Hidden Karate: The True Bunkai For Heian Katas And Naihanchi Hardcover – September 15, 2006
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I really enjoyed this unusual book about the how bunkai was lost or hidden from students when karate was introduced to the mainland. the bunkai that Higaki intorduces are really different, but make sense when I did them. the parts about the the social and historical conditions in Japan at the time also helped me to understand why the Okinawan sensei's did not want to share all of the knowledge when they taught to the mainland Japanese. --reader
This is the most thorough and detailed book on the subject of bunkai out there. All of the explanations were clear and easy to understand. It really opened my eyes and gave me a new appreciation for katas. Great book! I can't wait for the next one. --reader
About the Author
- Item Weight : 2.2 pounds
- Hardcover : 248 pages
- ISBN-10 : 4902481960
- ISBN-13 : 978-4902481969
- Publisher : Champ; 1st Edition (September 15, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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This book begins by explaining the history of karate and exactly why the real techniques were hidden and how the ancient combat art developed into the modern sport. I don't know enough on my own to say whether the author is correct or not, but he has plenty of credible quotes to back up his views. It also explains just what a kata is and why ancient masters would only study 2 or 3 katas and know complete fighting systems from each of them.
Next, it outlines the principles used to determine whether an application of a kata technique is correct or not. Some notable examples are: the front hand strikes, immobilize the opponent and then strike, meanings have been hidden, and no attack ends in a block. This section will be very helpful for me in further studying bunkai.
Finally, there are detailed explanations for the applications of the katas in question with many photographs. It was amazingly clear just how to apply each technique. I don't think I've ever seen a book about a sport explain how to do the movements so clearly (of course, a good karate background is helpful for some parts of this).
This is the first book on bunkai I've read and I found it amazing. It would be nice if it had applications of the katas against moves besides oi-zuki, but even so, it shouldn't be a big step to apply the moves against a big, wild punch or even a tackle. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in deepening his or her understanding of karate as a self-defense art.
Three cheers to Gennosuke Higaki for writing this book and sharing his knowledge and insight to the true meaning and use of katas and how to unravel the hidden techniques of the ancient masters!
After you read this book you will never look at kata the same way again. Already when practicing and repracticing kata I see things I never noticed before.
If you only buy one book on kata and bunkai, get this one!
Techniques are thoroughly demonstrated through the detailed photos. Many techniques have several bunkai and only a few techniques are left out as being "obvious" as to the application.
The translator/editors did a good job, but there are still many doubled words, grammar mistakes, a few spelling mistakes, etc. They are not bad enough to the point that any meaning is lost in my opinion, though.
The bunkai presented are often initiated from oitsuki, but in most cases the oitsuki could be substituted with a grab or other offensive technique and the application could still be workable (though I do not recall this being pointed out by the author).
All in all, I was looking for a Japanese perspective that reflected some of the ideas put forth by Iain Abernethy and other leaders in the study of kata bunkai and this book was satisfying in that regard.