The duality of martial and cultural studies is a strong belief in this group. This is a reflection of the Japanese phrase “bunbu ryōdō” (文武両道), which stresses being accomplished in both martial and literary studies. While old in conception, this balance is not so pronounce in today’s society. Below is a brief explanation on how this will be approached in Chikushin Martial & Cultural Training Group.
The primary martial arts focused in this group is kobudō (classical martial arts), with a number of the ryuha (or martial traditions) dating back over 300 years. Training follows closely to a traditional format, where emphasis is placed greatly on proficiency in kihon (basics), waza (techniques), and kata (prearranged forms). The development of one’s physical, mental, and spiritual fortitude is also incorporated in the training. Buki keiko (weapons training) also plays a great role in kobudō training, as they offer a broader understanding of combat, as well as teach lessons regarding range, control, and dexterity.
Cultural studies cover several topics. As a foundation, studying the basics of the Japanese language should parallel martial arts training. This includes speaking, reading, and writing on a very basic level. Along with this, studying the history of Japan, as well as learning from different Japanese literature, will be incorporated as time goes on. The goal through cultural studies is to gain insight and develop an appreciation in the traditions of Japan. On top of this, Cultural Studies help in understanding the methodology behind the kobudō being studied, thus developing a greater level of proficiency.
BENEFITS OF MARTIAL & CULTURAL DUALITY
While it is not necessary to engage in cultural studies to do martial studies, nor is it mandatory to do so in order to participate in Chikushin Martial & Cultural Training Group, it is encouraged for several reasons. For starters, there are many aspects of kobudō that prove difficult to understand, even when demonstrated, without having any knowledge of the Japanese language and historical background. This is especially true when training in kata geiko (form practice), for the many kata one trains in generally contain principles that are deep & intricate in meaning (even in the naming of said kata), which can be deciphered and better understood through comprehension of the Japanese language. Also, through the promotion of Japanese cultural studies, one may be encouraged to pursue this further, by possibly enrolling in an institution that offer advanced studies, or even traveling to Japan itself to experience things first hand.