- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Black Belt Communications (July 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0897501446
- ISBN-13: 978-0897501446
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 99 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shotokan's Secret: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins Paperback – July 1, 2004
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The pages of applications that make up the last 1/4 of the book or so may be very good, but one probably must be familiar with the katas to fully appreciate this portion of the book. Many readers may not agree with Dr. Clayton's bunkai, but they are carefully presented as having met Dr. Clayton's criteria to be likely intended applications of the movements based on the historical needs which lead to the development of linear Karate. In fact, I used Dr. Clayton's "hand grenade" parable to flesh out a recent article for Totally Taekwondo magazine (http://www.totallytkd.com) about an application in Taegeuk 7 poomsae. (Those who study the history of Taekwondo understand that Taekwondo was heavily influenced by Shotokan Karate, thus my interest in Dr. Clayton's book.)
My only criticism of the book is that, as Dr. Clayton paints the portraits of the historical Okinawan masters, he theorizes that each pattern has a guiding principle and purpose for practice and instruction. For example, he asserts that one of the Heian patterns contains a sequence of movements that teaches how to attack and disarm an opponent armed with a Samurai sword of the era. Dr. Clayton whet my appetite for this information simply by including it in passing at least twice in the book. Unfortunately, this interpretation and bunkai of the pattern is not clearly discussed in the applications within the book. This material, for this reader, would have perfected Dr. Clayton's book.
Dr. Clayton has done a masterful job with this expanded edition. It is head and shoulders above the original edition. Even if you own the original edition, it is easy to justify purchasing this expanded edition. You won't regret your purchase.
The popularity of this book has, unfortunately, done more harm than good for karate history and practice.