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75 Down Blocks: Refining Karate Technique Paperback – May 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; 1 edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804832188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804832182
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Z. Dienes on August 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
In recent years we have learnt that to understand our style thoroughly we have to go beyond our style; but in so doing we can find the effective self defence principles that were there all along. So practitioners of karate, tae kwon do, kung fu and so on are realizing that their kata and even basic kihon can make sense as self defence -in a way they never did as "traditionally" taught - if we have the eyes to see what they could be. Because at this stage in the evolution of our arts this is largely a process of reverse engineering, the sticking point is having the range of conceptual tools to see what the moves could be. Having trained with Rick Clark regularly on his seminars in the UK, I was always struck by how someone could show him some piece of kata from their style, and Rick could see immediately a number of interesting and worthwhile applications. He has taken that vision of his and inspected one of the most basic movements in many styles - the down block. What comes out is a wealth of ideas - just the inspiration the modern practitioner needs to understand his art. Any one person should reject many of the ideas and accept only a few for regular training, so that what they take fits in most coherently with what else they use for other movements in their kata etc. But each student will select something different, and so seeing a wide range of possiblities is invaluable for guiding one to create one's own personal self defence system. Presented here are many principles of jujutsu, arnis and kyusho jutsu applied to a simple move of karate, illustrating the fundamental unity of all styles. It's a book I will return to many times.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Prof. Rick Clark isn't your usual martial arts writer. For one thing, in this book he writes about the ideas of Wilfredo Pareto, the 19th century economist who invented the 80/20 rule, and how that idea applies to martial arts; crime statistics for violent attacks against police officers and their implication for martial arts training; and in the second appendix to the book, there is a brief history of the reintroduction of Japanese martial arts into their univerisity system and the contribution of a German doctor who became physician to the Meiji emperor's son in that regard by the name of Erwin Baelz.

The title of the book derives from the fact that the author uses the concept of the down block as a metaphor to examine similar motions and to compare different techniques across the martial arts. For example, he mentions how the nikyu technique in aikido resembles the down block in many respects. Also, the book contains 75 different self-defense techniques against various kinds of attacks.

The techniques also follow the rationale of being designed around the kinds of attacks one can expect based on the aforementioned crime statistics. According to the statistics, most percussive attacks involve either a simple front kick or punch, kicks being about 10% more likely than punches. Grabs at one's wrist or lapel are also very common, along with the attempt to twist the arm, but rarely does anyone try a specific choke or arm hold or technique.

So as I said, although the technques run the full gamut in terms of responses, from holds and locks to takedowns and the usual karate techniques, they are organized around and seleted according to the critieria of probability of occurrence. I liked this aspect of the book and thought it made a lot of sense.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been around since 2003 but for some reason, possibly the title, I ignored it until recently. Now that I finally read it, I realize what a treasure it is and wish I would have researched this book earlier. The fascinating thing about this book is how it shows the relationship between karate and jujitsu combat arts. The down, or commonly also known as the low block, is more versatile than I imagined. With my jujitsu and karate back ground, I immediately saw the numerous applications of this simple technique.

The fifteen chapters cover an enormous amount of information and practical techniques using the down block. There are chapters on defending against a kick, defending against a same-side wrist grab, defending against a cross-hand wrist grab, double wrist-grab, upper arm grabs, defense against the push, lapel grabs, defense against rear grabs, defense against a punch, defense against a stick and numerous other techniques.

In conclusion, this is a book that will open your imagination when it comes to karate techniques found in kata and in its basic techniques. All martial art students will find the techniques in this book simple and easy to follow in combination with training under a competent karate and jujitsu instructor.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Shotokan Karate Self-Defense Techniques: Combat Karate for the street ISBN: 978-0-9793293-0-2)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By double R on November 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is really a great book just downward blocks very interesting I think this is another of the karate books that need to be on the rack For anyone who practice the arts!
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