CompleteMartialArts.com - Karate-Do: My Way of Life
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Manufacturer: Kodansha International
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Binding: Paperback Dewey Decimal Number: 796.81530924 EAN: 9780870114632 ISBN: 0870114638 Label: Kodansha International Manufacturer: Kodansha International Number Of Items: 1 Number Of Pages: 144 Publication Date: 1981-09-15 Publisher: Kodansha International Studio: Kodansha International
Linking the time when karate was a strictly Okinawan art of self-defense shrouded in the deepest secrecy and the present day, when it has become a martial art practiced throughout the world, is Gichin Funakoshi, the "Father of Karate-do."
Out of modesty, he was reluctant to write this autobiography and did not do so until he was nearly ninety years of age. Trained in the Confucian classics, he was a schoolteacher early in life, but after decades of study under the foremost masters, he gave up his livelihood to devote the rest of his life to the propagation of the Way of Karate. Under his guidance, techniques and nomenclature were refined and modernized, the spiritual essence was brought to the fore, and karate evolved into a true martial art.
Various forms of empty-hand techniques have been practiced in Okinawa for centuries, but due to the lack of historical records, fancy often masquerades as fact. In telling of his own famous teachers-and not only of their mastery of technique but of the way they acted in critical situations-the author reveals what true karate is. The stories he tells about himself are no less instructive: his determination to continue the art, after having started it to improve his health; his perseverance in the face of difficulties, even of poverty; his strict observance of the way of life of the samurai; and the spirit of self-reliance that he carried into an old age kept healthy by his practice of Karate-do.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Truly a master Comment: This is a great book for anyone taking Shotokan Karate. This is more of an autobiography on Funakoshi. I think his life is very interesting. He tells of how he was a very sick boy but became 100 times healthier through his study of karate. This book gives his philosophy on the way he lived his life. He reminds us that everybody starts out as a beginner and the true nature of what karate really is. Anyone can learn karate, there is nothing super human about it. If you are interested in the origins of karate and how Shotokan became organized and introduced to the world, then this would be a great book for you. It's an easy read and very much enlightening. Customer Rating: Summary: Good insight into Master Funakoshi's life and philosophy Comment: This really gives a great insight into a lot of the philosophy of the master. How you take the information inside this book is up to personal opinion but whatever your opinion it is an eye opener if you wanted to know why perhaps some things are the way they are Customer Rating: Summary: Humbled by the master Comment: A wonderful book from the man who effectively created Shotokan Karate.
Funakoshi was a very humble man who was trained by two early Okinawan masters (Yasutsune Azato & Yasutsune Itosu). He never boasts of his acheivements and indeed claims only ever to have used his skills once, when he was quite old, to protect himself and his goods from a young thug. He regretted this act though.
The book is only small, and perhaps this reflects a man who lived a very simple life. As he says "think of everyday life as Karate". Whether you are a new student nervously awaiting your first grading or a Dan grade with years of experience you should really read this book to bring a sense of perspective to your Karate.
Customer Rating: Summary: Interesting glimpse in to the unwavering mind of a master Comment: This is an interesting book written by Gichin Funakoshi in the eves of his life. More than 80 years of his life he dedicated to this ancient and fantastic way of phsysical and mental training. All the while trying to become a better person, never becoming selfabsorbed or complacent. I particularly like the story where he, as an old man, is attacked by a much younger man. Master Funakoshi repels the assailant without hurting him, but afterwards he chides himself and feels that he should have been able to avoid physical confrontation completely... Customer Rating: Summary: Every Shotokan Karate-ka ought to be given this when they 1st join their club Comment: In his biographical masterpiece, Grand Master Funakoshi gives a very witty, intelligent & often funny account of his whole life, from his early days when he was forced to take up training for his poor health to when he was finally invited to Japan to give the first successful demonstration of his art - Shotokan Karate.
He was obviously a very clever man who really had a passion for his art. At an early age he developed a goal, a vision and a passion to learn all he could about karate from the then great masters of his time and present it to the world. He recounts several times in his life when he was confronted by would-be assailants and describes how he got out of the potentially lethal encounter, he does this in a very witty and often funny way.
Despite the book being very small and could be read by some perhaps in a day or so, it really is very interesting and worth reading several times, especially if you practice Karate. I think that it's the sort of book that should be given to new students on joining a Shotokan club.
It's just packed with gems of wisdom worth there weight in gold for successful living, even in today's manic society.
As in all the other positive reviews listed here already, Funakohi's book is full of wisdom, inspiration and hope.
Check out Clive Layton's "Training With Funakoshi" too, an excellent work from a different perspective not to mention Funakoshi's "Twenty Guiding Principles".