I thought I would post the following comments on Budo principles from Kondo Katsuyuki sensei, a well-known Daito-ryu Aikijutsu teacher. Although he is addressing Daito-ryu, I feel his ideas and principles are applicable to Karate-do as well.
Daito-ryu Akijujutsu – Hiden Mokuroku Series Part 1
Ikkajo Tachiai by Katsuyuki Kondo
1. Rei Courtesy: In old days, words such as burei (disrespectful) and shitsurei (inexcusable behavior) were used. One who lacks rei, that is one who was disrespectful would be risking his own life. For example, in the old days one was sure to put his sword on his right side when he was invited into a room and sit down. If he put his sword on his left side he could draw it at any time. It was disrespectful to put his sword on his left side. That meant being shitsurei or engaging in impolite behavior. With your sword on your left, you can draw it at any time and this shows you have an intention to fight the other person. Ihave heard that once a person was attacked and cut and died because his sword was on his left side and he happened to touch it by mistake. Therefore this kind of disrespectful behavior could endanger ones life. (more…)