Kobudo Philosophy

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Evolution is a part of nature, Universe. Involution is the other, and where one ends the other begins. This principle is very clearly illustrated by Chinese monad # 1 in Taoism and well described by Brahmins in the expanding and contracting of Universe.

This picture express a balanced Polarity. Picture # 4 is stage of Absolutism. Others are variations and they show different stage of Polarity. It is interesting to note that one part always contains the other.

One may understand that #1 is applicable for everything because looks balanced. It is a harmony but still in stage of Polarity which is level under Absolutism. However not perfect but accepted by human. Life is motion, existence is vibration…


Emptiness # 4 is a state which attracts us. Not many people have an experienced of reach this level. However Budo-ka talking about it but many of excellent craftsmen use it in their daily work. High level artist, sculptor, composer or musician create the best work of art on this level.

From here you can achieve harmony, unity, fluidity. Do – path, way we are talking about in Budo looks somehow as # 3 and it guide us to 4. The # 2 and 5 denotes extremes and at this stage it can either destroy you, people, environment or other beings (see the picture on Entry screen). I don’t think anyone wishes to experience # 2 or I.5, whereas # 1 looks very balanced, quiet safe, but the # 4 is only peace, love and empty mind, Mu shin – no mind…

Now we can easily understand BUDO, but still this not enough. Important is to get a wider view of the Past – Present – Future. If you know the past, you can understand the present. If you know what is going on, then you will have a better acceptance of the future – you can prepare and get ready for it. One might say Born – Live – Die, but it is only relative.

I started to draw it from one point – Past. Then I continued in – Present, to complete it in – Future. Now the circle is here at Present, really, but where is the Past and the Future? The Circle is completed – Present with beginning (Past) and ending (Future) at the same time. Past and Future are relative and we have to accept them for the Present, daily life. It is a way to understand others to build up the Budo family and not only this family. On higher level everybody accept that all martial arts come from One. To understand it more we can start from anywhere, for example from Japan.

End of Shogun ate resulted a big political and social change in Japan in the 19th century. It is affected the martial arts field as well. Samurai lost their position in the society and the meaning of Jutsu lost its value. New philosophical aspect Do had been applied to the former Bujutsu. This way Kenjutsu was transformed to Kendo, Kobujutsu to Kobudo, Judo came from Ju Jutsu etc.

In past when peasants met in the battle field with bandits or samurai it was a question of life or death. This caused to develop fast killing techniques. Farmers were often armed with sickle, Kama .   Fisherman used a paddle, miller Tonfa, and Kobujutsu had a real Katai feature. Hemin, lower society people had not a choice and Katai was a way to survive in sword attack. It is good idea preserve traditional techniques but in fact arresting techniques appear more human. Immobilization – Katame Kyo, Transportation – Kumi Kyo, means also a total control of opponent. This is the goal in our Kobudo, even performed in Jutsu style. Each affective application is correct, regardless if it’s traditional or not.

If we are to kill our opponent, there is no need to arrest him and one must always think about this principle when applying Budo. It is easy to hurt a person and does not require any knowledge of martial arts.

This technique is well known from prehistoric periods. Attacking the neck can cause instant death. With weapon, you can separate the head from body. You can also break the windpipe or bend the neck in such a way as to damage the spinal cord. Animals know it well and predators always attack the throat or neck of their prey. Now, if this should happen at the 3rd or 4th cervical vertebra, it would mean death. If it happens on the 5th vertebra just below, then the victim may just be lucky enough to be able to spend the rest of his life in bed or in a wheel chair. Please think about this when you use your Budo skill in self defense.


If you punch, strike or kick, it is a hard style, called Katai. Targeting the neck with Katai is risky, better is to use Ju, soft technique. This part of the body can be used to effectively unbalance the opponent and becomes easier to throw him # 9 or apply lock as in # 10.

These and other techniques can be done with bare hands and also whilst carrying a weapon. If you have a Sai and you decide to attack your opponent’s neck, instead of punching Honte tsuki # 11 to his throat, a soft technique can be applied as in Irimi nage # 12 for example. Is this a mistake? Or is it impossible? Definitely not! This in fact is a higher performance skill by which you show that you are the one controlling the attacker instead of just simply killing him with Katai application.

So don’t be surprised when you notice in our program, many Ju techniques as throws and also joint locks with weapons. These are natural. In the other way around, an opponent will never ask if you know how to fall with the weapon. Once you carry it, be ready to take Ukemi at anytime if it is necessary.

You can find applying soft techniques in other weapon styles for example in Kenjutsu. There are techniques to show how you can control your opponent by using the sword handle instead to cut him down with blade. Nowadays if you are practicing Kobudo, don’t think of yourself as a farmer or fisherman who has to kill to survive. Adapt it to the present life condition and you will find that Kobudo is a beautiful and fine art.

Do no only techniques developed in Budo. Also a cloths, training uniform and weapons as well vent thru the evolution. Some styles using black and white combination of dress expressing the philosophy of Yang and Yin (balance). Weapons especially in Iaido are evaluated not only on physical but also in spiritual level. Hakama originally designed for Kobudo practitioners to hide the legs position and steps, in Aikido each of pleats of it got high meaning:

  • Jin – benevolence
  • Gi – honour or justice
  • Rei – courtesy and etiquette
  • Chi – wisdom, intelligence
  • Shin – sincerity
  • Chu – loyalty
  • Koh – piety