Bu = martial, Do = way
“The martial way”
Specifically, do is derived from the Buddhist Sanskrit mārga (meaning the “path” to enlightenment). The term refers to the idea of formulating propositions, subjecting them to philosophical critique and then following a ‘path’ to realize them. Do signifies a “way of life”. Do in the Japanese context, is an experiential term, experiential in the sense that practice (the way of life) is the norm to verify the validity of the discipline cultivated through a given art form. The modern budō has no external enemy, only the internal enemy, one’s ego that must be fought (state of Muga-mushin).
Budo, like the sword, is wielded not to control your opponent, but to control yourself.
You will develop the mind towards an ultimately peaceful, harmonious, and active state that is ready to react and deal with any of life’s situations. You not only practice empty hand and weapon techniques including using the sword, but also how to judge situations and opponents under all possible circumstances. Your objective is not only to maintain safety for yourself, but for your attacker as well.
Aikido and Iaido deal more with everyday situations rather than those on the battlefield. The Japanese phrase, “Tsune ni ite, kyu ni awasu”, means whatever you may be doing or wherever you may be, you must always be prepared for any eventuality. Both Aikido and Iaido techniques guide you in dealing with many situations such as a sudden attack by several opponents, a surprise attack while bowing to someone, an enemy lying in wait behind a sliding door, or an attack in a darkened room. The permutations (suppositions) are countless. You practice to prepare for a surprise attack, where an immediate, efficient solution to the problem of aggression is necessary. Therefore, each technique is highly refined. Every unnecessary movement is cut away to make the technique simple and direct. Your training is aimed towards development of your every mental and physical resource.