Volume 6 / Issue 1 SPRING 2020

S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 6 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 2 0 5 3 Antonio Terrone 1 Introduction The image that Japanese martial arts conjure is most frequently that of two partners engaging in grappling and fight - ing. Obviously, martial arts are meant first and foremost to develop fighting skills in those who practice them. The phys - ical aspect of the practice, however, tends more often than not to overshadow the internal, psychological, and spiritual elements. These are equally relevant especially in traditional forms of budo , such as kendo , judo , and Aikido emerged in Japan starting with the Meiji era (1868-1912). In the process of globalization, while new mixed systems and spectacular exhibitions gain major exposure, others with profound cultural roots tend to be sidelined. Spectacularized and sensationalized martial art events boosted and promoted by mass media industries and show business have popularized fighting systems with a vague relation to Asia, while blurring and minimizing their ethical and psycho-spiritual features. It is important to remind ourselves, however, that beyond these more traditional systems being physical, they also provide great psychological and spiritual development. Therefore, the philosophical and spiritual benefits achieved from budopractice are not just theoretical, but pragmatic as well. About the author Antonio Terrone, Ph.D., is a Chicago-based East Asia analyst specialized in Buddhism and other religions, politics, and violence in China, Tibet, and Japan. He has served as a lecturer in Asian Religions in numer - ous American universities, including Northwestern University (2009-2014) and as an assistant professor of Buddhist Studies at the National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan (2014-2016). His articles have appeared in numerous specialized journals and he is currently finishing two monographs. Additionally, An - tonio’s interests focus also on the study and practice of Japanese budo, especially Aikido, holding a 4th dan black-belt and having practiced since he was a teen - ager in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He is available at: https://independentscholar.academia. edu/AntonioTerrone. His email is terrone@lycos.com.