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The Way of Kata: A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications Paperback – August 30, 2005
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"..absolute must for any serious practioner..." (Philip Starr, Inside Kung Fu Hall of Fame Member, founder of Yiliquan)
"...bridges the gap between form and application..." (Loren W. Christensen)
"...brings meaningful information to today's martial artists." (Martina Sprague, martial arts instructor, author)
"This book is a pioneering step..." (Sgt. Rory Miller)
"This superb book is essential reading..." (Ian Abernathy, author)
From the Publisher
Preface "I only expected to be in this country for three months; however, when I came to Spokane (Washington) and saw the deplorable level of Goju Ryu there, I took time and great pains to correct it. After six monthstwice the length of time I had planned to stayI realized that it would be easier to start from scratch than to fix the problems. Its usually better to rebuild a house than to remodel it! "The Goju Ryu that I saw when I finally visited dojos across the country was very poor, but I knew it wasnt anybodys fault. I understood there had been many teachers before, many bridges, and the messages often got crossed. There was such a gap between those practitioners and me! I didnt want to make any instructor uncomfortable. "My job first was to encourage people, not discourage them. I started correcting the basics and built the kata on them. Once we had some common ground, I could build on it. It was harder working with the instructors than with the beginners, because they had high rank and their pride prevented them from training with me in front of their students. And sometimes their students were better than they! But I understood the situation. So I gave them private instruction whenever I could, usually during breaks." Teruo Chinen When new martial artists begin their training, they find they have to relearn basic concepts like breathing, standing, and walking. They are taught how to breathe through their diaphragm rather than solely with their lungs, introduced to a variety of uncomfortable stances and foreign postures, and shown how to move in unusual new ways. Balance and coordination take on a new meaning. And thats just the beginning. Soon they are introduced to kata, the dancelike movements in which the ancient masters hid the secrets of their unique fighting systems. Almost all Asian martial systems have kata of one type or another, from arnis to kung fu, karate to judo, and tae kwon do to tai chi. A kata is simply a pattern of movements containing a logical series of offensive and defensive techniques that are performed in a particular order. Its origins can be found in the nature of fighting, more than a thousand years of trial and error based on practical experience as well as keen observations about combat between animal and animal, between animal and man, and man-to-man. According to Morio Higaonna, "The true meaning and spirit of karate are imbedded in kata and only by the practice of kata can we come to understand them." Individuals who learn an arts strategy and diligently practice its kata can learn real-world fighting applications that they may use to defend themselves. While each kata is supposed to be performed the same way every time, there are a plethora of applications, or bunkai, from every kata, movements that can be applied in a real fight. Some applications, especially simple, straightforward ones, are easier to decipher than others. Unfortunately, such applications are not always the best interpretation of a given movement, nor are they the most likely to succeed in actual combat. Anything less than the best is simply not good enough if your life is on the line. Kata is not dance practice nor is it aerobic training . It is the fundamental basis of a fighting art. Like a textbook, it contains all the applications you need to defend yourself in mortal combat. To get the most out of your martial art, you simply need to know how to "read" your kata like a book. Ah, but thats the rub isnt it? How does one learn how to read the kata textbook? The answer to that question is, of course, contained herein. We wrote these materials to help you do just that. The theory of deciphering applications from kata is called kaisai. Since it offers guidelines for unlocking the true meaning of each kata movement, kaisai no genri (the theory of kaisai) was once a great mystery revealed only to trusted disciples of the ancient masters in order to protect the secrets of their systems. Using the rules of kaisai no genri, practitioners can decipher the original intent of kata movements by logically analyzing each specific movement to find its okuden waza (hidden technique). This book helps practitioners understand the strategy behind whatever martial art they have chosen to study so that they can utilize its tactics wisely. Our efforts will show you how to analyze your kata to determine the best applications for a given situation. The heart of these materials covers fifteen general principles for identifying effective techniques as well as twelve discrete rules for deciphering applications from kata.
Top customer reviews
In addition to providing an overview of the intent and principles underlying the forms of traditional karate, they furnish an historical perspective that adds considerable context to the topic. Above all, their writing is clear and engaging, and the structured methodologies they use for both decoding movements and evaluating potential applications are valuable resources for any karateka. If you practice karate, this book should be in your library.
The authors submit a well reason argument for the interpretation and application of kata. Even more favorably authors continuously repeat their points and regarding Kata throughout the the chapters, which is important because they offer a very in depth interpretation for the existence and use of kata and for learning it.
I consider this a must read book for traditional karate-ka who maybe don't see the point of kata in today's day and age.
My only criticism is the drawing included are very clear, they would have been better off using photographs throughout the book (they use a mix of drawings and photo's currently).
I have come to the conclusion that mastering kata is the bedrock on which to really progress and grow in this great art...everybody wants to be a good fighter,and the key is via Kata
This book takes you through the ABC ,s I always believe that a deeper understanding helps to open new doors.....the more you grow in knowledge..the more you know how how little you know
While the entire book is generally devoted to kata, once I began to read it I realized there was much more to this book than I had anticipated. Kane and Wilder did an outstanding job of laying out each topic, and I really enjoyed the "Intro, Body, and Summary" format of the chapters, which makes the book very easy to reference.
I caught myself over and over again putting the book down and really contemplating the material - which I believe is one of the points the authors were trying to make!
There is really a lot of stuff packed into this book. Job well done.