Saturday, October 20, 2007



Budo is a compound of the word
bu, meaning war or martial; and do, me
aning path or way. Specifically, do is derived from the Buddhist Sanskrit mārga (meaning the 'path' to enlightenment).The term refers to the idea of formulating propositions, subjecting them to philosophical critique and then following a 'path' to realize them- Do signifies a 'way of life'. Do in the Japanese context, is experiential term, experiential in the sense that practice (the way of life) is the norm to verify the validity of the discipline cultivated through a given art form.

Wikipedia - Budo

Nanbudo has been in my life since autumn 2004. The practice of this martial art has meant a lot to me. It was really hard to say goodbye to my dear DO Nanbudo klub in Ljubljana when leaving for Finland. Nanbudo šola - ossu!

Here in Jyväskylä, a wide range of martial arts is practiced. I have even seen they practice medieval swordfighting, the art I have also practiced before Nanbudo. But there is no Nanbudo in Jyväskylä at all. The only existing club in Finland is in Turku, exactly 305 km away. Would one travel 4 hours south just to attend a training? Well, I might be that crazy, however, neither my scholarship nor my mind would survive the trips very well.

The intensive 3 times per week practice of Nanbudo has remained in my heart and soul. Okay, it was nice to rest during the summer, but then I have started to miss my trainings. I have felt so stiff and rusty. Of course I could practice Nanbudo alone, at least some techniques, yet this would not be the same. Proper traditional Japanese martial arts are not sport only: there is much more and that much more is what I really like.

The creation of Nanbudo has been inspired with other traditional Japanese arts. Among these, Aikido has been quite crucial. Aikido is in general more widely spread. If one moves from one country to another, the one can find a club easier; in
Jyväskylä are even two clubs, no matter how small the town is. Already in Ljubljana I have decided I would try to continue martial art studies. When I came to Finland, first month was slightly hectic; I did not find time to attend any practice. The courses have started without me and at one point I have even given my hopes up...

Last week, things have changed. It was very simple - I just wrote a couple of letters in Finnish. Then, I was allowed to join the Aikido beginners course. The club is small and nice, they have their own dojo. The trainings are two times per week, my first couple of trainings has just passed. Also, the trainings are conducted in Finnish; that means double training for me as I insist in speaking only Finnish, too.

I did not realize how much I had actually missed dojo... until I have stepped on tatami again. It is hard to articulate my affection to Japanese martial arts; the feeling goes beyond words. I cannot even say, how this love has happened. I guess it has always been present, yet I did not pay much attention to it - until Nanbudo. The absence of practice has increased my longing and the will to bow in dojo again. Now I just have to keep up the active spirit.
However, it seems I am really and seriously interested in some Japanese martial arts. Thus, I have also realized I might be a budo-person...


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