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Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters (Tuttle Martial Arts) Hardcover – June, 2000

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Tuttle Martial Arts
  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (June 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804820899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804820899
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine's Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters was published in Japanese a few years ago. The English translation, by Patrick McCarthy, recounts the lives and histories of ten of Okinawa's greatest masters. Nagamine Sensei spent a lifetime researching these masters and either training with them or interviewing their families and students. Tode Sakugawa, Sokon Matsumura, Kosaku Matsumora, Anko Itosu, Gichin Funakoshi, Chotoku Kyan, Choki Motobu, Kanryo Higaonna and Ankichi Arakaki, are just a few of the luminaries profiled in the book.
History buffs will also appreciate the numerous photographs and illustrations from Nagamine Sensei's personal collection.
This book crosses over all karate styles. Whether you are a student of Shorin-Ryu, Goju-Ryu or Shotokan, there is so much here for you. And for students of Matsubayashi-Ryu, the style founded by Nagamine Sensei in 1947, this book is must reading.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 20!
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Format: Hardcover
I am among those who are very pleased to see so many works by Okinawan martial artists become available in the English language. In "Tales of Okinawa's Great Karate Masters", translated by Patrick McCarthy, Shoshin Nagamine offers an honest look at the roots of the art he practiced and taught for over 50 years. This is not a 'how-to' karate book, there are no technical pictures although there are some decent historical pictures of people and documents, and some illustrative ones of the author, Nagamine.
If you have Nagamine's first book, translated into English as "The Essence of Okinawan Karate" and focusing mainly upon the 17 kata of Matsubayashi Ryu Shorin Ryu Karate (an Itosu-ha lineage), this second work of his provides the literary heart of the art. It does not dwell merely on the roots of Nagamine's style, but includes fascinating information on a myriad of styles, teachers, Okinawan history, and karate folklore. There is plenty of new information: this is not simply a 're-do' of old data. One chapter for instance, focuses on Okinawa's Native art, a form of wrestling called "Tegumi". Book includes endnotes, and an Appendixed article by Nagamine called "Okinawan Karate and World Peace".
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By bill on February 16, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I appreciated every bit of this book, but most particularly the chapter pertaining to meditation with very helpful descriptions on how. I've now read it twice and as with his other book, I will read it again many times.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was written by the late Grandmaster Nagimine. Founder of Matsubayashi Ryu. The style I practice. This books is for all martial artist whoes karate originate from the Ryukyu Islands. It is a history of great Karate Master's of the past. Book filled with tales and pictures that should be liked by student and historian alike. As usual, McCarthy does a good job translating for us westerners. A must read for all martial artist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for anyone serious about Karate history. It is the first one to read if you want to know the old stories. Nagamine had interviewed many people who knew the old masters as well as interviewing the masters themselves if they were around. The chapters are at time too brief such as the one on Funakoshi.

Breaking Points: Using History, Maxims and Modern Science to Understand Kata
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to all practioners of the Martial Art of Karate. Exploring not only his personal lineage but that of all the original styles of karate founded and developed on Okinawa, Shoshin Nagamine provides a great work and a first hand account of many of the mentioned Masters.
It is nice to know that historically correct information is starting to come out about the true origins of karate and of its' founders. It is also nice that a little bit of myth also surrounds those same founders. Shoshin Nagamine does well to dispell those myths.
By knowing and understanding truth from the past we grow today and prepare for the future. This reviewer is glad that Patrick McCarthy translated this work for the world to read.
Buy the book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book provides an excellent history of Karate as well as some entertaining tales. We all know history and our recollection of it are selective at best. This book is an excellent blend of truth and tale. Regardless of your style, you will love reading this book from cover to cover.
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Format: Hardcover
Books with serious data on old Karate-do Masters' biography are not common, unfortunately. This one comes right to hit this spot. Learning Karate-do is far from being only punching and kicking. We need to learn and exercise other aspects, as already said by the Masters Nagamine presents in this book: philosophical, moral and historical aspects. Knowing the history, you know better your Karate-do. In addition, this book presents some peculiar aspects of Okinawan history and tradition (dance, Tegumi wrestling, etc.) and Nagamine's view of "Karate and Zen as one", presenting Zazen theory and exercises to complete the book in great style.
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