Meaning of the word Budō

The word Budō 武 道 talks about the way of martial arts, it is composed of two words.

  • The word Bu 武, which means martial arts, is etymologically composed of two letters, one which is the foot and the other is the spear, to give as a result that it is necessary to advance to neutralize the enemy.

  • The word Dō 道 which means the way or path.


Today, we interpret martial arts as self defense, protecting the self against the aggression of the other. But in ancient times, martial arts existed to attack an opponent and to conquer the enemy territory, in addition to defending the territory. The reason of existence of the samurai, the warrior, was to defend the castle of his lord. So being a samurai required a lot of hours of training, not only to be able to use the sword, but also spear, archery, riding to fight, being able to run long distances, and lots of other things to better defend and effectively attack enemies.

Today someone who learns martial arts, regardless of it being karate, aikido, jujitsu, or Thai boxing, does not learn to hurt anyone, but rather to better defend themselves in case a criminal tries to hurt or even kill. So the idea is aimed at self-defense. It also happens that one uses the techniques of martial arts to simply learn to control his excesses of emotions or anger.

In shiatsu we apply a philosophy similar to that of the martial arts, our enemies are rather bacteria, viruses, or different kinds of bad energies that can attack our inner body to make us fall sick. So we try to maintain good health by continually promoting our immune system through exercises like stretching the meridians, breathing, meditation, and also better control our emotions, such as excesses of anger, sadness, hatred, bitterness, etc.

Shiatsu is about learning how our inner body works and, most importantly, how our body harmonizes with our mind, these are the essential teachings of Yoseido Shiatsu.

This is the story of a man who comes to visit Kawada-sensei thinking that he is a sensei of karate. In fact, he found out that it was not karate but shiatsu.