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Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Koryu Uchinadi, Vol. 1 Paperback – June 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Original edition (June 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804820937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804820936
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patrick McCarthy is, at 7th dan, hanshi, the highest ranking Westerner in the Dai Nippon Butokukai, Japan's elite traditional martial arts organization. A well-known historical researcher, instructor, and former tournament champion, McCarthy has written several books, including Tuttle's best-selling (10,423 copies) Bible of Karate: Bubishi. His writing has appeared in The Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Inside Kung Fu, Black Belt, Karate International, Australasian Martial Arts, Fighting Arts International, and Budo Dojo.

Customer Reviews

It's mostly text-based with only 10 b/w pictures but has a lot of "juice" in it.
M. Ramos
Overall, the more I think about it, even as I write this review, I realize that there's more bad than good, which is why I give it a 2 star rating rather than a 3.
Travis Cottreau
I think that too much was put into this book which is a pity because previous book shave been excellent.
Sin Jo Martial

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Patrick McCarthy on February 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dear Readers
As the researcher & translator of this book, I found some of the reader's critique rather amusing, if not naive. Simply put, the publication of this work is an exact English translation of Taira's 1964 book. From where I stand, it was never meant to be a journalistic marvel or impress Joseph Pulitzer, but rather, only to reveal what the "father of modern kobudo" published in 1964. Therefore, I am assuming that the negative comments are actually aimed at Taira rather than the messenger.
In an effort to lend something more to the publication, I also included an informative postscript and dozens of vintage photos. Sadly, the original photos could not be used, but the photos we did include are an exact replication of Taira's technique published in his publication and should be accepted as such. This is virtually no different than what Mr. Oshima did when reproducing the technique of Mr. Funakoshi in his English translation of the 1935 publication of "Karatedo Kyohan" published by Kodansha.
Finally, many of the supplementary vintage photos originally intended for this publication, but were never included (I still am uncertain as to why????????), can be located here .......
Enjoy
Patrick McCarthy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "jvaldezcg5" on March 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Koryu Uchinadi; volume one and volume two, ISBN 0-8048-3147-5, work well separately but best when taken together. I will review volume one here separately from volume two so that one might make a better decision when it comes to purchasing.
This volume deals with Kobudo (or the art of Karate weapons), widely considered an advanced topic in Karate-do. As such I would not recommend it to the novice Karate-ka. But I would definitely recommend it to those who wish to get a better grasp of Karate-do-- especially an Okinawan variety, to those looking to a different perspective on Kata, and to those studying Isshin-ryu Karate-do.
For those looking for a different perspective on Kata this volume is for you since it illustrates techniques solely through Kata. Six weapons Kata are described here which is not bad considering that most book an Karate rarely even describe one Kata. As for those studying Isshin-ryu Karate-do, you'll be interested in this book since it features a text written by O'Sensei Shimabuku's teacher Taira Shinken.
This book contains six Kata, as mentioned: three for the Bo and one for Sai, Tuifa (or Tonfa), and Nunchaku each as well as instructions on how to make a Bo. For those looking for an introduction to weapons this is an excellent book. If what you want is Okinawan Karate-do technique none surpasses The Essence of Okinawan Karate-do by Shoshin Nagamine, ISBN 0-8048-2110-0 which compliments this book. If what you are interested in is more specifically the history of Okinawan Karate-do and Kobudo get volume two along with Patrick McCarthy's Bubishi: the Bible of Karate, ISBN 0-8048-2015-5.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
The information is pretty good in the book, I would have liked to have seen more notes from the translator on some of the references made by Taira Sensei, but I'm sure that the translation is correct. For instance on page 10, Taira lists a group of well known kobujutsu masters and whether they lived more than or less than 100 years ago. None of this was clarified in the translation. Also, this very same information was included in an article by Mr. McCarthy in Bugeisha magazine article but never credited there to Taira Shinken, I don't know why.
The production quality isn't quite what I've come to expect from Tuttle and Mr. McCarthy, the photos are a little fuzzy and don't stand out as exceptional. Also, there are a quite a few typing mistakes throughout the text. The numbering of the photos is quite sub-standard and all of the photos are simply numbered sequentially from 1 to 408, they don't match the kata numberings. I don't know if this is from the original translation or not.
Apart from that, there isn't a single historical photo of Taira Shinken, all of the photos except the cover are Mr. McCarthy and an uncredited individual demonstrating the weapons techniques.
Except for the translation itself and the article at the back written by Mr. McCarthy, there isn't much else to this book, certainly not any new photographs which would have been great to see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. G on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of Mccarthy's books are great but this one is not about Ancient Okinawan Martial arts but of his own style of bo. If you are interested in any bo this may be helpful, if you are looking for information on classic Okinawan bo, we are still out of luck
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Ramos on July 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
About 1st book:
Taira Shinken is a well know name in Okinawan Kobudo. His "RyuKyu Kobudo Taikan" stands as a reference on Okinawan Kobudo technique not polluted by modern fashion which is almost always the result of plain ignorance and show-business.
Mr. McCarthy issued this english version of the old master work apparently for the benefit of non-japanese practitioners.

However there are some issues:
1 - He boldly replaced all the pictures of sensei Taira Shinken for pictures of himself and one of his pairs.
Some pictures, mainly the in kon-bo katas show some irregular handling of the weapon (with hands too close to each other) and some indefinite stances which can puzzle some inexperienced practicioners.
2 - He didn't respect the original material.
Every kata in Shinken Taira original work has been somewhat changed! Techniques were added, omited or replaced in all katas! An entire sequence is different in Shushi-no-Kon.

Old katas were made as a global repository of knowledge by old masters in a age of practical life-threatening fighting. The knowledge they contain is unique and irreplaceable. Modern fancy-athletic-acrobatic pseudo-kata cannot compare and never will!
These katas can have some school or local variations which should be respected and considered when looking for a "reference" form. Each new generation should try to respect the old forms keeping in mind that there is no way of reliably testing and improving them in life-threatening situations nowadays as they once were.

Works such as "Ryukyu Kobudo Taikan" should not be altered: they are a personal testimony of a great master and document uniquely an entire epoch and a long martial tradition.
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