Budo(武道) is a term for Japanese martial arts. Traditional budo (from before the Meiji Restoration) is often referred to as koryu bujutsu, while more modern budo arts are called gendai budo.

Budo is a compound of the kanji 武 (bu)-meaning war, warrior, fight, or fighter - and 道 (do)- meaning path or way. Similarly, Bujutsu is a coumpound of the kanji characters 武 (bu) and 術 (jutsu) meaning technique or skill.
Thus, Budo is most often translated as "The Way of War", "the Way of the Warrior", or "martial way". Budomore correctly represents a discipline and way of life specific to the Japanese warrior. It is distinguished by many terms representing the actual technical skills and techniques being practiced such as Kyudo ("The Way of the Bow"), and Kendo and Kenjutsu ("Way of the Sword" and "Sword Techniques" or "Sword Skill").

Many consider Budo the more modern form of a style, interpretation or evolution of the older or more miltaristic bujutsu style or strategy, although this interpretation itself is debated. The various martial styles all place their own individual emphasis on the development of what might be considered more "modern" versus "military" aspects of combat and personal development. Both budo and bujutsu represent a particular strategy or philosophy regarding combat systems with the terms rather loosely applied and often interchangeable. There is no test or standard to determine the classificaiton one way or another.

Budo (way of war) or Bujutsu(war techniques) include all the skills and techniques used by samurai and other Japanese warriors, comprising striking, grappling and weaponry. In modern times these have been broken apart and translated into what are commonly known as karatedo (striking), jujutsu or judo (grappling), aikido, kendo, iaido and kobudo (weaponry).