I can't tell you how exciting it is for me to find such a like soul, someone else that is speaking the same language. I highly recommend this authentic book, its contents and its author and I implore everyone who is `searching' to read this book - it is both valuable and long overdue. -- Geoff Thompson, sixth-degree black belt, writer, teacher, martial artist
I find Gavin a truly inspirational martial artist. He embodies all that I think is good and worthwhile in the arts and it is always a pleasure to be in the dojo with him. I cannot recommend his teaching highly enough
-- David Rubens, 5th Dan Yoshinkan Aikido
Regardless of style, all karateka should read and digest the information contained within this excellent book. Gavin Mulholland is someone who fully understands the realities of combat and kata and if you wish to practise karate as the pragmatic fighting system it was intended to be, you should familiarise yourself with Gavin's work. This is a thorough and accessible explanation of everything you need to know to make sense of kata and become a complete fighter. Four Shades of Black is a must-read book that is certain to become a modern classic. Enjoy! -- Iain Abernethy, fifth-degree black belt Author of Bunkai-Jutsu: The Practical Application of Karate Kata
While many people understand the purpose of individual kata, this book demonstrates how the various kata work together to create a logical fight progression from stand-up striking to close-quarter grappling and groundfighting. Four Shades of Black decodes the kata in a radically different way, revealing how the traditional arts set out to develop a complete and rounded fighter. If you think you know karate, think again.
About the Author
Gavin began training at an early age with his father, who taught judo and unarmed combat to British Forces in Northern Ireland during in the 1960s. When Gavin moved to the South of England, he began training in Goju-Ryu Karate. In over 30 years of training, he has travelled extensively throughout Asia and trained in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and China in arts as diverse as Aikido, Judo, Ju-Jitsu and Kyokushinkai.
Gavin is one of the most sought after Goju Ryu instructors in the UK and regularly teaches on nationwide seminars, appearing recently alongside Iain Abernethy in the new Practical Karate seminar. With 15 years' experience on the doors of pubs and clubs, he has been a regular instructor for one of the country's leading Bodyguard, Close Protection and Door Supervisor security companies.
Gavin has made numerous TV and film appearances, most notably a fortnightly slot on Bravo's Spy School. He is also a widely published author within the martial arts community and was inaugurated into The Combat Hall of Fame in 2002.