History: Bujutsu, Budo and Bugei

The Japanese words Bujutsu, Budo and Bugei are used as different perspectives of the Japanese martial arts. They are used to describe the numerous functions, purposes and goals of the Japanese warrior arts.

The term Bujutsu literally translates as warrior art or skill, and is used to describe the original function of the Japanese warrior science as arts of war. 

The term Budo or the warriors path or way, highlights the process of self development, self accomplishment and self realisation via the study of Bujutsu.

The term Bugei is a generic term which encompasses the totality of Japanese military science and therefore describes both Bujutsu and Budo.

“The arts of sword, spear, bow and saddle are the Bugei; 

to know etiquette and honour,

to preserve the way of gentlemen,

to strive for frugality,

and thus become a bulwark of the state,

is Budo”

Aizawa Yasushi

The Origins of Bujutsu and Budo

It can be said that the study of Bujutsu and Budo is as old as mankind, but as formal systems or ryuha they originated in medieval Japan during hostile periods and political instability.