Yin and Yang : Fundamental thought of Japanese Budo (martial arts)

Every story has both side. You may know this.

Everything has head and tail like a coin. Such ideas are important in Budo (martial arts).

In Budo or martial arts, way of thinking will be important.

if you understand the thinking of Budo founders, you will understand more deep about Budo.

Budo in Japan has the idea of Yin and Yang. This is a common idea of Japanese culture.

                  Table of contents
Yin and Yang means commonplace
From one to two, two to one
Everything is one


Yin and Yang means commonplace

 When considering Yin and Yang from kanji it means shadow and light.



Shadows and light are everywhere.

Light is coming in while opening your eyes, so you can see things. If you close your eyes you will lose light and you will not be able to see things.

Or it is about negative emotions and positive emotions that people have.

It is also about bad and good.

But that’s not all about Yin and Yang.

All these two opposite things are Yin and Yang.

For example, day and night, moon and sun, right and left, top and bottom, vertical and horizontal, life and death, male and female, plus and minus.

These are all Yin and Yang.

If you think about it, you can think of it as much as you can. Yin and yang is a matter of course everywhere.

According to an old way of thinking in Japan, it is believed that these yin and yang are actually born from one thing, one thing makes two opposite things.

Let’s consider the case of light and shadow.
Shadows can be on the opposite side where light stays. Light and shadow are actually caused by only one sunlight.

It is easier to think about case of right and left. You need the middle to decide the right and left. Your right hand is right and the left hand is left. It is natural that you do not decide the right and left unless you are there.
Without a center you can not decide right and left.

What about men and women?
If only one of them was present, you would not have been born.

To make a child, a man and a woman have to be one. You know what?

Those ideas, two contrary things come from one. This is the Japanese way of thinking of Yin and Yang.

So why does this natural thinking become an important idea in Budo?

From one to two, two to one

In Budo, breathing is also one Yin and Yang.

Breathing is a combination of breathing out and breathing in.

It is you that are controlling breathing.

When you are tired and breathless, your body will be nervous because you have to breathe in a lot.

On the contrary, if you can slowly breathe out, your body relaxes.

You can able to control this by controlling your breath. when you want to concentrate, increase the time of breathing in.When you want to relax, increase the time of breathing out.

Even with just two actions of breathing, you can create various effects by controlling the time of breathing.

Breathing in and breathing out can change your body. Two changes one.

In Japan it is said that Good combination as “breathing goes together”. Adjusting the timing of the two person will be called “adjusting breathing”.

In other words, in Japan it is considered to be one if we can adjust the timing with other people.

Of course, it is also possible that each other intentionally breathes together and becomes one.
The only thing here is that you can move your opponent as you thought by adjusting to your breathing.

Please note that breathing here is not about simple breathing, but about Yin and Yang.

If your breathing is rough, you will not be able to see calmly about your opponent.

You can look calmly about your opponent only if your breathing is slow.

You can think of all this with just breathing.

You control yourself and you control others by the way you use breathing.

Budo in Japan is rooted in this way of thinking.

And the most important thing in Japanese way of Yin and Yang is that everything is one.

Everything is one

A smart person seems to be good at finding common points.

If you compare things in general it is easy to see the difference.

You may think about difference between your Sensei, Sihan and Founder.

The answer is something you can not do anyway.
Because they have been training for years. Because the era of birth is different from them. Because they have talent. Because they have knowledge.

You and the people are the same people in wide view. There are only a few differences.

It is a bit of a matter of dividing success and failure by the same human beings.

The difference is only a small element of Yin and Yang.

Most things are the same if you look at a wide field of view.

have you ever think about where does the sea water come from?

First of all rain is coming from the sky. Rain falls to the mountains Rain will eventually flow into the sea as a river.

And the water of the sea evaporates and climbs into the sky, it will rain and eventually it will come back.

The sea, the rain and the river seems to be different water, but in reality it can be said that the same water goes around various places.

In the current theory humanity’s roots are in Africa.

Human beings prospered there and spread all over the world.

In other words, if you correct the origin, you are born from one tribe.

Even if race, language, or country is different, you can see that it is born from the same place if you follow the former.

Considering only about Yin and Yang, you will pay attention to two things.

What is important in Japan’s Yin Yang idea is that everything is essentially one.

In order to use Yin and Yang properly it must have a solid center.

Japanese way of Yin and Yang will teach us such things.

This is the fundamental way of thinking in Japanese Budo.


Yin yang may be said to be three things.

Right and left and center. Upper and lower and center. Vertical and horizontal and center. Body and mind and self. Past and future and present…

Like the Yin Yang mark there is a yin and yang and there is one mark combined with it.

If you keep this in mind, you can use it for various things.

Even if you proceed to the right, you will come from the left as you go around the earth.

Even if there are people who have different opinions from you, the purpose may be the same.

Even those who oppose you can help you to convince others if you use it well.

What we can learn from Yin and Yang is that there is always something in common.

I will continue to introduce Budo’s philosophy in this category in the future.

To be continued to …

Where should we be conscious of when fighting? : From the idea of Zen.


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