Japanese Martial Arts

Samurai Yoroi, History of Japanese Martial Arts

Japanese Martial Arts were developed by Samurai for the purpose of combat, and the various technique became known as the Bu-Jutsu.
Samurai used Bu-Jutsu to train themselves to have the absolute of mental and physical health and to abide by the martial arts morals. It was those techniques and its philosophy, that was passed on by experts became the Japanese Martial Arts today.

Budo classes after your daily Japanese classes can definitely spice up your student life in Japan.  The real Samurai spirits, it is a great way to experience Japan!

Types of Japanese Martial Arts


Judo Japanese Martial Arts

Judo is an ancient technique that represents Japanese Martial Arts. The technique focuses on attack and defence. There are two types of martial arts (Ju-Jitsu), the Kano Jigoro style and the Kodokan style. Judo is based on the philosophy of both styles. Mainly consists of three techniques, Nage-waza, Katame-waza, Toshin-waza.

Judo is recognised in Olympic sports. There are many training centres in Japan, attracting professionals from all over the world.  


Kendo Japanese Martial Arts

Kendo is a martial art that is based on Japanese swordsmanship, aiming to train the mind and body. Several styles were put together and formed the All Japan Kendo Federation. In Japan, Kendo has become part of the curriculum in many high schools. There are many Kendo championships in Japan where many Japanese students compete. For its popularity, an increasing number of international students come to Japan to train Kendo intensively.


Kyudo is the traditional Japanese archery that trains the mind and body. There are two types of styles, Ogasawara and Hioki. The Ogasawara style focuses on the rituals and ceremonial elements. Whilst Hioki style focuses on the artillery technique used on the battlefield during the Samurai period. The two styles were put together and formed the All Japan Kyudo Federation. Also, there are training centres around the world. The students are awarded the titles as they progress to a higher level, and can compete in the championships in Japan.


Karate Japanese Martial Arts

Karate originated in Okinawa during the Ryukyu Kingdom. There are various styles of Karate. The Non-contact which has the rule not to have direct contact with the opponents, Full contact, and Kata that focuses on the form and balance.

Kata is the traditional Budo, technique aiming to train the mind and body. There are international championships which beautiful Japanese Kata performances attract Karate fans across the globe.


Aikido Japanese Martial Arts

Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Arts, founded by Morihei Ueshiba. The aim is to refine the mind and body.  It is a bodywork that uses breathing power to bring the opponents down without physical harm. The technique is also used as a self-defence, and Japanese police often incorporate Aikido in their training.

There is an increasing number of Aikido professionals around the world. Here in Japan, you can learn the Ueshiba style.


Naginata was used by the infantries on the battlefields between the Samurai and the Imperial. Later, the harmful weapons were abolished during the Edo period, and Naginata became the technique for self-defence.

There had been many styles but were put together and formed the All Japan Naginata Federation. It is now a very popular Budo in Japan for both men and women. The students are awarded the titles as they progress to a higher level, and can compete in the championships in Japan.

Trial and Classes for Beginners

The courses are offered both in Japanese and English.

One-off experience for visitors. It`s a fantastic experience to learn what Budo is all about!

Beginners to Intermediate level – Students will be taught by the master. Minimum 4 weeks.

Belt level – Students will be taught by the master and practice with professionals from all over the world. Many of Budo has affiliated dojo in the world. Students can become a member of a Dojo in your home country if affiliates are present. The members will be able to join Dojo in Japan at a discounted fee.

Budo, the history of Japanese Martial Arts

During the Jomon period (BC14000 ~ 1000), the technique of rice cultivation was imported from China to Kyushu in Japan and the rice became the staple food in Japanese life.

It was said that ‘Miko’, the spiritual prophets who had the ability to listen to God’s messages helped to protect the rice fields from natural disasters. The people honoured those ‘Miko’ as messengers of God and began the rituals for a successful harvest was performed as a gift to God.  It was this ritual that later became Sumo wrestling.

Today, Sumo wrestlers tying their hair up and salting the wrestling ground is said to be the part of the ritual performed during the Jomon period. The architecture of the Sumo stadiums uses shrine design which replicates the sacred places of that time.

Although rice cultivation stabilised people’s lives, the wealth created conflicts between villages over the water supply for the rice fields. The farmers fought to protect their rice fields.

During the Kofun period (201~), ‘Okimi’ became the Emperor of Yamato Imperial Court of Southwest of Japan. The farmers protected the Emperor who was believed have had a power of Miko. They were trained to fight using swords, spears and bows were used in battlefields, as well as the armour ‘Yoroi’.

When Kyoto became the capital of Japan during the Heian period (794 ~ 1185), trained farmers became the warriors of Imperial as experts of the battle.

However, the warriors turned against the Imperialists because of its political corruption. The warriors then became known as Samurai and took over the government.

During the Muromachi to Sengoku period (1333~1603), the Samurai from all over Japan began to battle over the territories, and various martial arts were developed.

When Tokugawa Shogun governed Japan in the Edo period (1603~1868), the battle ended.  The government established the warriors’ ethical stance, `the Samurai spirit`, which is known as the Bushido 武士道.

Although the battle ended, Shogun needed Samurai to protect the government. To employ skilled Samurai, Shogun held competitions where Samurai showed their skills. Those skilled Samurai were awarded rice, territory or promotion.

In the Meiji period (1868~1912), the power was returned to the Emperor to govern Japan. The government then established the law to forbid the use of martial arts as a harmful weapon.

The skill Samurai had acquired over centuries were transformed into tools to strengthen the body and mind and became the new Japanese Martial arts. This is now known as the Budo武道.

Today, Samurai show is still held as Enbu 演舞, where Martial Art experts present their techniques in front of the Emperor.

A Samurai, Musashi Miyamoto who was a sword expert wrote a book about the martial arts he had acquired from the battle, called the “The book of five rings” and is still read by many martial arts fans today.