samurai (until the Edo period, where the increasingly wealthy commoner population, especially merchants, could afford to study as well), and would act as overall educational systems, teaching all the leadership, problem solving, social, and cultural lessons that the young warrior would need to rely on in their roles. In Okinawa, the majority of karate practitioners were the Okinawan royals and nobility... they weren't soldiers, they weren't oppressed peasants, it was an area of education for refined and cultured upper levels of society... the emphasis on the mental development was always a part of it, jutsu or do.

These are of course good things and much to be desired. But again, not really the entire meaning of 'do'.

"Do" means path, street, or way. It's a manner of getting from one place to another. It's, more than anything, "how" you do something.

"Jutsu" means technical methods, or way. It's a manner of doing something, how you achieve a result. It's, more than anything, "how" you do something.

There, simply, isn't a real difference when it all comes down to it.

Can you decide to attribute your own emphasis to the idea of "do"? Sure. But that doesn't mean that the actual meaning has changed. Again, Japanese terminology is more contextual than clinical that way. So, really, when you say "that's not the entire meaning of 'do'", what you mean is "that's not the entire meaning of 'do' according to how I apply the term".

A 'do' is meant to be a lifelong pursuit, and a constant, ongoing, refinement of oneself. Of course, one must learn and have 'jutsu' as well as 'do', but here is my point.

Wow, I must remember to tell Sugino Yukihiro-sensei the next time I see him that he wasn't meant to spend his lifetime continuously training, refining his art and himself, in an ongoing process of repetition and development all the way into his 80's now, as Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu is only a "jutsu" art, and therefore not something he should have gotten anything out of other than a technical understanding... got it.

Look, if we're going to split things down, then the "jutsu" aspect would be the technical methods, and the "do" aspect would be the manner in which you train the technical methods. Even that is a subdivision within an art, and not a distinction between a "jutsu" tradition and a "do" art, though. You don't learn "jutsu" and learn "do". You learn the techniques (jutsu), and practice them as a directed (mental) practice (do). You don't "learn do", nor do you "have jutsu"... it simply doesn't make any sense.

I think of 'do' as a larger part of 'jutsu'. In a Venn diagram, 'do' would entirely encompass 'jutsu'. Jutsu, on the other hand, does not speak to (nor should it have to) development of character, mental and spiritual healthiness, or the larger ways of peaceful avoidance of conflict.

Then, to be frank, Bill, you don't know what you're talking about. There is no Venn diagram for them. It's like a Venn diagram of driving a car and a street map... while there's a relationship, there really isn't a cross-over. I can drive a car without looking at a map, and I can look at a map without being in a car, or I can use the map to direct how I drive the car, but that's about as close as it gets.

I would also completely disagree with your comments on what jutsu does, or can encompass. I have absolutely got a range of jutsu (technical methods) to look after all of that... reishiki/reigi/reiho, the bowing/etiquette methods, are jutsu... evasive and de-escalating methods, avoidance methods are jutsu... development of character is done through jutsu... again, you don't have any clue what you're talking about.

In other words, a martial artist may choose to concentrate more on the 'do' than the 'jutsu' aspects of their martial arts journey; or vice-versa.

No, they can't. That's the point. The technical methods, diligently studied, can constitute a do training mentality and approach... whether the term is used or not. You cannot train diligently in a "do" (Way) manner without concentrating on the methods of the training. It simply doesn't work that way.

But the two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, although one can choose to only focus on the physical aspect of the techniques necessary to compete or defend oneself in a physical struggle, that is not the only valid way to approach martial arts; but the core techniques of one's art cannot be ignored either.

Huh?

For one thing, if all you do is the physical techniques for violence (whether in a competitive format or not), that's not a valid way to study martial arts, and you're not a martial artist... you're training to be little more than a thug. This has been the same since the inception of martial study. Martial arts, by their very nature, require the other aspects to be part of it... that's why the Kobra-Kai dojo in the original Karate Kid movies struck such a nerve as a bad school... all they did was focus on the physical techniques for the competition they were in (legal techniques or not being a moot point, really), devoid of any further personal development, and were a school of thugs, not martial artists. This was recognised by martial artists and non-martial artists alike who saw the film, whether they could articulate it or not.

Next, you say that people can choose to only focus on the techniques, but they can't then ignore the core techniques? What? Surely, if they're only focusing on the techniques, that's exactly what they would be focusing on, yeah? Do you mean the core principles and concepts? Because, and this is again where the fact that they can't be separated comes in, the core concepts and principles of an art are in the techniques. That's how the techniques are developed, how they're informed, where they come from. It's what makes one art choose to apply a certain technical approach over another... and makes judo different to aikido, different to karate, different to Shorinji Kempo... it makes Kendo and Iaido different...

Kata, for example, cannot be empty, without practical applications, untested as valid tools to defend oneself.

Okay, that has a lot to parse there as well... sure, karate can't be empty, but that has nothing to do with jutsu or do... it's a matter of education within the teaching itself. Next, it cannot be "without practical applications"? Really? I'd say that it can't be without relevant meaning to the development of the art and the practitioner, but that doesn't always mean "practical applications", as that's simply not always the meaning or purpose of specific kata. The idea of them being "untested as valid tools to defend oneself", well, hate to break this to you, but you just described all kata... they are, in their forms, untested as valid tools to defend oneself, for many very valid and pertinent reasons. To think that these are the reasons for kata is to not understand kata at all, including what would or would not make them "empty".

However, one also does not have to stop there. It depends on the martial artist and their journey, their personal path, their inner growth.

One should, however, start there. And start there correctly. And, simply put, if all you did was study one kata for the rest of your life, you are (potentially, depending on the actual practice) pursuing a do training paradigm via the jutsu of the kata... so... this is not really meaning anything.

In short, do needs jutsu, and jutsu needs do. How much emphasis one puts on them is up to the individual martial artist. There is no wrong way.

No.

In short, jutsu and do are not separate. Neither needs the other, they are both parts of the singular whole. Neither gets emphasis over the other, as it doesn't work that way. To think that there is a separation or specific emphasis is to be wrong.

I will add a short addendum, though. At various points in a students development, particular aspects of their practice will come to the fore... when first learning a new technical approach (a new kata, a new weapon, even the first few classes where it's all new, even down to how to stand or form a fist), then the energy will be focused on learning it... after that stage is passed, however, it moves more into refinement of the lesson, ensuring the fist is formed properly and efficiently each time, held at the correct level, the right muscles being employed and engaged, and so on. This focus to the minutiae of details allows for more introspection and awareness of your own body, your sense of control... as you begin to apply it with a partner, you learn control of power and balance, both yours and your partners... you become more aware of your openings and the opponents, all of which gives you greater situational awareness as well... the longer you continue this type of refinement, the more you gain the listed benefits of the "do" practice paradigm, continuing through the years. Then, you learn something else new, and it all starts again. Ideally, the newer information can then also help inform the previously learnt material, allowing you to revisit it, and improve even more. But, while the pendulum swings back and forth, it's not a matter of a student choosing to emphasise one or the other, it's a matter of the particular level they're at... it's not a scale, it's a tomoe (yin-yang symbol).
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
Hi Bill,

While much of this is popular understanding, unfortunately, it's simply not historically or factually accurate in many regards. I appreciate the intent and perspective, however I'm always going to prefer a more nuanced (and accurate) telling. To cover what I mean...



Here is where we get the first disagreement. Simply put, and leaving off the entire "no martial art is realistically a method of self defence, or self defence system in its design", then there is no separation. There just isn't. The perceived "separation" is an artificial one imposed by (dominantly) Westerners who always want to compartmentalise and segment aspects of a subject. This is reflected in the medicine, religious teachings and approaches, scholastic, cultural, and political ideologies (although the political one is getting more and more Westernised due to a global perspective as we go on) in comparing the East to the West (most in particular, Japan, but it covers most Asiatic cultures, really).

The terms you're about to introduce (jutsu and do) aren't, in a Japanese sense, differentiated in the main. In terms of martial arts, they're almost used interchangeably, in fact. Teachers of "jutsu" arts also refer to what they do as "budo", without any separation or distinction between them. The idea of the categorisation you're about to discuss came from Donn Draeger, who was trying to get across the differences (as he saw them) between oder, classical arts (who tend to prefer the use of the "jutsu" term), and more modern, largely 20th Century arts (who have a higher usage of the suffix "do"). Having a rather German upbringing, he aimed to give concrete, absolute definitions to the terms in order to give some starting point for his readers... unfortunately, Japanese works almost exactly the opposite, where things aren't absolutely defined, but instead depend entirely on the context of their usage. The most accurate way to describe the difference between the terms, though, is in historical preference, and that's about it.



Hmm, that's a no there... Taken as a term,"jutsu" (銵) doesn't mean "skill". That would be "Ren" (蝺), often combined with other terms, making Tanren, Renshu, Shuren, Jukuren (all referring to various forms of refining, maturing [skills], honing, forging, etc). Leaving that as it may, though, what jutsu actually refers to is (typically technical) methods and manners. In others words, it's not technical skills, it's technical methodologies. But, again, it's contextual... the methods and manners of a particular art can be non-technical as well; zanshin, an awareness maintained after a technique (in basic terms) is a methodology that is more mental than physical, but can still just as easily be classed as a "jutsu" method... how to tie an obi is a jutsu... as is how to fold a gi or hakama... none of these are "skill(s) needed to defend oneself", as that concept simply isn't a part of the idea of "jutsu".



And, historically and realistically put, karate-jutsu was never a thing. At all. Ever. There was no system that used that name (historically), and none that thought in these parameters. There was a book by Funakoshi when introducing karate to Japan that used the term "jutsu" in its title, 銵 (rendered in various translations as "Karate-jutsu", or, more commonly in earlier translations, "To-Te Jitsu [sic]", although its full name was "Rentan Goshin Todejutsu", or "Practical Skills For Self Protection of Chinese-hand"), written in 1922 as a way of providing insight into the new art from the Ryukyu Kingdom. It gives some basic history, fundamentals (fists, kamae, and some basic throws and grappling, interestingly), then step-by-step photos of a few kata.

This is the only case I can find of the term "Karate (To-te) Jutsu" being used historically, and it was used only to give a point of familiarity to the Japanese audience, who were used to martial arts containing the term "jutsu". The newly formed (1906) Dai Butokukai was acting as a central point for all Japanese martial arts, and was in the process of standardising them, starting with kenjutsu... which was, essentially, what we would call kendo today... except the name hadn't quite taken off at that point. It was gaining popularity with Kano's Judo, but most other systems were still using the "jutsu" suffix. In Okinawa, there was no suffix at all.

Beyond this, all other references to, usages, or application of the term "karate-jutsu" are purely Western. They are almost exclusively modern, (typically) American takes on karate, where they are aiming to differentiate what they do from what they perceive as "watered down" (not blood-thirsty enough), and too focused on not being Kobra-Kai, I guess...

In other words, put roughly, karate-jutsu is a fantasy of Westerners, it is rarely in any way different from any other form of karate (except in the typical higher emphasis on sparring, and removal of kata and "filler" that is not understood), is not about "fighting" (as that's rarely understood in the first place), and is only superficially about the skills for doing so (without taking into account cultural, social, and other influences on how violence actually occurs). It's an attempt to be both credible (a "real" martial art) and fantasy all at once, with little respect or regard for either.



And that, simply, is incorrect. As mentioned, "jutsu" means technical methods and manners, so there are any number of things that have nothing to do (directly) with physical conflict and survival that are, indeed, completely "jutsu". Do you sit in seiza? That's a "jutsu" (technical method). Is that about survival on the mythical "street"? How about how you fold your uniform? That's just as much "jutsu", as it's a technical method or approach... not much physical conflict in folding in the arms of a gi top (uwagi)...

I would also take a bit of issue with the whole "nothing in jutsu"... there is nothing "in" jutsu... there are jutsu in everything. Jutsu is not a philosophical or ideological construct, it's simply the technical methods employed, if we're going to be literal. There is no such thing, in this sense, as a "jutsu" art or a "do" art, and, therefore, there is nothing "in" jutsu that is not "in" do, and vice versa.



"Do" is more often heard because it's the more modern term. That's all. Gendai Budo (Modern martial arts), systems that are under the leadership of the Nippon Budokan (the spiritual successor to the Dai Butokukai of the early 20th Century), and dominantly post-WWII structured (although a few pre-WWII arts are included, the current forms are highly influenced by the post-war mentality) arts, dominantly use the term "do". Part of it is changes in the preferred terminology (that began with Judo in the late 1800's, continued with Karate and Aikido in the 1930's, and went on to include Kendo, Jukendo, Jodo, and Iaido through the 50's), part of it is a re-branding of martial arts coming first out of the samurai era, then, more influentially, coming out of the horrors of World War II, in order to maintain social acceptance, and so on.

You're right, of course, that many things use the "do" suffix... Chado, the Way of Tea, Shodo, the Way of Calligraphy being a couple... the first usage of the term Judo, by the way, was in the Jikishinkage Ryu, some 150 years before Kano came up with the term... Musashi wrote about Ken no Michi (the Path/Way of the Sword) in the 1600's, with the characters being the same as Kendo (Do is also pronounced "michi"), but it should be noted that the usage of the suffix is (and was) far from universal (many Tea arts prefer the term Cha no Yu, meaning the rituals or ceremonies of Tea), nor, even when present, was necessarily applied... calligraphy practitioners may only say they study Sho (calligraphy itself), rather than Shodo... the actual practice didn't change at all. It's the same in martial arts... sword practitioners may only state that they study Ken (sword) or Iai (drawing the sword), rather than any kind of separation between Kendo and Kenjutsu (unless being specific in certain schools/systems), or Iaido/Iaijutsu. Same with staff students, Jodo and Jojutsu is rarely anything more than saying which group you belong to.



Well... yes. When one hears "karate", one thinks "karate". The "do" suffix isn't actually a factor, honestly.



And, one may ask, Bill, what you think "do" originally meant? And what you mean by "originally"?

The origin of the term (in this usage) is an importation from China, where the term was pronounced "Tao" (the native kun'yomi reading in Japan is michi, as mentioned before, and is used commonly to mean a road or path, as in 7th Street - nana no michi 銝). It was imported along with a few religious and philosophical concepts, such as Taoism (the study of the natural way of the universe), and Buddhism, where the term was introduced to Japan in the form of the buildings used to study this religious teaching of Buddhism... dojo (place for the way).

So, when you talk about what "do" originally meant, the concept has been inexorably linked to martial study since the inception of formalised study in defined locations.

When it comes to karate, of course, we're incredibly lucky to know exactly what was thought when the decision was made to commonly adopt the term "karate-do" to describe what they were all teaching. The decision was made on October 25, 1936 (the reason that October 25th is sometimes referred to as World Karate Day), with a gathering of many top instructors of karate who were residing in Okinawa at the time. The main thing they were debating, however, wasn't the idea of "do" or not "do", it was the writing of the main karate as either "Chinese Hand" (as in Funakoshi's early book... when it was re-worked to the later Karate-do Kyohan, he more importantly changed the karate kanji) or the alternate "Empty Hand" 蝛箸. The concept of "do" or not was briefly discussed, in relation to how others were using it (emphasising cultivation of the mind), but had little bearing on the rest of the meeting. Interestingly, this meeting also provides some insight into the development of what I would call "modern" karate... the germination of the idea of sporting approaches, standardised uniforms, terminology, the creation of new kata to suit various school-aged children, and more. The transcript can be found in a number of places online, such as this one: The meeting that changed Karate history forever璽璽璽Okinawa 1936

I would stress, however, that the usage of the term "do" and its application regarding "cultivation of the mind" was not a comment on the historical emphasis of karate, nor any comment on the usage (or not) of karate-jutsu (it didn't exist, really), but a comment on the attribution of the term due to the work of the Dai Nippon Butokukai, who were working diligently to separate the study of martial arts from the idea of the oppressive samurai regime that had ended a few decades prior to its formation. The simple fact of the matter is that the "cultivation of the mind" was just as much a major emphasis and aspect of the older (jutsu) arts as the modern ones.



So, a few things. First, training for sport is a modern thing. This is more true of karate than it is of other systems, such as Judo, but it's very much a modern thing. Second, training for combat, for children? Don't know anyone that would say that... "Is your child meek? Want them to be feared on the playground? We'll teach them how to shank the school principal with an improvised weapon made from a ruler!" Assuming you meant the ubiquitous "self defence" myth, even there, it's unrealistic and inaccurate to describe the training, and the methods trained, to be considered to be optimised for, or really designed for, self defence in any way... in other words, the less-tangible aspects (confidence, bodily control, sensitivity, mental focus, awareness, disciplined behaviours etc) are the real emphasis of, frankly, any martial art worth its salt.

But, and here's the real thing... the aspects that define a "do" art (in this case meaning the modern arts who overwhelmingly use the do suffix) as apart from a "jutsu" art (meaning the older, historical arts that do not use the "do" suffix in the main, whether jutsu is actually used or not) are more found in things like sporting applications, and (typically) a more constrained in their scope, as well as a different stress in mentality and the sense of risk/stakes.

Many, if not most, historical systems were as much about developing specific personality and psychological traits as they were about any kind of combative technique. When we deal with Japanese arts, they were dominated by the samurai (until the Edo period, where the increasingly wealthy commoner population, especially merchants, could afford to study as well), and would act as overall educational systems, teaching all the leadership, problem solving, social, and cultural lessons that the young warrior would need to rely on in their roles. In Okinawa, the majority of karate practitioners were the Okinawan royals and nobility... they weren't soldiers, they weren't oppressed peasants, it was an area of education for refined and cultured upper levels of society... the emphasis on the mental development was always a part of it, jutsu or do.



"Do" means path, street, or way. It's a manner of getting from one place to another. It's, more than anything, "how" you do something.

"Jutsu" means technical methods, or way. It's a manner of doing something, how you achieve a result. It's, more than anything, "how" you do something.

There, simply, isn't a real difference when it all comes down to it.

Can you decide to attribute your own emphasis to the idea of "do"? Sure. But that doesn't mean that the actual meaning has changed. Again, Japanese terminology is more contextual than clinical that way. So, really, when you say "that's not the entire meaning of 'do'", what you mean is "that's not the entire meaning of 'do' according to how I apply the term".



Wow, I must remember to tell Sugino Yukihiro-sensei the next time I see him that he wasn't meant to spend his lifetime continuously training, refining his art and himself, in an ongoing process of repetition and development all the way into his 80's now, as Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu is only a "jutsu" art, and therefore not something he should have gotten anything out of other than a technical understanding... got it.

Look, if we're going to split things down, then the "jutsu" aspect would be the technical methods, and the "do" aspect would be the manner in which you train the technical methods. Even that is a subdivision within an art, and not a distinction between a "jutsu" tradition and a "do" art, though. You don't learn "jutsu" and learn "do". You learn the techniques (jutsu), and practice them as a directed (mental) practice (do). You don't "learn do", nor do you "have jutsu"... it simply doesn't make any sense.



Then, to be frank, Bill, you don't know what you're talking about. There is no Venn diagram for them. It's like a Venn diagram of driving a car and a street map... while there's a relationship, there really isn't a cross-over. I can drive a car without looking at a map, and I can look at a map without being in a car, or I can use the map to direct how I drive the car, but that's about as close as it gets.

I would also completely disagree with your comments on what jutsu does, or can encompass. I have absolutely got a range of jutsu (technical methods) to look after all of that... reishiki/reigi/reiho, the bowing/etiquette methods, are jutsu... evasive and de-escalating methods, avoidance methods are jutsu... development of character is done through jutsu... again, you don't have any clue what you're talking about.



No, they can't. That's the point. The technical methods, diligently studied, can constitute a do training mentality and approach... whether the term is used or not. You cannot train diligently in a "do" (Way) manner without concentrating on the methods of the training. It simply doesn't work that way.



Huh?

For one thing, if all you do is the physical techniques for violence (whether in a competitive format or not), that's not a valid way to study martial arts, and you're not a martial artist... you're training to be little more than a thug. This has been the same since the inception of martial study. Martial arts, by their very nature, require the other aspects to be part of it... that's why the Kobra-Kai dojo in the original Karate Kid movies struck such a nerve as a bad school... all they did was focus on the physical techniques for the competition they were in (legal techniques or not being a moot point, really), devoid of any further personal development, and were a school of thugs, not martial artists. This was recognised by martial artists and non-martial artists alike who saw the film, whether they could articulate it or not.

Next, you say that people can choose to only focus on the techniques, but they can't then ignore the core techniques? What? Surely, if they're only focusing on the techniques, that's exactly what they would be focusing on, yeah? Do you mean the core principles and concepts? Because, and this is again where the fact that they can't be separated comes in, the core concepts and principles of an art are in the techniques. That's how the techniques are developed, how they're informed, where they come from. It's what makes one art choose to apply a certain technical approach over another... and makes judo different to aikido, different to karate, different to Shorinji Kempo... it makes Kendo and Iaido different...



Okay, that has a lot to parse there as well... sure, karate can't be empty, but that has nothing to do with jutsu or do... it's a matter of education within the teaching itself. Next, it cannot be "without practical applications"? Really? I'd say that it can't be without relevant meaning to the development of the art and the practitioner, but that doesn't always mean "practical applications", as that's simply not always the meaning or purpose of specific kata. The idea of them being "untested as valid tools to defend oneself", well, hate to break this to you, but you just described all kata... they are, in their forms, untested as valid tools to defend oneself, for many very valid and pertinent reasons. To think that these are the reasons for kata is to not understand kata at all, including what would or would not make them "empty".



One should, however, start there. And start there correctly. And, simply put, if all you did was study one kata for the rest of your life, you are (potentially, depending on the actual practice) pursuing a do training paradigm via the jutsu of the kata... so... this is not really meaning anything.



No.

In short, jutsu and do are not separate. Neither needs the other, they are both parts of the singular whole. Neither gets emphasis over the other, as it doesn't work that way. To think that there is a separation or specific emphasis is to be wrong.

I will add a short addendum, though. At various points in a students development, particular aspects of their practice will come to the fore... when first learning a new technical approach (a new kata, a new weapon, even the first few classes where it's all new, even down to how to stand or form a fist), then the energy will be focused on learning it... after that stage is passed, however, it moves more into refinement of the lesson, ensuring the fist is formed properly and efficiently each time, held at the correct level, the right muscles being employed and engaged, and so on. This focus to the minutiae of details allows for more introspection and awareness of your own body, your sense of control... as you begin to apply it with a partner, you learn control of power and balance, both yours and your partners... you become more aware of your openings and the opponents, all of which gives you greater situational awareness as well... the longer you continue this type of refinement, the more you gain the listed benefits of the "do" practice paradigm, continuing through the years. Then, you learn something else new, and it all starts again. Ideally, the newer information can then also help inform the previously learnt material, allowing you to revisit it, and improve even more. But, while the pendulum swings back and forth, it's not a matter of a student choosing to emphasise one or the other, it's a matter of the particular level they're at... it's not a scale, it's a tomoe (yin-yang symbol).
"I will add a short addendum, though"

Please Chris...don't.

You've already ruined the thread, because you can't distill your thoughts down into a few basic points. It's called a "gish gallop"when you log in once in a blue moon, blockquote someone to death, and leave.

Like pick one or two things. Not 10,000 things, and write an essay on each like you always do. I thought you were trying to be helpful. Now I wonder if you just care about being technically accurate.

Now, Bill might read your post, he might not. I read most. Might understand a thing or two, but for the most part you came across as a snob in your post. I got through 70% before I gave up. No uncommon for people who learn aot of JMA IMHO to ******** endlessly about it.

If there is one thing your vast martial appetit has not taught you, it's the value of brevity.

Like 蝺. Simple. Yet it contains the entire universe. Like Dao, big d and little d, you are missing the big picture with your 10,000 words.

Now, let's see if you can take my post as constructive criticism. Or, if you want to argue about the meaning of .
 
Last edited:

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,259
Reaction score
1,104
Location
Melbourne, Australia
"I will add a short addendum, though"

Please Chris...don't.

You've already ruined the thread, because you can't distill your thoughts down into a few basic points. It's called a "gosh gallop"when you log in once in a blue moon, blockquote someone to death, and leave.

Now, Bill is going to read your post, he might understand a thing or two, but for the most part you came across as a snob.

If there is one thing your vast martial appetit has not taught you, it's the value of brevity.

Like 蝺. Simple.

Oh, I can be brief. But simply saying "No." or "Wrong." without backing it up is, I feel, worse. And hey, who knows? Maybe someone out there is more open to learning than you are?
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
In karate, there are a couple of Japanese terms that roughly define the argument between martial arts as a method of self-defense (strictly) and martial arts as a more general method of character and personal improvement. The term 'jutsu' refers to skill, among other things, specifically the kind of skill needed to defend oneself. Put roughly, karate-jutsu is fighting, and the skills necessary for doing so. There is nothing in jutsu that is not related to physical conflict and survival. On the other hand, the more often-heard term 'do' refers to 'way' or path. Many things in Japan are 'do', including archery, calligraphy, tea-making, and of course, karate-do.

However, these days when one hears the term karate-do, one tends to think simply karate. But what kind of karate? Sport or self-defense, usually. In other words, one trains karate to excel in competition, or to defend oneself in a fight. That's not really what 'do' originally meant, I think.

Sometimes, one reads advertisements for martial arts studios aimed at children, which emphasize other tangibles which will be gained along with training for sport or combat, such as self-discipline and respect for others and oneself. These are of course good things and much to be desired. But again, not really the entire meaning of 'do'.

A 'do' is meant to be a lifelong pursuit, and a constant, ongoing, refinement of oneself. Of course, one must learn and have 'jutsu' as well as 'do', but here is my point.

I think of 'do' as a larger part of 'jutsu'. In a Venn diagram, 'do' would entirely encompass 'jutsu'. Jutsu, on the other hand, does not speak to (nor should it have to) development of character, mental and spiritual healthiness, or the larger ways of peaceful avoidance of conflict.

In other words, a martial artist may choose to concentrate more on the 'do' than the 'jutsu' aspects of their martial arts journey; or vice-versa. But the two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, although one can choose to only focus on the physical aspect of the techniques necessary to compete or defend oneself in a physical struggle, that is not the only valid way to approach martial arts; but the core techniques of one's art cannot be ignored either. Kata, for example, cannot be empty, without practical applications, untested as valid tools to defend oneself. However, one also does not have to stop there. It depends on the martial artist and their journey, their personal path, their inner growth.

In short, do needs jutsu, and jutsu needs do. How much emphasis one puts on them is up to the individual martial artist. There is no wrong way.
I'm going to advise that only read about a paragraph of Chris Parker's response a day.

By the end of the month, some of it might actually make sense.

And ignore all the parts where he sounds like Brainy Smurf or Urkel. I truly believe that some of the most learned people in the academic side of martial arts mean well, but are very poor teachers.
 

Attachments

  • 1700635504369.png
    1700635504369.png
    47.5 KB · Views: 2

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,259
Reaction score
1,104
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Oh, and I gotta say, love that you lecture me about brevity, then go back to expand that after I've responded... ha! For the record, though, and to answer your expanded comment, picking one or two things is reductive, especially when it's far more than that that requires addressing... oh, and I post infrequently as I am busy, so only engage when I feel I can add a fair amount of value and information... there's still a list of a dozen or so posts from the last few years I'd like to cover in detail, but haven't had the chance to... who knows? Maybe someday... or another current one that's caught my eye... we'll see how I go there as well... just a heads up for you...
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
Oh, I can be brief. But simply saying "No." or "Wrong." without backing it up is, I feel, worse. And hey, who knows? Maybe someone out there is more open to learning than you are?
We will see.

What you are doing is writing posts no one, even those willing to learn, have enough life left to read. Take your post and drop it in a word count, and ask yourself "how do I say this without sounding hyberbolic, demeaning, and using 90% fewer characters". I do it all the time.

What do you have against distilling stuff down,man? If you're gonna block quote assault like this, KISS.
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
Oh, and I gotta say, love that you lecture me about brevity, then go back to expand that after I've responded... ha! For the record, though, and to answer your expanded comment, picking one or two things is reductive, especially when it's far more than that that requires addressing... oh, and I post infrequently as I am busy, so only engage when I feel I can add a fair amount of value and information... there's still a list of a dozen or so posts from the last few years I'd like to cover in detail, but haven't had the chance to... who knows? Maybe someday... or another current one that's caught my eye... we'll see how I go there as well... just a heads up for you...
All I know is that you are one of those guys trying to establish your knowledge over others, authoritatively, but in a way no one else has the time and patience to respond to.

Look up "gish gallop". Bible zealots do it all the time.

I've got no problem following your posts, dude, but I don't think most will.

Think of it as an editorial exercise. Say less with more. See what I did there?
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,259
Reaction score
1,104
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Dude, I've been here since 2008, you've been here for a cup of coffee. I have no need to "establish my knowledge", it has been. You don't like my posting style? Fine. That's on you, though.

As for the rest? You have no idea who you're dealing with... but that's okay. How about next time you make a post, you re-read it and ask if there's a way to re-phrase it in a way that doesn't seem like you're just having a personal issue? I'm sure there has to be one....
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
Dude, I've been here since 2008, you've been here for a cup of coffee. I have no need to "establish my knowledge", it has been. You don't like my posting style? Fine. That's on you, though.

As for the rest? You have no idea who you're dealing with... but that's okay. How about next time you make a post, you re-read it and ask if there's a way to re-phrase it in a way that doesn't seem like you're just having a personal issue? I'm sure there has to be one....
I just think your style lacks precision, which is ironic when you lecture people on the Dao. How many strokes does it take?

"You have no idea what's you're talking about". You use this a lot. Over many years.

"I have no need to "establish my knowledge", it has been". Here you miss the point entirely. Your knowledge can be great, but if you suck at explaining things, nobody it going to care. And the longer it is to read, the worse it gets.

"You have no idea who you're dealing with". Definitely somebody who can't keep things short and to the point.

You claim to be here since 2008 like it's an award, but you're not actively chatting day to day. Do you consider yourself superior to the average chatter here? Again, not uncommon in the TMA crowd, imho.

Like, some people tell me I have an encyclopedic knowledge of kung fu, but you'll never see me telling anyone here "you don't know what you're talking about", or "you have no idea who you're dealing with".
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
I copied your post into Microsoft Word, and it was 8 pages long.
1700637425236.png


Who is the busy one again? 1 page would have been fine, little camper.

I hope you're laughing, because I am.
 

O'Malley

Black Belt
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
586
Reaction score
476
@Bill Mattocks

When I read your OP, my first thought was that the distinction between "do" and "jutsu" was more of a myth. The most obvious counter-example can be found in the extensive sword training in many koryu bujutsu schools. They predate the widespread usage of the term "do" and would classify as "jutsu" as per what you wrote, however they placed a disproportionate emphasis on a weapon that was seldom used on the battlefield (as opposed to arrows or spears). Even then, those systems were actually used primarily as a method for character development rather than actual combat skill.

That being said, the sass in this thread is becoming embarrassing to read.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,259
Reaction score
1,104
Location
Melbourne, Australia
With deference to O'Malley, and to put this to rest...

I just think your style lacks precision, which is ironic when you lecture people on the Dao. How many strokes does it take?

Lecture on the Dao? I didn't. I mentioned that it's the same character. And, as for precision, that's kinda why the posts are so long... I like to be thorough, and precise... so...?

"You have no idea what's you're talking about". You use this a lot. Over many years.

True, and for the reason that, bluntly, most don't. Most martial artists are familiar with the technical aspects of their art (to a point), and the organisational methods of same, but almost completely ignorant of anything beyond... but you'll also note that I typically use it when I have either already explained things, or am about to. It's not in a vacuum.

"I have no need to "establish my knowledge", it has been". Here you miss the point entirely. Your knowledge can be great, but if you suck at explaining things, nobody it going to care. And the longer it is to read, the worse it gets.

For you. Others, maybe not so much. And, no, I didn't miss your point... you accused me of attempting to bolster my ego by establishing authority through knowledge... that was your point, and to suggest that my response was to miss yours is to shift the goalposts... and that's on you.

"You have no idea who you're dealing with". Definitely somebody who can't keep things short and to the point.

I can. You don't. And I say that because you're responding emotionally to an academic discussion.

You claim to be here since 2008 like it's an award, but you're not actively chatting day to day. Do you consider yourself superior to the average chatter here? Again, not uncommon in the TMA crowd, imho.

As I've said a number of times in the past, even when I'm not here, I'm here. I'm watching daily, and only enter discussions when I feel something can be added by myself. Even then, there are a large number that I don't get around to... but, yeah, I'm here...if you see me posting or not.

Like, some people tell me I have an encyclopedic knowledge of kung fu, but you'll never see me telling anyone here "you don't know what you're talking about", or "you have no idea who you're dealing with".

Oh, no, you just label yourself a "master of Shaolin Kung Fu"... and have a "Street BJJ" teacher who seems to inform you of things that aren't BJJ... then proceed to tell people what's in systems you clearly don't know. But that's a different thread.

I copied your post into Microsoft Word, and it was 8 pages long. View attachment 30327

How big was the font? Still, I hope it made it easier for you to read... I know Tez often prints things out as it's easier for her (of all posts, by the way).

Who is the busy one again? 1 page would have been fine, little camper.

But not thorough.

I hope you're laughing, because I am.

Honestly, no, I'm not. I'm unsure why you're so invested in my posting to someone else.

As for Bill, he's a grown man, who can speak for himself, so if he has issue with my post, I'm sure he'll make it known. He has a good head on his shoulders, and is very able to make his own arguments. You, on the other hand, haven't presented one... just complained about a different style of posting to your preferred... so how about we leave it, and see if Bill has any comments of his own to make? Deal?
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
23,189
Reaction score
7,872
It generally requires a lot of personal development to become a competent fighter.

The tools are there. The personal sacrifice, discipline, mastering adversity.

Which are also supposed to be the tools for self development.
 
OP
Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
15,410
Reaction score
4,066
Location
Michigan
As for Bill, he's a grown man, who can speak for himself, so if he has issue with my post, I'm sure he'll make it known. He has a good head on his shoulders, and is very able to make his own arguments. You, on the other hand, haven't presented one... just complained about a different style of posting to your preferred... so how about we leave it, and see if Bill has any comments of his own to make? Deal?
I understand your comments and can't even disagree with most of them. I respect your historical understanding and perspective. I don't think I can hold a candle to your no-doubt accurate grasp of martial arts history.

I think I was focusing on two things, rather than taking the history of martial arts as a whole. First, the sometimes-raised declaration that if one doesn't train to fight, one isn't doing martial arts - ie, they have no other purpose. I object to that frequently, but it doesn't stop it from popping up from time to time. The second was a period of time, say perhaps between the export of karate from Okinawa to Japan and more modern times, when (in my limited historical understanding), Japan attempted to bring Okinawan karate into a Japanese sense of uniformity and precision. This has been addressed by Iain Abernathy, among others, using definitions for 'jutsu' and 'do' not dissimilar to my own. The main difference is that I was attempting to describe 'do' as being inclusive of 'jutsu' and not exclusive of it.

I suspect you won't even agree with the more narrow statements I just made, but that's OK. I was responding to something I see as a common modern belief about martial arts training and 'fighting', that's all. I'm not going to die on this hill.

EDIT: Ultimately, I thought it might be a nice break between the 'quora' level questions about Bruce Lee versus [insert movie fighter name here] and statements about which knife works best against a gang of twelve guys with broken beer bottles and tattoos.

Another Edit: I was also motivated to post by my learning that a martial artist whom I respected and conversed with but never met, Dr. Joyce Trafton, had passed some months ago without my notice, to my shame. Dr. Trafton owned and taught at Crystal Coast Eagles Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Kai, was the author of several books on martial arts, including the more spiritual aspects, and a thesis written in 1992 dealing with kado, shodo, and karatedo as 'do'. She wrote hundreds of articles about 'do', which she was going to send to me but was never able to. Her passing has been weighing on my thoughts lately.
 
Last edited:

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
With deference to O'Malley, and to put this to rest...
I'm sure you can't generally rest.
Lecture on the Dao? I didn't. I mentioned that it's the same character. And, as for precision, that's kinda why the posts are so long... I like to be thorough, and precise... so...?
You did. You mentioned dao/do numerous times.

Thorough and precise are opposites. See, I think you're capable of being more precise, without having to be so thorough.

You must have repeated yourself a dozen times in that big post. And that's not your first post that can be seen from space.
For you. Others, maybe not so much. And, no, I didn't miss your point... you accused me of attempting to bolster my ego by establishing authority through knowledge... that was your point, and to suggest that my response was to miss yours is to shift the goalposts... and that's on you.
No, when you say something like "you don't know who you're dealing with"...

That's your ego talking.

As I've said a number of times in the past, even when I'm not here, I'm here. I'm watching daily, and only enter discussions when I feel something can be added by myself. Even then, there are a large number that I don't get around to... but, yeah, I'm here...if you see me posting or not.
But when you add something, nobody takes the time to read it because it's too long.

And again, this implies that whatever you post is gold, special, unique.

You're here. Great. So am I.
Oh no, you just label yourself a "master of Shaolin Kung Fu"... and have a "Street BJJ" teacher who seems to inform you of things that aren't BJJ... then proceed to tell people what's in systems you clearly don't know. But that's a different thread.
No, it's now this one.

I am master of Shaolin kung fu, and street BJJ.

Which part of my jujutsu isn't BJJ? big was the font?
But not thorough.
Thorough seems to be your personal word for "I'm gonna write an article on how wrong you are".
Honestly, no, I'm not. I'm unsure why you're so invested in my posting to someone else.
Because I like Bill and you fire hosed him.
As for Bill, he's a grown man, who can speak for himself, so if he has issue with my post, I'm sure he'll make it known. He has a good head on his shoulders, and is very able to make his own arguments. You, on the other hand, haven't presented one... just complained about a different style of posting to your preferred... so how about we leave it, and see if Bill has any comments of his own to make? Deal?
Nope. But your offer to surrender is dutifily noted.

Now prepare for combate. That's Portuguese.
 

screamingskull

Orange Belt
Joined
Oct 28, 2023
Messages
66
Reaction score
8
I'm sure you can't generally rest.

You did. You mentioned dao/do numerous times.

Thorough and precise are opposites. See, I think you're capable of being more precise, without having to be so thorough.

You must have repeated yourself a dozen times in that big post. And that's not your first post that can be seen from space.

No, when you say something like "you don't know who you're dealing with"...

That's your ego talking.


But when you add something, nobody takes the time to read it because it's too long.

And again, this implies that whatever you post is gold, special, unique.

You're here. Great. So am I.

No, it's now this one.

I am master of Shaolin kung fu, and street BJJ.

Which part of my jujutsu isn't BJJ? big was the font?

Thorough seems to be your personal word for "I'm gonna write an article on how wrong you are".

Because I like Bill and you fire hosed him.

Nope. But your offer to surrender is dutifily noted.

Now prepare for combate. That's Portuguese.
haha...this is Gold... :D take it outside guys
 

Oily Dragon

Senior Master
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
1,603
@Bill Mattocks

When I read your OP, my first thought was that the distinction between "do" and "jutsu" was more of a myth. The most obvious counter-example can be found in the extensive sword training in many koryu bujutsu schools. They predate the widespread usage of the term "do" and would classify as "jutsu" as per what you wrote, however they placed a disproportionate emphasis on a weapon that was seldom used on the battlefield (as opposed to arrows or spears). Even then, those systems were actually used primarily as a method for character development rather than actual combat skill.

That being said, the sass in this thread is becoming embarrassing to read.
You want to hear some sass?

I can argue that the name of Chris's school can be rendered as "boiled cabbage". Armor and all.

Why?

蝺 being the soft cooked de-silked core of the edible moth larvae.​

You won't get that joke. So don't even waste your day trying.

But you're right. We are dealing with two types of thought. Some people here dress up in anachronistic armor. Some can fight naked.

Which is the way?
 
Last edited:

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
Staff member
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
12,759
Reaction score
10,127
Location
Maui
I guess when Bill Clinton said It depends on what the definition of is, is he was talking about this thread.

Who knew?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest Discussions

Top