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Karate-Do: My Way of Life Paperback – September 15, 1981
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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 Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text, Karate-do Kyohan: The Master Text, and Karate Jutsu: The Original Teachings of Gichin Funakoshi.
Master Gichin Funakoshi died in April 1957.
Top customer reviews
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First and foremost, this is an autobiography. It isn't an action book full of stories of fighting and taking down the bad guys. It's a foray into his life, how he feels about karate, and what it has meant to him and his family. He tells of his successes and failures, tips for healthy living and longevity, and most of all, what karate means to him.
Gichin Funakoshi was responsible for bringing karate to mainland Japan, which allowed it to spread throughout the world following World War II. In this book, he brings new meaning to all of those sayings and phrases that you see pasted throughout dojos all over the country, like spirit, tranquility, and respect.
I think anyone involved in any martial art, especially karate, should read this book. I'm glad I did, and it is definitely something I'll read again in the future.
This book won't make you a great fighter, but it will give you some insights into the mind of the Masters and give some interesting history in the process.
As the title says, Funakoshi's idea was that Karate trains your body and mind and is thus a way of life. Karate in his opinion is not about fighting. At the back of the book he even points out that winning 100 of 100 battles is not as praiseworthy as subduing an enemy without fighting. Karate is not fighting, it is a martial art. It is not about being strong and though against others, but against oneself.
If you believe that Karate is a fighting sport. If you believe that the tournaments and winning is all what this art is about, by all means avoid this book, for you will not understand its message. If however you are really open-minded and understand what I wrote above, you are up for an interesting read. And I believe that every Karateka should be interested in the origin of the art. That is what you will find here.
No techniques, fighting guidelines and things like this. Just the interesting stories of a gentle and reasonable Taoist that Funakoshi was.
Years later I finally read it myself. After I read I bought two copies for my two highest ranking students. This book is a must for those who are serious of living the way.