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'Bunkai: Secrets of Karate Kata Volume 1: The Tekki Series Paperback – July, 2000

3.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Carefully organized, coherent, and firmly rooted in a sense of reality. Dr. Schmeisser has done what many instructors have not yet been able to demonstrate, a cohesive and articulate interpretation of the techniques of the Tekki kata. --Taniguchi Takao, 5th Dan, JKA, Terai-machi, Ishikawa-ken, Japan

About the Author

Elmar T. Schmeisser, Ph.D., a renowned pioneer in the analysis and application of karate kata, is a Master Instructor certified by the American Teachers Association of the Martial Arts who began karate training in 1968 under such luminaries as Hidetaka Nishiyama. In addition to studying Shotokan karate-do, Dr. Schmeisser has years of experience in the Shukokai, Renshinkai, and Shorinji-ryu styles of karate as well as training in judo and two styles of aikido. He is a 7th degree black belt and Kyoshi of the International Society of Okinawan/Japanese Karate-do and holds the rank of Shodan in Aikido. After studying at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Massachusetts, Schmeisser earned his doctorate degree in Medical Physiology: Visual Electrophysiology and Psychophysics from the University of Florida. He currently resides and teaches karate in North Carolina. Schmeisser's most recent book is the newly revised, expanded, and illustrated edition of his bestseller Advanced Karate-Do: Concepts, Techniques, and Training Methods. He is also the author of Bunkai: Secrets of Karate Kata - The Tekki Series.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Tekki Series Vol. 1
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Tamashii Press (July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911921362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911921366
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,599,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dr. Scheimesser's analysis is based on two simple principles: 1. There are no wasted or meaningless moves in kata; 2. The originators of kata meant for them to be sequences of moves against a few opponents rather than a grouping disjoint situations where just one or two movements apply in each. The result of this "sequential analysis" is so simple and practical that the reader wonders how come this has not been done before.
This book opens up much greater understanding of the tekki kata for both instructors and students. Blocks become joint locks; strikes become throws. Most importantly, the interpretation of the kata makes perfect sense, whether the kata are looked at macroscopically or broken down into their sequences.
The only shortcoming of the book lies with the fact that the tekki kata all mirror themselves in one way or another. In demonstrating the applications of techniqes which mirror ones previously done, Dr. Schmiesser shows pictures of the same applications (in mirror image) rather than the alternatives mentioned in the text. Showing pictures of these alternatives would have made the book better since it can be studied simply by watching the pictures after an initial run through of the text.
This, however, does not deny the fact that the book is excellent. This book should be in the library of anyone who has ever practised the tekki kata.
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Format: Paperback
In the 1970's karate-ka like myself longed for any little tidbit of information regarding kata application that was not blatantly overt. In fact, I took it upon myself to propose to a major martial arts publisher a volume called Hidden Throws and Locks of Karate-do. It was rejected because "many other books had been written on the subject." I guess the editors were not martial artists and did not understand that overt applications were not the more subtle or hidden meanings that many of my fellow martial artists and I were after. Now I am overjoyed to see a similar, even more concentrated, volume (with 9 more in the works) brought to life by Dr. Elmar Schmeisser in his Bunkai: Secrets of Karate Kata. In this compact book, Dr. Schmeisser opens the doors to tegumi (Okinawan grappling) as it is manifested in the popular Shotokan versions of the Iron Horseman forms. With no wasted space on preliminaries or filler, Dr. Schmeisser dives into the subject offering unique, imaginative but nonetheless applicable interpretations of karate forms which most practitioners have heretofore justified with fanciful and non-functional explanations. There is no excuse for that now. Dr. Schmeisser a one of a few senior karate-ka who are investigating not just the kata itself but the self-defense that comes from it--the reason the kata were created in the first place. I look forward to the succeeding volumes.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent example of the advantages of "reverse engineering" kata. The book leads you through linked, dynamic applications of the Tekki--something I have never seen done anywhere else. There are no wasted movements here, no "this is just for show and not a realistic feeling" explanations. Every movement is given a direct application, and one that is often ruthlessly violent. Although as an earlier review mentioned, perhaps these should not be seen as the end all and be all of Tekki applications (the author makes no claim they are), but they have certainly helped my kata practice take on a more focused and realistic attitude. If Schmeisser can pull off a book of similar quality with the Heians Shotokan practitioners will be in his debt for a long time.
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Format: Paperback
A must for every good shotokan karateka. The classic bunkai which is taught these days in most dojos suffers from "label disease". A block is a block and a punch a punch. With this (wrong) thinking, many sequences in kata can't be interpreted- they seem to have no immideate or practical use. Schmeisser goes a step further. Labels for individual techniques are discarded and the movements themselves are explored for alternative uses as to their effects. Punches can become throws, blocks can become strikes or joint locking techniques, and steps can become kicks or stamping attacks. "In all these analysis, there are a few basic principles that should be followed: Each movement must do something useful..", "..no opponent must be left in a condition to continue or resume an attack..". Suddenly with Schmeissers interpretation the whole kata makes sense. It is revolutionary and again so easy- you will wonder, that no one else has interpretated kata ever before like that. Shotokan is an ineffective martial art, compared to others? Everyone, who says that should read this book and reconsider his statement. Why not 5 stars? As I live in Germany (known for fantastic high quality publishing), I am used to very high standards. This book is published awful! The paper is bad, the pictures are with low resolution, the paperback is really made from paper :-). In Germany you will get for the same money a high quality hardcover. Nevertheless the content is superb and I don't regret my buy at all. I unconditionally recommend this book to every serious karateka and can't wait until Schmeisser releases the next book in mid 2001: "Bunkai: Secrets of Karate Kata Vol 2: Channan - The Heart of the Heians". Here you'll find a sample: ... ...
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