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Budo (武道) and bujitsu (武術)

Budo is a martial art with an emphasis on spiritual development. Kyudo, as a traditional Japanese budo, has a long history. Although there was a time when bow and arrows were used as weapons, this has not been the case for several centuries and their connection with the spiritual life of the Japanese has granted them mystical significance. The aesthetic and spiritual nature of a Japanese bow has always been placed higher than its functional aspect. Kyudo has been developed into a moral discipline beyond the simple act of shooting or the means of competing.

Modern kyudo is not bujitsu, a martial art which focuses more on combat technique. It is also more than a sport. In soccer, for example, players can score as long as they follow rules. However, practising kyudo isn't just about following rules (include etiquette), technique and hitting the target. Practitioners of kyudo need to perform shooting with courtesy and propriety. It is said that “Kyudo is the way of perfect virtue. In the shooting, one must search for rightness in oneself. With the rightness of self, shooting can be realised.” (ANKF Kyudo Manual vol. 1, official English translation - p.ix)