Customer Rating: Summary: Excellent Presentation of Goju Ryu Karate Comment: This is an excellent addition to any martial arts library. Not only is it the best presentation of Meibukan Goju Ryu in print but it is also one of the best books on Okinawan Goju Ryu in existence.
The organization of material is presented very clearly and in the order of a curriculum. Starting with history, basics and then more advanced training and concepts. In this way the anatomy of the style is presented to the reader progressively. What sets it above the rest of books in the same genre is its attention to detail and the fact that Mr. Opdam is an avid reader of current research on the martial arts. Therefore, there is a good balance between the traditional history and more scientific views.
To note particularly is his discussion of body mechanics and Qi comparing modern western physiological concepts with traditional ones. A discussion of Qi in a book on Karate is not often seen and is an important contribution. His exposition of the Kata Sanchin is also one of the most complete seen in the space he had.
On a historical note Mr. Opdam is a student of Anthony Mirakian who learnt from Meitoku Yagi in the 50s while stationed in Okinawa, and so it is interesting to see how this curriculum differs from the one currently developed in the Meibukan. In this way it is also a kind of snap shot of the Karate of that time.
I highly recommend it to any serious student of the martial arts and the Goju Ryu style in particular. A solid traditional martial arts book like this one is a welcomed addition in a publication world obsessed with violence and the next martial arts fad and gimmick. For this credit must also be given to the publishers.