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CompleteMartialArts.com - Karate-Do Kyohan: The Master Text

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Manufacturer: Kodansha International
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

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 796.8153
EAN: 9780870111907
ISBN: 0870111906
Label: Kodansha International
Manufacturer: Kodansha International
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 256
Publication Date: 1973-05-15
Publisher: Kodansha International
Studio: Kodansha International

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Editorial Reviews:

Nineteen kata ("forms") of karate-the art of self-defense without weapons-are presented here in complete detail. They are the ones selected by the great master and teacher, Gichin Funakoshi, to give comprehensive training in Karate-do, the way of karate.

Fully illustrated demonstrations by the translator cover not only every technique of the kata but also the fundamentals and applications: how to make a fist; the correct form of the open hand; preliminary training in blocking, striking and kicking; the seven stances; and sparring.

The author presents, besides kata that he himself originated, beginning and advanced kata from both the Shorei school and the Shorin school, the former remarkable for their forcefulness and development of strength, the latter characterized by their gracefulness and lightning swiftness.

This book, the most comprehensive and authoritative ever published, was being revised by the author shortly before his death in 1957, at the age of eighty-eight, and is translated for the first time. Through his advice on both practical and spiritual aspects of training, the master guides the
student from techniques to the Way of karate. Complementing the English edition are illustrations of National Treasures from Kofuku-ji and Todai-ji temples in Nara and Master Funakoshi's calligraphy.

Karate, whose value for the well-rounded development of strength, coordination and agility is scientifically validated, can be practiced at any time and in any place, for any length of time, by men and women of all ages, and requires no special equipment. It also fosters the development of spiritual
qualities: courage, courtesy, integrity, humility and self-control.

Gichin Funakoshi's karate books, the first published in 1922, are landmarks, for the development of this martial art in Okinawa was shrouded in secrecy, and almost no records of its early history, dating back more than a thousand years to the Shao-lin Temple in Hunan Province, China, exist.
Karate-do Kyohan is a book that lives up to its title: it is in truth the master text for karate instruction at all levels and in all aspects of technique and character development.

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: Karete-Do Kyohan: The Master Text
Comment: This was my first time using Amazon to bought a book that I am looking for. So far, I am satisfy with this service instead of I buy in book store. Price is my concern and Amazon give this.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: not much to say
Comment: If you do Shotokan or any karate for that matter you should have this book, If you do Shotokan you HAVE to have this book and you are very luck to have so much of the founders works published in english and still in print, i train in Kyokushin and most or Mas Oyama's work is in Japanese only and long out of print

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: An Invaluable Resource, Among the First Karate Documents
Comment: I am a 2nd-dan practitioner under Tsutomu Ohshima, the translator, and I want to point out a few things, regarding the comments. Mr. Ohshima read the original Japanese text of his teacher(Funakoshi), at least 50 times (before translating), and was authorized by his family to translate it into English. With those considerations (and the fact that it took 10 years), it was a monumental undertaking--personally, professionally, and historically. I can appreciate that he used his own photos, because, as someone else pointed out, the stances got lower and longer, and some things were in transition at the time the book was written--think of it as a "2nd, updated edition." For more information on the changes going on at the time, investigate Shigeru Egami's excellent Karate-do Nyumon, also available here. Egami was Mr. Ohshima's senior and very close friend, considered by many to be the top karateka during his life.

Master Funakoshi mastered 2 styles--shorei-ryu and shorin ryu-during his lifetime, instructed by Masters Itosu and Azato. The former has powerful, hard directed movements, rooted in deep stances, while the latter has swift, sweeping, bird-like movements, and we have kata from each style (Ie. the Heian/Pinan forms are Shorin, while Tekki/Neihanchu kata are shorei). Traditional "karate" come from Okinawa, and the different regional styles, named for the towns, drew some influence from Chinese sailors trained in kung-fu, who washed ashore and trained the villagers, further influencing their styles, and differentiating them. "Shotokan" means "House of Shoto." "Shoto" was Master Funakoshi's nickname. When a karateka was asked where he was going, he'd say "Shotokan," or Shoto's house. "Shoto" also means the sound the wind makes when blowing through pine needles, which Master Funakoshi loved.

Numerous styles claim heritage through Funakoshi, and widespread, unauthorized use of the Shotokan "circled tiger" has ensued. This symbol was created by one of Funakoshi's students, and is trademarked. You can see it in the opening of one of Jet Li's movies, and probably many others.

Traditional Tae-Kwon-Do was created by practitioners who got their karate black belts in Japan in the 20th century (according to my research) although there's a raging debate about the "ancient" origins of those arts. Some claim Tae-Kwon-Do descended from a children's game in which practitioners tried to knock down their opponents with a kick, which was banned by elders long ago--a view that is often ridiculed by martial art historians. This is buttressed by the fact that many Tae-Kwon-Do schools use this Kyohan as their text, and either the exact same kata (particularly the Heian), or lightly modified (usually with modified or added kicks).

Not all "karate" styles are directly descended from Shotokan. Goju-ryu and others at least partially developed in parallel, but they definitely influenced each other, and had common roots. To be called "karate," however, implied, originally, Chinese roots. This changed, later, to mean "open-hand" styles, so karate, today, is more generally loosely defined. This website has a clear "family tree," of karate heritage, as well as incredibly useful information and links-- [...]. Ohshima Shihan's website is [...]. Also see [...] (in English or Spanish).

One reviewer criticized the Shotokan punch, and it seemed that he was responding not to the book, but to Shotokan generally. Our stances have gotten longer and narrower. When Funakoshi brought karate to mainland Japan, many practitioners were already experts in judo and kendo. One effect was the lengthening of the distance between fighters--often a judo expert would immediately slam a karateka to the ground, or a kendoka would quickly "spear" the uninitiated with a punch. These 2 aspects, as you might imagine, caused a relatively immediate change, not unlike (although it's a long-shot) the effect Gracie Jujitsu had on early mixed martial arts events. These three disciplines (and others) combined to develop the efficacy of Japanese karate, as practiced by Funakoshi's students.

Another reviewer sharply pointed out that the book was written for beginners, as well as advanced practitioners. One isn't meant to punch (and fight) with the hand opposite the punching hand pulled back to the hip (ie. "pulling hand), so there is no "arm ending up behind one's body" as the other reviewer had mentioned. This is taught to beginners to show them the proper movement, and is often reverted to by the advanced, to refine the development of power through the thrusting of the hips. In a real engagement (and sparring), fighters hold their hands up naturally, like boxers or MMA fighters.

This review is supplemented by my material here--[...]

The highly-rated Karate Jutsu: The Original Teachings of Gichin Funakoshi, by Ohshima godan John Teramoto (and also available here on Amazon) is the first official English translation of an earlier Funakoshi book. Also do not miss Funakoshi's Karate-do: My Way of Life.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A must have
Comment: This book is a fantastic must-have for any Karate enthusiast. It really is The Master Text (it says so right on the cover). The early chapters provide an insightful background and history of Karate and Shotokan, and are a great read. The later chapters serve as wonderful reference material for the practicing Karate-ka.
Highly recommended.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Disappointing
Comment: I feel quite disappointed abut this product: The original pictures by master Funakoshi (more than 50% of the book) were replaced by similar pictures of the translator doing similar examples. This information was not available online, I just realized this when I received the item. I've been told that a new english edition has been released by ITKF recovering the original pictures of the author.

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