The Japanese developed their fighting systems out of necessity. They were not the more gifted, nor the best. But they did it for a longer time than us.
When you try to understand the development of Japanese Budō it is important to keep in mind the time-line of Japanese history.
In the West we do not really understand the reality of Japanese warfare and we take for granted that the 江戸時代, Edojidai (1603-1868) is the « golden age » for martial arts. This is a common misconception.
The 鎌倉時代 Kamakurajidai (1185-1333) didn’t survive the Mongol invasion of China (1279)*. Japan since the T’ang Dynasty (618-906)** has been in close contact with the Chinese Empire. Through its « embassies »*** Japan had been copying everything from China since the 7th century (coins, writing, silk, arts, science etc), in fact the Japanese society was a copy of the Chinese structure (political and economical). So when the…
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