Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Concept of budo and the history and activities of the Japanese Academy of Budo

Research perspective and problem. The concept of “budo” and understanding of this term was undertaken through a historical approach. The aim of the study was also to show the activities of the Japanese Academy of Budo (JAB).
Material and methods. An analysis of hermeneutical statements of specialists, researchers of “budo” was made. Source materials and contemporary studies (analysis of the subject literature) were used.
Results and conclusions. The author of the study concentrates on the idea of “budo”. According to him and other researches the concept of martial arts includes budo, but the distinctiveness of budo is acknowledged. However, there is no distinction between “martial arts” and “combat sports”. Martial arts encompass religious, traditional, ethical, and dance concepts, suggesting a transformation in the theoretical meaning of the term. The use of “fighting arts” is also problematic as it does not distinguish the various characteristics of budo. The author suggests that budo should not be translated as “martial art”, but referred to as “budo” to underline various differences and thus the term “budo” should become internationally recognised.
The study also discusses the policy of the Japanese Academy of Budo, which was established in 1968, postulating that budo studies should not be an independent field of inquiry that is separated from practice, but that research activities should link research with the place of practice.
The important issues currently facing the Academy’s activities are aimed to: elucidate the concept and characteristics of budo, stimulate the activities of the Academy, support the incorporation of budo into the compulsory health and physical education curriculum for junior high schools, which began in Academic Year 2012, develop young researchers, conduct exchanges with researchers outside of Japan for the internationalization of budo study, and expand the English text and contents on the Academy website.