Aspects of Nanbudo

Different aspects of the martial art of Nanbudo can thus attract wide range of practitioners, mainly because of the nature of the martial art – it allows people to join the practice (Keiko) in order to fulfill their own needs, as well as ambitions and intrinsic motivations. In Nanbudo the term Do or the way (path) is to be perceived in a very traditional way – this is the way to cultivate one’s own spirit using a variety of different physical movements and mental exercises. Nanbudo is thus unique because of the concept of Jinseikun or precepts for life based upon lifelong practice (Shougai Keiko), life fulfilled with courage (Shougai yuki) and life based on one’s self-conviction (Shougai Shinnen). Furthermore, Nanbudo encourages a unique philosophy of life, based upon precepts of three and seven forces (Nanbudo Mitsu No Chikara and Nanbudo Nanatsu No Chikara), as well as upon a strong interaction (Saniittai) between the elements of body (Tai), spirit, hearth (Sei, Shin, Kokoro) and a specific martial way (Do).
Ki Nanbu Taiso lies at the heart of Nanbudo. This system of exercises is made of ten clusters of movements inspired by real and imaginary elements from nature. It is a dynamic warming-up exercise, which prepares the body for training, as well as a breathing and Ki (vital energy) exercise, with auto-simulative effects. It provides a mediation experience with nature and its phenomena. Relating it to martial arts it is a special form (Kata) with effective self-defense application system (Kata Bunkai). This exercise is unique and one of most important and significant creations of Nanbu Doshu Soke. Its movements are linked to all branches of the art. Regular performance of this Kata is a very significant part of everyday Nanbudoka’s practice. Ten exercises of this Kata are: NAMI, the wave, symbolizes the movements of water, the power of waves, flow of the tide;
KAZE, the wind, imitates both strong blows and breezes by swinging the body, following the force of the wind; IWA, the rock, symbolizes stability and both physical and mental resistivity;
MATSU, the pine, symbolizes the suppleness of the pine that bends to the force of the wind, but does not break; TSURU, the heron, symbolizes the balance of the bird, ability to fly freely;
HEBI, the snake, imitates the dance of the snake, its litheness and agility;
RYU, the dragon, symbolizes the great power of a dragon rising up and falling on his prey;
CHOU, the butterfly, imitates soft beats of butterfly’s wings, the symbol of physical and spiritual beauty;
TAKI, the waterfall, symbolizes the force of the water when it falls;
NICHI, the sun, symbolizes immensity of the nature and its cyclic phenomena by imitating the sunset and the sunrise.
Budoho, one aspect of Nanbudo, covers martial and self-defense techniques, in which there are basic exercises and combinations (KIHON WAZA and RENZOKUWAZA), RANDORI (practice combat techniques with many prearranged attacking and defensive movements), basic and advanced KATA (imaginary combat rich in symbols and energy) and it’s applications (BUNKAI), JURANDORI a strictly defensive system of competitive combat. Nanbudo aims to free the participant completely from all of the fears and anxieties which give rise to stress and concern.  To remove these concerns TENSHIN (dodging) is the basis of every combat form of martial exercise. It also promotes harmony between TORI (the attacker) and UKE (the defender) with emphasis on the flow (NAGARE) of KI between them. Some of the technique clusters of this martial arts section are Budoho, Kidoho and Noryokukaihatsuho. Budoho is made up of the following: hand techniques (TE WAZA), leg techniques (KERI WAZA), falling techniques (UKEMI WAZA), sweeping (BARAI WAZA) and throwing techniques (NAGE WAZA), arm-lock techniques (KANSETSU WAZA), vital-points techniques (ATEMI WAZA), techniques with wooden staff (BO), BOKKEN (Japanese wooden sword), basic and advanced forms (KATA) and their applications (BUNKAI).
Kidoho, another aspect of the martial art, includes exercises for health maintenance and improvement. They are based on the ancient knowledge of KI (vital energy) and its flow (NAGARE) through the system of meridians (KEIRAKU) in the human body. Continuous flow along meridians is important for psychophysical health and existence of an individual. KIDOHO exercises use bodily movements, breathing (KOKYU WAZA), and mental activities to invigorate both, the body and the spirit, to maintain health and to create happiness. Some of the aspects of this section are NANBU KEIRAKU TAISO (seven therapeutic and meridian stimulating Kata), NANBU TENCHI UNDO (stimulating breathing and stretching exercises), KI UNDO (passive self-stimulation exercises), NANBU SHIZEN NO KI UNDO (natural flow of Ki maintenance exercises) etc.
Noryokukaihatsuho, a third section, covers all meditation and philosophical parts of Nanbudo. It guides us to gain an understanding of ourselves and nature, and to develop our intellectual and perception abilities. In this section there are different kinds of active meditations and mantra repetitions, according to the three principles (NANBUDO MITSU NO CHIKARA) and the seven forces (NANBUDO NANATSU NO CHIKARA).


WORLDWIDE NANBUDO FEDERATION (WNF) is a central organization open to everybody who wants to practice Nanbudo as a Japanese martial art and a school for life. The aim of WNF is to promote and develop this beautiful martial art worldwide and to strengthen national federations, associations and clubs, as well as to coordinate international Nanbudo related activities, manage WNF licenses etc. The technical development of Nanbudo is guided solely by Yoshinao Nanbu Doshu Soke’s vision and the organizational development of NANBUDO worldwide is supported by the Executive Committee. This organization assists and manages a number of events, such as common training-camps, main WNF international training-camp in Platja d’Aro in Spain, international seminars around the world throughout the year (all led by Nanbu Doshu Soke), official international competitions for both minors, juniors and seniors etc. Nanbudo is practiced in around twenty countries worldwide, on all continents, and the number of practitioners is increasing on a daily basis.
Nanbudo is a registered trademark and it is therefore necessary that everybody who practices it and uses the word Nanbudo or other related key-words in their activities and in web-domains, is in possession an official WNF license to do so. All federations, associations, national entities or single members, who pursue or want to pursue the martial art of Nanbudo, can apply for official membership in WNF family.
INTERNATIONAL NANBU BUDO UNIVERSITY (INBU) is a central education unit for all Nanbudo instructors and students. It encourages education in the martial art of Nanbudo, for all grades and all levels of knowledge. It functions as a central programming nucleus for developing as well as for promoting the true values of Nanbudo, as defined by its Founder Yoshinao Nanbu. Furthermore, as Nanbudo is a dynamic ever developing martial art, with one living Founder (DOSHU) and Head (SOKE) the International Nanbu Budo University serves as a unique facility providing direct education and/or evaluation – not as an education substitute – always considering wishes and teaching methods of its Founder.


Physical health and education for life area has the most significant role in the harmonious development of the anthropological characteristics of the students, but it also has the unique possibilities and peculiarities. It assumes that teaching of any physical activity and martial art of Nanbudo in specific should be appropriated to some of the developmental characteristics of the students. For example, regular teaching in physical education in lower and higher education is geared toward the optimization of the (training) motor skills and to improvement of the skills and qualities of life. Education in Nanbudo should be thus an upgrade to the basic principles of physical health and education areas of primary or secondary school education; it should be a physical activity for life. Programming in Nanbudo martial art thus encompasses educational, anthropological and cognitive components. Educational components refer to the theoretical and practical teaching of physical education in Nanbudo. It provides new and different ways of movements, coordination, self-defense, mental and physical self-development and autosuggestion. Training in Nanbudo offers complete knowledge on the preservation and promotion of health and the importance of everyday physical exercise. Nanbudo also offers training in special subjects. Anthropological segment of physical education in Nanbudo refers to the systematic, continuous maintenance and improvement of the biological, motor and functional characteristics of the body. Today’s life is often characterized by a widespread ‘sedentary lifestyle’ that suppresses the need to move which in turn affects the health of the complete body system. Appropriate programs of physical exercise can improve the body composition, resulting in a favorable ratio of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat tissue, which will prevent obesity and some physical disorders. Nanbudo offers a wide range of techniques, such as Japanese gymnastics, meditation and auto-suggestion techniques, self-defensive methods, and meridian therapy exercises. The cognitive component involves encouraging positive values or positive way of thinking: so Nanbudo training is not only a physical activity for the body but a positive thinking/mind exercise for improving oneself. This is why Nanbudo has NORYOKUKAIHATSUHO that covers cognitive-meditative and philosophical parts of Nanbudo. It guides us to a better understanding of ourselves and of nature and development of intellectual and perception skills and capacities.