Zen Do Kai vs Bushikai

There are more differences between the parts of Bushikai than there is to the whole of Zen Do Kai.

There are more differences between the parts of Zen Do Kai than there is to the whole of Bushikai.

There are very significant overlaps in theory, purpose, technique and structure. While not the same, having trained at some length with instructors and students of each, I believe that we are very much part of a similar family. That said, I believe that parts of each stray away from what I consider to be true martial arts.

I will refer to “the path” below in reference to what I consider to be the true path of Bushikai and of Zen Do Kai.

  • When we train to get a belt, we are not following the path.
  • When we train in a particular way because of tradition rather than because it is the best way we know of, we are not following the path.
  • When we act from ego and delusions of power rather than serving our students and developing ourselves, we are not following the path.

The path for Bushikai and Zen Do Kai – the path of pursuing successively higher standards of excellence or the best of everything progression – is the same.

And whether you are from Nemesis or White Fury or Black Dragon or Brotherhood, to the extent that you are pursuing improved technique and improved techniques of teaching techniques, you are following the path.

The techniques of Zen Do Kai have changed in focus radically. Recall in the Goju Rebels days, leg kicks were not permitted, blocks were traditional and blood flowed freely. Many changes were made to bring Zen Do Kai to where it was when I started training in the early 1990s.

Bushikai’s grading syllabus, while published online in only basic form, is more extensive and transparent than what is available from Zen Do Kai. Furthermore, they have the most recently published kata video.

It was the diversity that made Zen Do Kai strong. It was that same diversity that made it difficult to control.

Indeed, a well known Bushikai Master has been known to say that ZDK/ABK is really just Goju… it’s just that most people don’t realise it.

In my opinion, Bushikai is both the latest manifestation of Zen Do Kai, and an entirely new concept just as Zen Do Kai was to Goju in the 1960s.