Enjoy Martial Arts
In recent years, many people may think of "martial arts" as one of the representative Japanese cultures. In the world of Japanese national sports "sumo", foreign wrestlers have played an active part from an early stage, and judo is already very popular as an Olympic sport in France and other countries. Here, we will introduce Japanese martial arts spreading all over the world.
"Judo" which has developed as an art of self-defense
Judo was established in the Edo period (1603 - 1868) as a samurai 's art of self-defense to contain attacks of opponents without using weapons. After that, with elements of spiritual training incorporated, Judo has developed as a fighting sport. Since the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, it has been an official Olympic sport. Judo has the ranking system, which is reflected in a color of a belt tied on a uniform called Dogi. The colors start from white (4th to 5th degree). Generally, the “black band” means from the first rank to the 5th rank, which are given to people with a certain skills.
"Kendo" which has nature of sports more than swordplay
Kendo developed as training for samurai’s brushing up skills of swordplay. Victory or defeat is decided by hitting the head, arm, or body with a bamboo sword instead of a real sword. As it was an essential skill for samurai in the history, Bushido (the spirit of samurai) is particularly important in Kendo even today. As part of that, the noble spirit is demanded, which is expressed in the words, "beginning with bow and finishing with bow".
"Karate", a striking martial art which has its root in Okinawa
As expressed by Chinese letters of Karate (meaning "empty hand"), Karate is a striking martial art in which players fight by thrusting with a fist and kicking with a leg without weapons. According to a prevailing theory, it was developed by combining a martial art that was born in Okinawa and Chinese martial arts. In order to show off skills, the performance of breaking stacked tiles with bare hands is also famous. As with Judo, the skill level is indicated by colors of a belt a player wears.
"Aikido" to fend off and control opponent's power
Aikido, which was born based on Judo in around 1940, is a relatively new martial art. While Aikido is similar to Judo in terms of using the body well to fend off attacks, its aim is not having a match but doing daily training itself. Once mastering its skills, it is possible to take control of the opponent without hurting him/her. Therefore, many people play Aikido as an art of self-defense. Focusing on power of “ki”, some people consider it as one of health management methods.
Of particular note is the spirit of "Do" flowing through all these martial arts. It is just a kind of morality that transcends "winning or losing", which it is said to be impossible to master without training for a long period of time. These things seem to be a reason for attracting fans from overseas. In recent years, the number of places where you can experience the martial arts with explanations in English has been increasing. Why don’t you experience the spirit of "Do" which is hard to convey even with verbal explanations, while staying in Japan.