Budo: The Art of Killing is an award winning 1978 Japanese martial arts documentary created and produced by Hisao Masuda and financed by The Arthur Davis Company. Considered a cult classic, the film is a compilation of various Japanese martial art demonstrations by several famous Japanese instructors such as Gozo Shioda, Taizaburo Nakamura and Teruo Hayashi. Martial arts featured in the film include: karate, aikido, kendo, sumo, and judo among others. The only modern Japanese martial art not featured in the film is kyūdō
The film moves to footage of traditional Judo training such as mat rolls, pole-hopping, bunny-hops, and practice of hip throws using rubber bands tied around trees. The film moves on to discuss naginata-do, a budō popular with female martial art practitioners in Japan. Aikido is then demonstrated by Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan aikido interspersed with shots of leaves falling into a brook. To emphasize the film’s theme of « mind and body are one in Budo » the viewer is shown Shinto practitioners fire walking. The film then shows training in a sumo stable with rikishi Takamiyama, where the training shown is both tough and cruel. Scenes of young people practicing kobudo on the beach follow the sumo demonstration as the narrator discusses the succession of Budō to younger generations.
The film explains the importance of kata with Teruo Hayashi demonstrating more karate-do kumite. The narrator explains, « … karate training can be both severe and cruel, yet a sword can take away a life with one swing. »