As Harry implies, both terms are extremely fuzzy at their boundaries and what they can be considered to encompass. Mark G and I had a long thread on budo, and whether it was a valid term for any practice at all in modern times. Budo has included everything from new-age to neo-fascist philosophies (if I can dignify these terms by "philosophy"); bujutsu has included everything from a complete multi-weapon koryu curriculum through sport specific MMA concepts. Basically I think the difference you are reaching for is this: is your training evaluated by what you do with yourself or what you do to your opponent? If the prime measure is the opponent, then you are closer aligned with "jitsu"; if the prime measure is your own self, then you are closer aligned with "do."
An analogy can be made with Western vs. Japanese archery, I think. In Western archery, you fix the bow to compensate for whatever peculiarities you may have in your shooting style with the prime evaluation being hitting the center of the target. If you hit, all is fine - the Olympics are the best example of this product oriented approach. All of this kind of archery is focused on making a hole in the middle of a piece of paper any way you can. In kyudo, the focus is on doing the shooting according to a precisely defined and correct form with the prime criteria being adherence to the form, elegance, grace and dignity. If this is all correct, then the target will be hit. But one can hit the target without the requisite qualities in the shooting, and the judgment will always be "bad shot."
Going back to karate - Jussi seems to adopt the "any way you can clobber the guy is good karate" (correct me if I'm wrong, Jussi). And he states (and I think that historically it is true) that Okinawan karate is very pragmatic and will take a method from anywhere so that its prime goal (winning in SD) can be fulfilled, style irrelevant. Most Japanese karate however has a history that is influenced by the long Tokugawa period of peace, and martial training became a matter of elegance (witness iaido and kyudo). Only sport had altered this, and that only after the end of the Tokugawa. Kendo was the sport development, and karate followed that (in Japan). So it inherited the inclination to stylistic purity, adherence to form and drive to elegance.
Nowadays, we have a weird mishmash in the West. Some do sport, some do SD and some follow the Japanese model of doing the art for the art's sake, even if they call it simply staying in shape, and many do some unbalanced hybrid. So I would call the question ill-posed. Perhaps a better question might be "are you more interested in beating someone up or in doing a physical activity to the best of your ability?" Me? I'd answer the second, because karate is first a method for learning how to move my mind and body elegantly and secondly a way to safely explore medieval methods of mayhem. SD is a benefit, not a goal per se.
Here is my issue with it....then is it martial arts then? Or simply exercises based on marital arts?
Whoever is teaching should make what they teach clear to their students. They should not be focusing on the art without letting their students know that is the goal. It's wrong to delude them to be learning self defense.
Theres nothing wrong with that. My old literature professor did tai chi for the beauty and physical benefits of it rather then fighting. And good on him. But he was at least fairly honest, and his teacher was honest with him.
Why there is so much of an unbalanced mishmash is because martial arts teachers are not clear about what they want to teach their students.
If one wants BOTH, im curious how it would turn out. Usually the training methodology of such schools is rigorous and against resisting opponents; but have a structured class.
But it's possible that the better someone is at defeating an opponent the more 'elegant' and refined they become. Hence they may automatically draw their bow in the ideals of a Japanese archery class by simply practicing hitting the bulls eye. The dignity, grace, and good form may simply come from BECOMING that good. By focusing on the bulls eye which is secondary, their primary goal is accomplished.
I understand focusing on the goal of training can be bad, since if your drilling a specific skill set, to think about winning one simply has to go beyond the skill set and bring others in. But then...you are not developing a new skill set or refining what you want to refine. By focusing on the task at hand, your goal is better.
But regardless, how can an individual have control over what they want regardless of the ability to win fights or do the art if the teacher is steering the class in a different direction? How do they advance to learn more of the art if they haven't met citeria for the teacher to pass them to learn more if they simply want to learn the art but not fight? In order to meet the criteria they must meet the requirements of the teacher.
I think that there is a "Western approach" as in boxing, wrestling etc and what I would term a "Missunderstood Eastern aproach"..the western approach is very simple you get physically fit for the discipline you want, and use aggression ,anger whatever to get you to your goal......now IMHO a lot of what folks peddle as Eastern martial arts.is really Eastern arts such as Karate with a large infusion of the Western approach.....so you do karate but you use a boxers mindset...............and we see this more and more
Now IMHO the true Eastern approach is totally different because it is "Do" and "Jutsu" at the same time..I first came across this when looking at folks like Kuroda Tetsuzan and his performance of traditional Japanese Ryu-Ha, and his struggle to find "Softness".....this sent me on a similar journey....to truly find softness..and it is extremly difficult for a heavy handed male like myself, but it's a bit like a spiritual awakening because you only need a few successes to know that you are following the path you want...and that it will change you physically,mentally and spiritually
so I would say that when people break these things down into Do and Jutsu.......yeah I guess that's true.....but when you train with folks that don't make that distinction you get into a strange, but not scary place.............my sifu looks like a laid back hippy..I'm bigger stronger and outweigh him..but I wouldn't like to fight him.....but then again I never would and nor would he
But even when so many schools advertise self defense?
You talk as if the western mindset is a bad thing? If the school advertises improved self defense or competitive fighting/dueling...is it bad to adopt the western approach? Everyone i have trained with seems to emphasize being relaxed, clear headed, and that one should try to use as much technique as possible when doing...anything. Be fluid when doing...anythingDeveloping physical strength isn't a bad thing. If a tai chi man with little muscle can knock down 300lb monsters, think of what that man would do if he added muscle power?
If the school they joined is karate for the defeat of an opponent, then a western mindset is also an eastern mindset.
The problem happens if the student is training for nothing but the form and the art but his teacher wants them to be very martial, or they are training for self defense, but have a sensei that does not care about that.
Now i agree it's possible to be an effective fighter and not have an aura of violence or have a hard personality.
Calen payne,when you read his website seems like a para-military man who loves western martial arts...and he is.
But if you meet him and talk to him. The first word that pops into ones head is HIPPY!
His fighting is 90% BJJ, boxing, wrestling. And he told me he credits his martial arts for his development of his
I myself have pissed off alot of people at dragon. They see me and think im some grungy skinny reak, and are surprised i can fight because my appearance doesn't match your stereotypical MMA guy.
I admit the types of people who tend to go into western martial arts tend to have a specific mindset, appearance, personality of aggression, it's how the arts are perceived and thus how such individuals were brought into it.
San shou practitioners, particularly the competitive ones are usually are the same 'type' of people boxers and wrestlers are. And san shou is both it's own sport as well as having practitioners with traditional martial arts backgrounds.
But to be relaxed and training to use little strength greatly helps them. Good chi kung and good health and longevity from Chinese exercises and kung-fu are good because longevity is good for martial arts, you can fight when your eighty you survive better. These exercises of longevity increase stamina and strength, making victory and competitive fighting better.
So.....does the goal drive the art?
Though Mark Hatmaker, who is VERY western in his approach to the point of critiques slipped into his books on Eastern martial arts.
Hatmaker says using anger to motivate you is not good because focus is broken. Aggression on the other hand is totally controlled.
I have talked to individuals who have trained with Joseph Chen(you posted clips of him), and he has a 'switch' which apparently he can turn on at times. Very aggressive and apparently terrifying. Not an exact quote but "i felt like his eyes could burn a hole through me"
ive watched a friend do a pa kua class. The teacher is also very...hippy. But watch him push hands and he's throwing them around. Whats interesting is he teaches an aggressive mindset to his students. As well as being loose and fluid. The better they can push hands the more fluid and excellent their form becomes.
It isn't as high adrenaline as the western martial arts schools, and thus has a different environment and attracts different students less 'jock like'. But the GOAL is the same, and the concept of how good 'form' and the 'art' of it is has basis in the same criteria.
Once again? Does the goal create the art? Create the elegance?