I have been reading and thinking a lot recently about the phrase or term "martial art" and karate's purpose. From different sources I have heard the same things over and over: karate is not a martial art. To understand that statement, we need to understand the distinction that many people make between a martial art and a fighting art. In the Japanese traditions it would be the difference between bugei and budo. The difference being made is the intent behind the system. Bugei were traditional battlefield arts intended to be used by professional soldiers and warriors, whereas budo are the more modern civilian derivations of those arts with an emphasis on spiritual and personal development. Both are fighting methods but they have different emphasis.
Here is a little something from someone more in tune with modern law enforcement needs and the combative training available from a modern and traditional point of view.
This has made me wonder - what do I want from my own martial abilities? Do I want an art intended for self defense and self perfection? Do I want to be a warrior with a variety of skills and weapons under my belt? Do I want an art that is intended to protect others?
I know I want a complete set of skills, and I know that my own skills are far from complete. But will mixing my own karate with something from a bugei bring me completeness? Or will it be divisive to my training and the end result left with more holes than bridges?
Here is one of the articles I have been reading.
I have been reading a few books at once, and I can't find which one discusses something similar.