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Karate-Do Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text Hardcover – June, 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese (translation)

About the Author


GICHIN FUNAKOSHI is world famous as one of Karate's great masters. Born in Shuri, Okinawa Prefecture, in 1868, he studied Karate-do from childhood and organized the first public demonstrations.

He was trained in the Confucian classics and was a schoolteacher early in life. After training for decades under the foremost masters in Okinawa he was elected president of the Okinawa Association for the Spirit of Martial Arts.

He was chosen to demonstrate Karate at the First National Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo in 1922, which led to the introduction of the ancient martial art to the rest of Japan and subsequently to the rest of the world. Among his writings are Karate-do: My Way of Life, Karate-do Kyohan: The Master Text, and Karate Jutsu: The Original Teachings of Gichin Funakoshi.

Master Gichin Funakoshi died in April 1957.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc; 1st edition (June 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870118196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870118197
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Travis Cottreau on May 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
All of us who study karate are lucky that Funakoshi wrote all he did. Except for a very few others, Funakoshi is the only early written information about karate and the earliest material that was translated into English.
Unfortunately for myself and many others who study karate history, Funakoshi never goes into much detail about much of anything. He almost never gives a date and he rarely, if ever says where he learned any of his kata or other practices.
The material on his teachers (Itosu and Azato primarily) is in summary form, never mentioning more than anecdotes. There are no dates, mentions of other students they had, what they taught etc...
Over all, this kind of book is about real karate, certainly enough to get a young mind going in the right direction about karate. It is well written, we can probably thank the translator for that. It contains some interesting material that is fun to read. Beyond that, it lacks detail to keep you interested for long.
Most of Funakoshi's books are like this for history. For the real meat of Funakoshi's karate (rather than this introduction), take a look at "Karate-do Kyohan", which contains much more technical information.
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By A Customer on December 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Karate-Do Nyumon is a wonderful book for any karate practitioner to read. I've read my copy through many times, and that's not counting all the times I've come back to specific areas of the book. This is one of the best books available for the new student in helping them understand just what karate-do really is, and it is no less a very informative read for students and teachers of all other levels.
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Format: Paperback
There are certain books in which EVERY true martial artists should have in their library. A few of those books are "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do", "Karate-Do KyoHan", "Zen in the Martial Arts", "The Book of Five Rings", "The Art of War", and last but not least, "Karate-Do NyuMon". Gichin Funakoshi has a view of Karate-Do that most practitioners do not see. He wants it more of a way of life...a whole excesize of mind, body, and spirit. In this book, he expands on this belief and even includes the almost forgotten (but SO important) Ten-No-Kata. It is short and worth the study. VERY IMPORTANT! This book contains a lot of "Do" as well as technique. Funakoshi is the "man" in my book, along with Lee, Inosanto, Ueshiba, Rhee, and Hatsumi. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Written by Gichin Funakoshi, Shotokan Karate founder and "father of modern karate", and translated by John Teramoto, president of Shotokan Karate of America's Black Belt Council, this book was originally published in Japanese in 1943. The first half of the book is full of wonderful history and entertaining anecdotes, advice on training, and photographs of practice during the first half of the (20th) century. The second half contains descriptions of basic techniques, ten-no-kata, and kawashi as practiced recently by senior Shotokai members. The text concludes with wonderful 'vignettes' of Funakoshi's teachers, Yasutsune Itosu and Yasutsune Azato, and of their teacher, Matsumura Sensei. Very highly recommended!
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By reads on April 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If a instructor, assistant, student who is very deep into karate do and is searching for some history and foundation of karate do shotokan this is the first book you should have or give as a gift. This book is very detailed about master Funakoshi instruction and his master's, if you are getting this book may I suggest Funakoshi's other book karate do kyohon also. If karate do changes your life this book also helps in a deeper look into karate do and what it does to an individual.
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By A Customer on February 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a practioner of MANY martial arts and I have to say, without a doubt, the Master Funakoshi has put together a great text which describes a part of his martial heritage and how his masters dealt with adversity in the past. The stories he tells us are not only for entertainment, but they serve as an example on how one should ACT, not REACT, in a situation. I esspecially respect the fact that Master Funakoshi is an innovator and not mearly an immitator. My praises.
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Format: Paperback
Gichin Funakoshi was an Okinawan karate master who introduced karate to Japan proper in 1922. Karate-Do Nymon was first written in Japanese in 1943.

Master Funakoshi begins this book by explaining what he knows about the history of karate in Okinawa. Little is known, because before him nothing was written. In Okinawa knowledge of karate was considered to be vaguely subversive.

Five hundred years ago, and again three hundred years ago weapons were banned in Okinawa. Many believe that karate was developed during these bans, and evolved from Chinese systems of kung fu.

Master Funakoshi mentions a story of Napoleon Bonaparte commenting that Okinawa was independent, and needed no weapons to defend its independence.

The idea that karate can be a substitute for weapons is of course misleading. A skilled sword fighter can defeat an equally skilled and unarmed karate practitioner, even if the sword fighter is not wearing armor. At most karate can enable you to defeat one or two unarmed street fighters or muggers. An extremely skilled karate practitioner might be able to defeat a knife fighter.

Every martial arts movie I have seen has exaggerated what one can do with karate or kung fu. This is dangerous because it may lead a teenage boy who has had a year or two of lessons to imagine that he can defeat a street gang, as long as no one in the gang has a gun. I admit that I thought that when I was a teenage karate student. Fortunately, I never had the occasion to learn how wrong I was.

After telling about a few Okinawan karate masters in the past Master Funakoshi describes a kata he developed. Kata is a prearranged series of kicks, blocks, and punches in which one imagines that one is fighting one or more assailants.
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