Acceptance and sublimation of aggressiveness and violence in Japanese martial arts: from a view-point of the history of the techniques and equipment used in budo

Susumu Nagao
Meji University, Japan

Japanese martial arts have been developed and passed down under the proposition of ?sublimating the violence inherent in the martial arts while accepting it.? Let me cite a few examples of this from my perspective as a researcher with a focus on the history of the techniques and equipment used in the martial arts. In kendo, the Japanese art of fencing, a shinai (bamboo sword) and several pieces of protective armour?men (face guard), kote (hand and forearm protectors), dou (breastplate), and tare (groin and leg protectors)?have been developed, which allow a kendoka (kendo practitioner) to make direct full-contact blows and thrusts that were impossible to make in Kata Kenjutsu (traditional swordplay). Through the use of this armour, we can ensure safety and give consideration to avoiding fatal injury while accepting?to an extent?the violence inherent in martial arts. The main purpose of the art of grappling in jujutsu or judo is to gain a victory by holding down, ?pinning? or otherwise restraining an opponent, not by delivering a death blow. Such a proposition can also be seen in binding techniques where the knots and lashings used to tie up an opponent are designed so that the opponent can be released at any time. As can be seen from the above, the concepts inherited by Japanese martial arts are effective measures by which to explore the theme of the HMA Congress.
Key words: injury ? jujutsu ? judo ? kendo ? sword

Published online: 17 September 2015
Copyright: ? 2015 the Author. Published by Archives of Budo
Contributor: Susumu Nagao conceived the study design, collected and analysed the data, prepared the manuscript and secured the funding.
Funding: None
Conflict of interest: Author has declared that no competing interest exists
Ethical approval: Not required
Provenance and peer review: Under responsibility of HMA Congress
Corresponding author: Susumu Nagao, School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University, 1-1 Kanda-surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8301 Japan; e-mail: nagao[at]
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