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Channan: Heart of the Heians (Analysis & Application) [Paperback]

Usagi Press
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.95
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Book Description

6 July 2006
This text is a "must-have" for any serious karate student who wants to truly understand how Kata works and where real applications seem "hidden".

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Product details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing; First Edition edition (6 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412013577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412013574
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The Heian kata series are a set of five, standardized basic forms in the JKA-derived Shotokan curriculum. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting theory 3 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book details the moves and applications from the 2 kata, in the authors supposition, that the Hiean, or peaceful mind Kata are derived from. The book itself is quite a high quality production, but is of the smaller paperback type format, however this does mean that it sits quite nicely on the bookshelf. The Photo's are nice and clear. The treatment of the kata is thorough, carefully going through each move, with a full visual overview of the moves in each kata at the back of the book. This book may be of interest to those researching the history of Karate or Kata, and their development. The author is careful to present his ideas in an academic way, which leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions at the end of the book. What is clear is that these kata are definitely 'a version' of the kata known as Heian in Shotokan, or Pinan in Wadoryu. I thought that some of the bunkai looked a bit 'fiddly' for my liking and might be difficult to apply in real fight. Although, they do reflect the movements of the kata throughout. These type of applications may suit those who have a flow drill approach to practising kata with a compliant partner. Although I'm not sure that some techniques would withstand pressure testing. What I found interesting was the different presentation of individual techniques, such as morote uke as an open handed augmented block, which I feel has been made safe and tidied up in shotokan to a closed fist. An interesting book to study for advanced students and teachers. However, I did feel that this was overpriced and overhyped, I was expecting a nice big 'tome' to put on my book shelf for the , so hence 3 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Origin of the Heian/Pinan Kata's? QED 3 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback
Elmar Schmeisser explores the possibility of the modern day Heian Kata's as derived from the Chinese kata Channan-Dai and Channan-Sho that he believes are the root kata that (Anko) Itosu Yasutsune used as the source material to create the 5 Pinan kata (known as Heian in Japanese styles).

The author makes no definitive claim that his studies are absolute, but presents his research in a sound historical manner leaving the reader to make his or her own decision regarding the origins of the Heian kata based on the research presented. The book is loaded with simple-to-follow, step-by-step, photos of Channan-Dai and Channan-Sho and accompanying text for each step.

In a simple and straight forward way, the author clearly illustrates apparent or perceived correlations between the Channan kata and the modern day Heian Kata's. An added plus in this book is the way it is laid out; the book is designed in such a way that keeps the reader flowing seamlessly from one photographic illustration to another.

This is a fantastic work and I believe it will be greatly appreciated by anyone who enjoys the study of traditional Japanese kata, bunkai, and kata origins.

His two other books are just as thought provoking and innovative: -Bunkai: Secrets of Karate Kata: 1 (The Tekki Series Vol. 1) and "Advanced Karate-Do: Concepts, Techniques, and Training Methods".
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Schmeisser Continues to Break New Ground 28 Jun 2004
By Paul Willoughby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first book of it's kind to my knowledge. Dr. Schmeisser presents for us two kata, Channan Dai and Channan Sho, of Chinese origin, that he believes are the root kata that Itosu Yasutsune used as the source material to create the 5 Pinan kata (known as Heian in Japanese styles). Dr. Schmeissar's writing style and organization is extremely logical. There's no fluff here, just the meat. He begins by providing us with a background and historical context of these kata to convince us of his theory. This chapter is chalked full of fascinating footnotes from the research that he did. He then takes us right into Channan Dai and Channan Sho, showing the movements with pictures and detailed written description with full Bunkai. In the fourth chapter, he relates the Channan sequences and bunkai to their respective Heian sequences, teaching us bunkai for the Heian kata. The 5th chapter is a historical note discussing the kata origins and the question of whether they are the root kata of the Pinan/Heian. The chapter demonstrates to me the author's professional integrity and honesty by admitting that his theory cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt but provides us his reasoning and allows us to make our own judgement. The last chapter provides us with a photographic sequence of the kata to use as a reference for learning. This is, perhaps, the only place in the book where I find fault which, quite possibly, could be due to my own short comings. I found it hard trying to follow the sequence and often got confused on which direction I needed to go in or what my feet needed to do during some of the turns and transitional movements (I'll need the video to get my performance correct). In my opinion, more photos of the transitional moves would have alleviated this for me. Despite this small fault, I believe this to be an extremely valuable book and there's no other like it on the subject. I highly recommend it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kata Origins 5 Sep 2004
By GKA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Channan: Heart of the Heians, by Elmar T. Schmeisser, explores the possibility of the modern day Heians as derived from the chinese kata Channan-Dai and Channa-Sho. The author makes no definitive claim that his studies are absolute, but presents his research in a sound historical manner leaving the reader to make his or her own decision regarding the origins of the Heian kata based on the research presented. The book is loaded with simple-to-follow, step-by-step, photos of Channan-Dai and Channan-Sho and accompanying text for each step. In a simple straight forward way, the author clearly illustrates apparent or perceived correlations between the Channan kata and the modern day Heians. An added plus in this book is the way it is laid out; the book is designed in such a way that keeps the reader flowing seamlessly from one photographic illustration to another. Only two things might have improved this well produced book and research, one of which is nearly impossible to do on the printed page, showing the transition moves in sequence, and crisper photographs with a higher quality camera. Overall, regardless of these two minor shortcomings, this book is a fantastic work and will be greatly appreciated by anyone who enjoys the study of traditional Japanese kata, bunkai, and kata origins.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book on the roots of the Pinan/Heian kata 25 Mar 2009
By Joseph M Burtner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Author Elmar Schmeisser has, in this book, tried to uncover the kata at the root of the Heian/Pinan kata: Kata Channan. His research has led him to a Chinese Chuan-Fa system that entered the US via the Philipines; however, Dr. Schmeisser has made a convincing argument that, while the kata he presents may not be exactly like the one that Itosu used when constructing the Pinan kata, they at least have the same root. I don't have a problem with the probability that the two kata, Channan Dai and Sho, may not be the exact kata that Itosu derived the Pinan from, as a cursory observation of the same kata in different systems will also reveal small variations. Kata change over time; that's just the nature of the beast.

In the first chapter, Dr. Schmeisser gives some historical background on Heian/Pinan in a concise but informative summary, and then gives some background not only on the various stages of learning kata in general, but also in analyzing the kata for practical applications (bunkai). Though the author does a wonderful job for the space provided in this section, I would love to have seen it expanded and given more detail. The next two chapters demonstrate the kata Channan Dai and Channan Sho. In both chapters, each sequence in the kata is given a paragraph or so for explaination, and the bunkai is usually shown along side the kata sequence. Chapter Four takes examples from the Heian kata (Shotokan style) and demonstrates where the sequences from the Channan kata fit in, sort of offering a short comparitive analysis of the Channan and Heian kata. The book ends with a very short chapter on historic implications, and one last chapter showing photo sequences of the full Channan Dai and Channan Sho kata without the interuption of text or bunkai.

While I strongly believe that the original bukai in most kata are lost to history, most of Dr. Schmeisser's bunkai make sense, in a self-defense context. Included are strikes, throws, standing locks, chokes, off-balancing techniques, hand traps, and even some finishes for a kneeling or prone opponent. While I'm not a fan of every bunkai he shows (I think his punches that target the limbs could be better served being directed at the head or torso), they are far more encompasing and realistic than much of what is normally taught. Those familiar with Aikido and Judo will find techniques from those systems fitting right in alongside the punches and kicks of karate. The author also makes good use of end-notes, which inform the reader further of his research and don't interupt the flow of the text.

The one notable negative of this book is the lack of enbusen lines. It's difficult at times to understand the footwork of some sequences, and an enbusen diagram would have helped. This, as well as the lack of elaboration in the first chapter that I mentioned earlier, keeps the book from getting a full five stars.

Still, I find the book valuable as a historical work on the roots of the Pinan/Heian kata, as well as a source for realistic bunkai. Those interested in either should take a look.
3.0 out of 5 stars Channan:karate history/theory 9 Jun 2014
By Mike Addison-Saipe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having trained for over 50 years,my interests are history,origins,and old school training.My understanding has always been that Pinan/Heian kata were essays on kata Kusanku. It now appears that these kata were simplifications and fragments of channan kata which was in itself the treatise on kusanku.Once one understands this,it is not necessary to know channan kata,just pinan/heian plus kusanku.I thought the book was ok,an interesting addition to my library, but rather too heavily stylized for my liking.Original Okinawan karate had no style names.This was a creation of the Japanese in order to make the Okinawan arts conform to the Japanese way of doing things.When studying the old ways,it is important to remember this.
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money...even in a digital format... 14 Jan 2013
By Donald Palko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This does little to shed light on the original form the Heian Kata are taken from...
Add to this the photos are of poor quality and the Sensei is executing poor technique and stance.
I also looked it up on You Tube and it confirmed his poorly executed form...
Save your money and find someone that knows the form.
Even if it costs you some bucks.
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