About "Budo" or "Bushido":

Budo is a term for Japanese martial arts. Traditional budo (from before the Meiji Restoration) is often referred to as koryu bujutsu, while more modern budo arts are called gendai budo.

Budo is a compound of the kanji (bu)-meaning war, warrior, fight, or fighter and (do)- meaning path or way.

Thus, Budo is most often translated as "The Way of War", "the Way of the Warrior", or "martial way". Budo more correctly represents a discipline and way of life specific to the Japanese warrior. It is distinguished by many terms representing the actual technical skills and techniques being practiced such as Kyudo ("The Way of the Bow"), and Kendo and Kenjutsu ("Way of the Sword" and "Sword Techniques" or "Sword Skill").

Many consider Budo the more modern form of a style, interpretation or evolution of the older or more militaristic bujutsu style or strategy, although this interpretation itself is debated. The various martial styles all place their own individual emphasis on the development of what might be considered more "modern" versus "military" aspects of combat and personal development. Both budo and bujutsu represent a particular strategy or philosophy regarding combat systems with the terms rather loosely applied and often interchangeable. There is no test or standard to determine the classification one way or another.

Budo (way of war) or Bujutsu (war techniques) include all the skills and techniques used by samurai and other Japanese warriors, comprising striking, grappling and weaponry. In modern times these have been broken apart and translated into what are commonly known as:
  • karatedo (striking, empty hand),
  • jiujutsu, judo or aikido (grappling, throwing),
  • kendo, iaido and kobudo (various weaponry).
Bushido is a Japanese code of conduct and a way of life, loosely analogous to the European concept of chivalry. Bushido developed between the 11th to 14th centuries. According to the Japanese dictionary Shogakukan Kokugo Daijiten, "Bushido is defined as a unique philosophy (ronri) that spread through the warrior class from the Muromachi (chusei) period."

The core tenets of Bushido were firmly in place as early as the 12th century as demonstrated by the earliest translations of Japanese literature and warrior house codes. Bushido became formalized into Japanese feudal law under the Tokugawa Shogunate into Japanese Feudal Law.I nazo Nitobe's Bushido: The Soul of Japan clearly states that the code was often unwritten or came from the pen of a warrior savant: "...Bushido, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe. It is not a written code; at best it consists of a few maxims handed down from mouth to mouth or coming from the pen of some well-known warrior or savant. More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten, possessing all the more the powerful sanction of veritable deed, and of a law written on the fleshly tablets of the heart. It was founded not on the creation of one brain, however able, or on the life of a single personage, however renowned. It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career." Seven virtues associated with Bushido:
  • Gi - Rectitude
  • Yu - Courage
  • Jin - Benevolence
  • Rei - Respect
  • Makoto or Shin - Honesty
  • Meiyo - Honor, Glory
  • Chugi - Loyalty
(Translations from: Random House's Japanese-English, English-Japanese Dictionary)

Others that are sometimes added to these:
  • Chu - Preservation of ethics
  • Ko - Filial piety
  • Chi - Wisdom
  • Tei - Care for the aged