Home : Who's Who : Information : Entertainment : Publications : Fitness : Directory : Multimedia : MMA : Forums : Links


CompleteMartialArts.com - The Bible of Karate Bubishi

List Price: $18.95
Our Price: $12.89
Your Save: $ 6.06 ( 32% )
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Manufacturer: Tuttle Publishing
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

Buy it now at Amazon.com!

Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 796.8153
EAN: 9780804820158
ISBN: 0804820155
Label: Tuttle Publishing
Manufacturer: Tuttle Publishing
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 216
Publication Date: 1995-11-15
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Studio: Tuttle Publishing

Related Items

Editorial Reviews:

No other classic work has had as dramatic an impact on the shaping and development of karate as The Bubishi. Treasured for centuries by karate?s top masters, studied, applied, and plagarized, The Bubishi is a classic Chinese work on philosophy, strategy, medicine, and technique as they relate to the martial arts. Referred to as 'the bible of karate' by the famous master Miyagi Chojun, for hundreds of years The Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa. Now made available to the world in paperback, incorporate its eternal insights into your martial arts training.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Karate Bubishi - a rare gemstone!
Comment: A MASTERPIECE!!!..Really.....this book is an extremely rare work!....Could not believe that i just happened to stumble upon it....I had not heard about it nor seen it before. And i'm glad i found it....or rather was found by it!
It is deep......really deep and just perfect. I recommend it to anyone who's ever wanted to go beyond the 'surface' of martial arts study and research.
This will truly be one of my best readings...and no I'll NOT be lending it out....even for a minute.....BUY yours :-)

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The title is exactly what it is.
Comment: This is a great book. Everytime I look at it I learn something new. The best part of the book, the more you now, the more you'll get out of it.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Bubishi - the Bible of Karate
Comment: Very interesting book about the history, tactics & strategies of karate from the old China and Okinawa. This book really open our eyes to understand more about the roots and important principles of Martial Arts.

Soke Leif Hermansson, 9 dan hanshi karate & kobudo

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Good overview and translation of classic oriental book
Comment: This book offers a good overview of the original bubishi. It will give excellent historical reference that will build up on your knowledge of martial arts history. A big part of the book is taken by ancient oriental medicine recipies which are interesting to read but little practical use for people not familiar or interested in herbal medicine. If this book is for history or martial arts techniques, it's better as a supplement to other books fully dedicated to each of these two subjects, it'll help building your rounded understanding of martial arts but won't teach you specific styles or techniques.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Good book about history of Okinawan Karate
Comment: _The Bible of Karate Bubishi_ is a pleasant book to read. Patrick McCarthy is not the author, but the translator and commentator of a book whose original author & date of origin are unknown.

"Bubishi" is the name of a document that was read, copied and passed from master to student in the fighting traditions of Okinawa since the mid-1800s. The Chinese ideograms that make up its title can be interpreted as "a manual of military preparation". I cannot do better than Mr. McCarthy's description of Bubishi on page 27 of the book, so I will quote that here:

" Okinawa's Bubishi is an anthology of Chinese gongfu, its history, philosophy, and application. Focusing on the White Crane style from Yongchuan village, Fujian Province, this compilation also addresses Shaolin Monk Fist gongfu and reveals its relationship to Okinawa's civil fighting legacy of karate-do."
" The contents of this anthology's thirty-two articles include White Crane gongfu history, moral philosophy, advice on etiquette, comparisons of styles, defensive applications, herbal medicines, training mechanics, and Monk Fist Boxing."

McCarthy's translation is broken up into four major sections:
- History and Philosophy
- Chinese Medicine and Herbal Pharmacology
- The Vital Points
- Fighting Techniques

Part One: History and Philosophy has translations and commentary from the six chapters of Bubishi that dealt with history, philosophy, & etiquette for the martial artist. It also includes McCarthy's notes on possible origins of the Bubishi document in China, different theories on the origin of Karate-do, history of Karate-do from the Meiji era, and Okinawan Karate-do dynasties.

Part Two: Chinese Medicine and Herbal Pharmacology is a section that is often vague, but also shows McCarthy's dedication to this project. Ten of the thirty-two articles in the original Bubishi were devoted to medicine & healing. McCarthy spent a number of years consulting with Chinese herbalists to understand what plants were being referred to by the pictures & Chinese ideograms. This was no small task, as many of the ideograms had been miscorrectly copied at one point or another during the past century. McCarthy & the herbalists sometimes had to first figure out what ideograms made no sense, before they could start deciphering what the prescriptions should perhaps have been.

McCarthy is very honest about the facts that (1) no instructions for how to administer the herbs were included, so a person would need to take the list to a Chinese herbalist and have them help figure out what plants needed to applied externally, internally, eaten as a powder, drunk as an infusion, etc., and (2) the prescriptions in Bubishi don't match any current prescriptions in Chinese herbalism, so the information is presented to the reader as is, with no guarantees from McCarthy OR the experts who helped him about whether the prescriptions will be of any use at all.

In part two, only the plants' scientific names are given, and that is the main reason why I give this book four stars and not five. But I also realize McCarthy may have done that deliberately, to discourage experimentation by those who are not herbalists.

Part Three: The Vital Points contains translations of five chapters within Bubishi that deal with vital point striking. McCarthy also includes an introductory section on vital point theory and items of historic note such as the bronze man statues. McCarthy has done a great service to the reader by including both the original diagrams and also more detailed modern anatomical diagrams to show the locations of the striking points.

Part Four: Fighting Techniques includes translations of eleven articles in Bubishi on fighting techniques. McCarthy also includes some notes on Gongfu Quan, Qin Na, and short histories of six different Fujian gongfu styles, including Monk Fist Boxing and five variations of Crane gongfu. The Bubishi articles are very interesting, but sadly there are some where accompanying text and commentary was lost long ago, and all we have today are diagrams of stances & strikes. For those articles where accompanying commentary is available, McCarthy translates the original commentary (which is often in poetic language) and then adds his own notes about what is really meant by "Butterfly Fluttering" and "Blue Dragon Going Out To Seize".

Overall, _The Bible of Karate Bubishi_ is a book I enjoyed reading and found to be very informative.

On a personal note, I am writing this review as someone who typically doesn't read books on martial arts history. There are just too many arts where too much "history" has occurred between different teachers. Consequently figuring out what really happened, even a generation ago, requires reading seven different version told by at least three different people, with allowances made for whether a particular version comes from a personal memoir, a magazine article, or notes from a dojo lecture. And after all that, the reader still won't know if the art is any good, or what its strengths and weaknesses are versus other styles.

I read this book at the behest of one of my teachers, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I am very glad he recommended it to me and a number of other students.

Buy it now at Amazon.com!

Top 50 Martial Arts Topsites List

Copyright © 1999-2008 CompleteMartialArts.com. All rights reserved.
powered by My Amazon Store Manager v 2.0, © Stringer Software Solutions