Difference Between Shotokan and Bushido

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    Shotokan vs Bushido

    Shotokan is a style of Karate from Japan while the term Bushido refers to the warrior code of conduct.

    Shotokan is a very recently developed style by Gichin Funakoshi. The style is mainly developed from some of older styles including those from Japan and China. Whereas Bushido was the code of conduct followed by the warriors or the samurai since the ancient times.

    Shotokan was a style meant to be popular and to be used by everyone. Before this anyone wanting to learn karate needed to go to special dedicated schools. To popularize Karate in Japan, Funakoshi and his son started giving demonstration and classes in schools, colleges and public places. The Bushido was generally practiced only by the best of the warriors and usually meant living a very frugal life with no interest in materialistic gains. The main aim of the life was to serve one’s lord and people with honor and dedication and try to refine your skills always. Following this code one could never betray his master or run away from a flight. No matter what the odds or being outnumbered a fight had to be taken.

    The aim of Shotokan is to instill in the student the values of training, discipline and character. The fights between two fighter are usually demonstrations or competitions, whereas, in bushido victory in a fight meant literally taking the head of the opponent and defeat meant death or suicide.

    For someone following Bushido any bad deed done also had one punishment and that was suicide or also called hara kiri. Other aspects of Bushido also include philosophies on raising children, personal grooming and meditation. For those following the Bushido death with honor was the biggest reward one could hope for.

    Shotokan is governed by a set of laid down rules and also the various schools and the worldwide tournaments are overseen by the various international federations, however, Bushido is more of an unwritten code which was earlier practiced by warriors but in the modern Japan it has evolved and stayed in a very diluted form.


    1.Shotokan is a style of Karate from Japan while the term Bushido refers to the warrior code of conduct.
    2.Shotokan can be learned by anyone and it would not have any impact on one’s way of life, however, Bushido was a way of life in itself.
    3.Shotokan was developed to make martial arts training to everyone while Bushido was practiced by very few warriors.
    4.Where Shotokan is governed by international rules and federations, bushido is an unwritten code. This has now got even more diluted in the modern times.

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