Two important ways of thinking about martial arts styles and how they work need to be defined in advance.
The first is the distinction between jutsu and do, two terms used in Japanese martial arts. Jutsu means, roughly, "technique" or "art;" it signifies a martial art meant for actual fighting use. Do, meaning "way," signifies just the opposite—a philosophically-oriented approach which stresses the moral, intellectual, sporting, and/or therapeutic benefits of studying a particular "fighting" style. Do forms are not generally meant for actual combat, though they can be used that way. Over time, most of the jutsu forms have transformed into doforms. Thus, Aikijutsu becomes Aikido, Jujutsu becomes Judo, Kenjutsu becomes Kendo, and so forth. The real-world styles described in this book are almost all jutsu forms, since they will be used for game combat by game fighters.
The "internal" versus "external" dichotomy (also known as "soft" versus "hard") is described in more detail in the Chinese styles, but it is present in other arts as well. Styles described as "internal" concentrate on the development of one's internal power, known as ch'i (China), ki (Japan), mana (Hawaii), prana (India) or by many other names. Ch'i is often thought to reside in the tantien (or tanden, meaning "cinnabar field"), a point just a few inches below the navel, and internal stylists try to keep it centered there so that it will flow throughout their body in the correct fashion and energize them. Internal styles generally concentrate on circular motion, yielding in the face of attack, and using an enemy's force against him. Tai Ch'i Ch'uan, Hsing-I, Pakua and Aikido all qualify as "internal" styles. Internal stylists are often able to manipulate their ch'i to perform astounding feats; in a gaming campaign, these abilities can become even more spectacular and impressive!
External or "hard" styles, on the other hand, concentrate on the development of the body and its physical capabilities. They generally rely on powerful, linear attacks to overpower the foe. The Shaolin Kung Fu styles, Karate, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Muay Thai and similar fighting arts are considered external styles.
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