Martial arts>Concepts>"Do" or "the "way"

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"Do" or "the way"


"Do" or "the way" is a Far Eastern term for the guiding principles and activities one chooses to live his or her life. In martial arts, the term is used to show one’s dedication to an art, i.e. kendo is the way of the sword, judo is the way of gentleness, kyudo is the way of the bow, and taekwondo is the way of the hand and foot. However, the term is also used by other arts, such as shodo is the way of the writing (calligraphy), sado is the way of the tea (tea ceremony), and kado is the way of the flower (flower arrangement).

The way is the entire journey to reach a goal, it is not too concerned with the individual steps required to reach the goal. The teachings, philosophies, and methods of the chosen way help one along his or her journey. When one is dedicated to the way, he or she is very serious about the path taken. It is not something done for pleasure or as a hobby; it is a lifelong quest to better one’s self as a human being during his or her time on earth. There is nothing mystical about the way, it's just dedicating yourself toward the lifelong pursuit of a goal.

Different approaches

Martial arts have different two main approaches in the manner in which they approach the way:
  • The way of the art. Some martial arts concentrate on "the way of the art." They deal more with the way a martial art affects one's total life experience—the mental aspects of the art. They consider this dedication to the art to be more important than the way the art is performed. Traditional martial arts tend to use this approach.
  • The art of the way. Other martial arts concentrate on "the art of the way ." They are more concerned with the way the art is performed, the science and effectiveness of the movements—the physical aspects of the art. Sport-oriented martial arts tend to use this approach.
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