I have read about the naming changes in Japanese martial arts, with a shift from jutsu (術) to do (道) reflecting a supposed shift in emphasis from fighting techniques to a quest for mental and physical perfection.

Kano followed the lead of the founder of the Jikishin Ryu in making the transition from jutsu form, primarily concerned with martial matters, to a do form, where emphasis is on character development and the perfection of the individual.

From p. 21 of Judo Formal Techniques by Tadao Otaki and Donn F. Draeger, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1983.

For example:

  1. jujutsu -> judo
  2. kenjutsu -> kendo
  3. aikijutsu -> aikido

Asian-influenced martial arts today commonly share this mindset that martial arts are not solely about fighting. Included are styles that definitely predate the Japanese naming shift, such as taijiquan, which claims Daoist (道) influence.

Is the Japanese name shift also a Daoist influence? If so, why does this Daoist influence in the martial arts take so long to reach Japan?



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