The ultimate goal of budō

Remember that the ultimate goal of budō lies not in technique, but in the educative aim to produce useful people for the community, who ultimately contribute something to the world. It is only on the individual level that this is achieved by “perfecting oneself” in the study of budō. But budō adresses the community.

It is neither a cool computer game nor a random kakutōgi (martial Arts) only about armbars, chokes, and atemi, wearing some Asian clothes. It is not something you simply define yourself.


“The most efficient use of energy” was formulated Kanō, the founder of jūdō. “Energy” refers to both mental and physical power. “The most efficient use” implies two injunctions:

  1. To use mental and physical power most reasonably and to avoid waste.
  2. To use it to promote “goodness,” that is something that promotes the continuing development of collective and social lives. (Cf. Inoue 1998)

The positive budō approach can also be seen in precepts of the International Budō University, Japan. They are roughly as follows:

  • by budō, the youth masters an immovable philosophy of life[1]
  • by budō, the youth understands the world view of peace
  • by budō, the youth cultivates their physique
  • by budō, the youth learns the way of patience and courtesy
  • The youth under the spirit of the physical education of budō: Let’s build a road[2] for international friendship

[1] jinseikan 人生観, term coinded by Japanese philosopher Inoue Tetsujirō (1855–1944).

[2] taidō 大道, meaning road in sense of the “path of righteousness”, or of “fundamental moral principles”

So next time you get stuck and worn out too much by following the path of “ancient martial arts”, dealing with techniques that destroy life, with being a “warrior” 24/7, that is, with “the art of war”, which ultimativley hurts your soul when its otherwise meaningsless, you probably want to remind yourself that budō first of all and in fact is a positive thing which has humanity as its foundation.


© 2015, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Misc and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.