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Bubishi: The Classic Manual of Combat Hardcover – October 1, 2008
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"The Bubishi remains an indispensible tome for the serious Karate enthusiast." —Joe Swift, karate historian & researcher & founder of Tokyo Mushinkan
"Patrick McCarthy is the foremost Western historian of karate-do." —Fighting Arts International
"Patrick McCarthy's Bubishi is a thoroughly researched translation and commentary that will intrigue even the most advanced reader…an extensive study that is comprehensible to the modern reader while losing none of the work's ancient wisdom." —Budo Dojo
"This work is a milestone of epic proportions which will help to bridge the gap between Chinese and Okinawan culture." —Traditional Karate
"Patrick McCarthy's research is both comprehensive and meticulous…a welcome edition to any martial arts library." —Karate International
"(McCarthy) will leave no stone unturned in his passionate pursuit." —Hanshi Cezar Borkowski, Northern Karate, Toronto
"The Bubishi's message is timeless. Its wisdom boundless." — Jesse Enkamp, founder of KARATEbyJesse.com
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Will it teach you karate? No
If however, you have a serious understanding of the art you practice and wish you become a much better rounded martial artist, more in tune with the mindset of the founders of karate then there is no text I would recommend more highly.
Many of these start off with dozens of defenses for lapel grabs (You're very unlikely to encounter in the streets today) and then go into detailed step by step instructions. "Step out 45 degrees with your left foot, yada yada yada."
From pages 208 to 228 McCarthy has Okinawan style sketches of two combatants. In each there is a winning technique, losing technique, and instructional comments.
Here is an example:
Dropping to the ground and legs like scissors.
Trying to catch a fish by moving hands in the water
Note: If an attacker is vigorously trying to grab you quickly drop to the ground and scissor his leg.
There are 48 of these self-defense diagrams and if a person learned just these they would have a pretty good self-defense 'arsenal'.
On that basis this book is excellent, and quite unique.
I got this one for two reasons: that sweet new cover, and the additional material presented in addition to the Bubishi itself.
At the price, it's worth it alone for Mr. Andreas Quast's excellent history of the tome.
I'd go on and on about why a 'serious karate-ka' or whatever should own it, or how it can give insight into the ur-methods of kata design and technical interpretation (and the training methods which spring from such understanding), and a dozen other things.
But I won't.
If you have a copy, it's not going to enhance your martial art more than the previous edition. But it will give you more insight into the material, the journey it's been on, and an idea about the people that first walked that road.
If you don't have a copy, this one is a lower price than I paid for the last one, so it's a deal.
Patrick McCarthy's newest translation of the Okinawaden Bubishi (his 4th) is the best yet. Not only has he treated us to an updated translation, he has included information on a number of related topics: the Chinese origins of the text, its relationship to various systems of Okinawan karate, some of the various editions of the text in Okinawa, his own attempts toward translations of the text over the years and the editions he has produced in English, etc.
I found McCarthy's newest edition of the Okinawaden Bubishi to be well-researched, well-referenced, and a treasure trove on information regarding the title text and McCarthy's own extensive research into the origins of Okinawan karate. The only down side is his need for a good editor who can better organize the information into logical sections and a consistent method of Romanizing the various languages that he has to deal with in this marvelous piece of research.
For example, in PART ONE: HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY, McCarthy presents us with a superb history of karate in addition to a number of theories on the origins and evolution of the Okinawaden Bubishi. However, he allows his own historical monograph to run into a similarly titled, first section of the translated text. Consequently, it is difficult to determine where McCarthy ends and the translated text begins. This method of presentation is repeated in each section. A better editing job would have more clearly defined the sections of McCarthy's research and the actual text translation.
Following the textual translation McCarthy includes a substantial Bibliography, helpful glossary, and decent Index. The glossary section, entitled "List of Chinese and Japanese Terms", could also use an editor. Here and throughout the text, McCarthy sometimes gives terms in Japanese, sometimes in Chinese (Romanized in Pinyin), and sometimes he includes terms in English with the original Chinese characters but without the original sounds. More standardization and a clear distinction between Chinese and Japanese terms in the glossary would have made the glossary easier to understand.
In summary, I give McCarthy 4 stars for this one. The book is chocked full of useful information but could be better edited and organized.