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Kobudō 古武道 Old Martial Way

Budō denotes the totality of a “Warrior's Martial Way”: that of technical martial proficiency, discipline, morality, sincerity, commitment, and a constant search for knowledge and self-improvement. The Old Martial Way (Kobudō) in Shisenkan draws on over twelve martial traditions with an encompassing multi-discipline curriculum of unarmed and weapons fighting methods, with the additional transmission of worldview, strategy, and warrior philosophy. Shisenkan is a Hall where traditions are kept as close as possible to their original form, with all the fathomless knowledge that comes with it. As such, Shisenkan Kobudō develops technical, mental, and spiritual strength for the total protection of one’s safe and healthy being.

The first mention of the term Budō appears in a military chronicle commissioned by the first warrior (samurai) military government, in a daily entry in 1195. A few decades later, it appears in a legal code issued by the same military government, stating the importance of Budō. Today, from our perspective, we refer to Budō of the premodern period as “Old Budō” or Kobudō.

Budō originally meant the "Way of the Bow and Arrow (yumiya-no-michi 弓矢之道)," knowledge of military strategy (buryaku 武略), and military history. Over the centuries it had evolved to encompass a multitude of military disciplines that have been codified and formalized as Martial Traditions (ryūha 流派). These martial traditions developed either in martial academies of domains under the patronage of the domain’s warlord (daimyō 大名), as independent martial traditions, or martial traditions led by teachers who have made a name for themselves and were invited by leading warriors to teach their housemen for a limited time.

Some martial traditions, especially those that developed within medieval domains, warrior families, and temples, include weapons specializations, unarmed fighting methods, military strategy, and more. Other martial traditions focus almost exclusively on a single martial discipline such as unarmed fighting, swordsmanship (kenjutsu 剣術, heihō 兵法), archery (kyūdō 弓道), spear (yari 槍), glaive (naginata 薙刀), bladed projectiles (shuriken 手裏剣), or chain weapons.

The absolute majority of known martial traditions were formally codified in a systemic structure within the past three and a half centuries. They share similar traits, of which the most fundamental are: 1. lineage of heads of the traditions, starting with a uniquely capable founder, 2. creation story (often, creation mythology), and history, 3. a codified set of martial technique,            4. a unique martial strategy and philosophy, 5. written records and documents, 6. systematic transmission, and 7. tradition's secrets.