The Japanese word for martial art is “Budo.” BU means martial and DO is the same as in Aiki-“do”: a word for Way or Path, both literally as well as figuratively speaking. The concept of DO is found in many Japanese disciplines, from the more evidently physical forms such as Judo, Karate-Do, Kendo and other martial forms, to practices such as Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) or Sado (the Japanese tea ceremony). In the spirit of Budo you will find the concept of using a physical discipline to create an outer form for spiritual training. The concept of using a physical form of practice to serve a higher purpose is a very wonderful part of Japanese culture: You use your chosen discipline to polish your spirit, gain a better understanding of yourself, your relationship to the world in which you live and the people you share this world with.
Inherent in the spirit of Budo is the concept of learning by doing. Knowledge will come to you as you develop. Also inherent in Budo is a very important concept: combat skills are to be used only as a last resort in actual physical confrontations. Having the ability to defend yourself gives you the confidence to choose your battles wisely. As a Budoka (martial artist), protecting yourself or others, when all other options of resolution have proven futile, should be the attitude you strive for.