History of Martial Arts: Guide & Resources Directory



What is Koryu Bujutsu?


Koryu literally means old flow and is used in Japanese to refer to old styles, schools, or traditions not necessarily only in the martial arts. The simplest English translation of this term is classical. Bujutsu is one of several Japanese terms meaning martial arts or techniques . So, putting the two together, you get "classical martial arts" of Japan. Some use the term "koryu bujutsu" only for those arts developed for actual use on the battlefield and reserve the term for sixteenth century and earlier traditions. Classical traditions do have several defining characteristics. They were developed by and for the bushi, or warrior class, and they have some sort of lineage that runs back through each headmaster or menkyo kaiden to the founder of the tradition. In actual practice, both in Japan and in the West, koryu bujutsu is used to refer rather loosely to the older martial arts of the bushi or samurai. Usually the emphasis is on distinguishing between the classical systems and the modern systems, such as judo, kendo, and aikido. These modern arts all have some connection to the older fighting systems of the warrior class. The koryu, on the other hand, were primarily arts created by and for the warrior class of Japan's feudal period. A few traditions still exist that were actually used on the battlefields of pre-Tokugawa Japan, and in these systems effectiveness of the killing technique is still paramount. For the most part, however, the techniques of the koryu still retain an element of danger. Protective gear is typically not used. Safety is less important than efficacy. Though wooden weapons are usually used in place of live steel blades, these can still do considerable damage if an error is made, and one learns to function out at the edge.





Where Martial arts originated

Types of martial arts


Martial Art

Koryu Bujutsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Shaolin Ch'uan Fa

Praying Mantis