Martial Art or Budo? (a simple explanation)
In our western society Aikido is commonly known as a Martial Art. However, it is much more than that. In fact the founder of Aikido, and Aikido Yuishinkai, prefer to refer to Aikido as "Budo".
The modern day philospher Alain de Botton wrote a book titled "Religion for Athiests". I watched him in an interview, on this book, and his summary was that no matter what the religion, belief or culture, they all offer mechanisms to assist people get through life's challenges.
Thus, I see budo as an alternative way of life by applying ancient, and still relevent, principles to the modern life.
The reason is that the term "Martial Art" usually evokes the perception of aggression and fighting which contradicts the meaning of "Bu" which is to stop fighting.
The term "Budo" is more associated with a way of life guided by a set of virtues. According to Sokon Matsumura (1797-1889), revered founder of the Shorin schools of Okinawan karate, described bu as comprising the following seven virtues:
1. Bu prohibits violence.
2. Bu maintains discipline among soldiers.
3. Bu maintains order among the citizenry.
4. Bu spreads virtue.
5. Bu gives a peaceful heart.
6. Bu helps keep peace between people.
7. Bu makes people and nations prosper.