What is Added to Budo? – Sept 16, 2013, Kim Taylor, CI Sei Do Kai Guelph, Nanadan

The question has been “how much Japanese can we take away” from budo before it isn’t budo any more. What I’d like to know is how much is added when budo moves to the west.

Here’s a little story to start us thinking.

Consider the iaido kata Mae/Shohatto. It is the fundamental kata of the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu lineage, and of both ZenKenRen iai and ZenIRen iai. A pretty important kata.

Consider that the very first stroke with the sword from the scabbard is ichi, the number one. The very next stroke is one, the western writing of ichi.

Combine these two strokes and you have ju, ten (+). That’s ten times the value of ichi or one. That’s an infinity of things arising from one thing, or from two things if you wish.

And, lest you think that ju is still Japanese, add the vertical stroke to the circular chiburi and you have the Western ten (10). You need that vertical stroke to make either ju or ten, so you can’t separate one from the other.

Iai is “meeting” and in the very first kata you have a meeting that takes one and makes ten, makes ten two ways and ten times ten is a hundred.

Woo-woo enough for you?

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