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Karate-Do Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text Paperback – December 15, 1994
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can you say? This is Funakoshi Sensei's book. Buy it; study it; train hard.Published 2 months ago by Wowzer
Very interesting. This book describes Kata in the form of building body form and strength. It explains how to develop Ki (Chi) from the lower abdomen. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Johnny OI
A must for all Shotokan Karate
Students and Instructors. Master
Text Covers Shotokan instruction
from the Master, from start to finish. Read more
It is not what I expected. The original book I had was a Hard cover version which contained all the moves in Shotokan plus all of the Katas . Read morePublished on May 4, 2014 by Walter Desharnais Jr.
Is amazing to read a very old book of Karate directly from its modern creator! Good pictures and the history is very illustrative.!Published on March 17, 2014 by Vladimir A. Fajardo R
A good book fom the Master to the beginning student.It will help you to understand the beginnings of Shotokan Karate and will help you decide on the best style of martial art for... Read morePublished on August 1, 2012 by Huck
This book should be in the library of every serious martial artist, regardless of their specialty. Funakoshi demonstrates clearly that the basic value of karate (and any martial... Read morePublished on September 22, 2011 by Erik C. Pihl