Back when I started Taido, the slogan “21st Century Martial Art” sounded pretty cool. Well… after somebody told me what the 21st century was, it did. I was seven years old, and it was 1984.
Back then, the 21st Century was: THE FUTURE!
But it’s not anymore. Y2K came and went, and the world didn’t end. We’re all still here, doing our thing.
Good news though. I just found out a few days ago that – eleven years into the 21st century – Taido has officially updated it’s slogan. That’s a good thing because literally everything is 21st century now. Unless you can travel through time.
Actually, I’m really happy about this. I first wrote about the need for a new slogan in my giant rant about everything wrong with Taido. I’ve also brought up the subject with a lot of people who actually make decisions about this kind of thing, so maybe I had some kind of influence in the change. Or maybe some old Japanese guy is taking credit for it. Who knows…
That’s it. The new slogan. And it’s actually not too bad, in Japanese.
The first two characters (sōzō) translate as creation. The second set of characters (shinka) mean evolution. The final two characters stand for budō – which signifies a martial art. That の character in the middle is like the reverse of ‘of’ in English, so the whole thing translates as:
The Martial Art of Creation and Evolution
which is nice, because that’s what Taido is supposed to be.
Unfortunately for the English speaking world, creation and evolution are often used in the sense of two opposing views of the origins of humankind – as in “We evolved from apes,” versus “We were created by God.” Which is a silly debate anyway, but the fact is that many Americans hearing that Taido is a martial art of creation and evolution are probably going to be a little confused, owing if nothing else to that cultural connotation.
Anyway, Taido is supposed to be about creating new things and evolving ourselves and our society. I think it’s great that we finally have a slogan that expresses that, though I’m stuggling to find a more elegant way to phrase it in English.
I’d love to read your interpretations or reactions to Taido’s new slogan, so leave me a quick comment below.