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The Art of Hojo Undo: Power Training for Traditional Karate

The Art of Hojo Undo: Power Training for Traditional Karate [Kindle Edition]

Michael Clarke
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description


With the absence of any work on hojo undo, this book is destined to become an instant success and I am pleased to be able to lend my name to its publication. Mike Clarke's empirical experience and deep knowledge of both Okinawa's fighting arts and the culture in which it evolved make him uniquely qualified to produce a book of this nature. -- Foreward Magazine, September 2009 This book explains in detail how Okinawan Karate masters attained their awesome Karate Power and how they were able to develop such fantastic powerful techniques. Everything that you wanted to know about Hojo Undo training is explained in this book. There are explanations on the different training methods of Japanese and Okinawan Karate. Learn the secrets of traditional Karate power. Learn the difference between sport Karate and traditional Karate. Traditional Karate focuses on building a complete Karate warrior. It combines mind, body, and soul. For those who are dedicated to the art of Karate, this book is a must for your library. I highly recommend this outstanding manual. -- Over 50 years of experience, January 2010

Product Description

Hojo undo means 'supplemental training equipment' for traditional martial artists. This book comprehensively details how to construct and use the most popular martial arts training tools of Okinawa. The value of hojo undo is that the strength building exercises are linked to the motion of the fighting techniques of karate; this is the kind of information many practitioners need to have in order to make sense of where karate's devastating power comes from.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9704 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 159439136X
  • Publisher: YMAA Publication Center (25 Sep 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,949 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding introduction to rare practises 21 Oct 2009
As an introduction to the practise of Hojo Undo, Mr Clarkes work should be praised as a great contribution to the tradition of Okinawan karate. The subject of hojo undo is rarely addressed in either English or Japanese publications, so until now there has been little information avalible in print to those interested in this tradition.

This book contains useful information relating to the various tools such as chiishi, ishi sashi, nigiri game, and makiwara, as well as many of the more obscure items rarely seen even in Okinawa. Also included are diagrams which show how to easily build such items and at little cost from everyday materials which can be easily found. There are also a number of exercises shown for each tool which are clearly detailed by easy to follow diagrams and written explainations on how to correctly perform each exercise.

Information is also provided on the practise of junbi undo (preparatory exercises) and strength training without equipment. The great thing about hojo undo and junbi undo is that it is both inexpensive and does not require a large amount of space. As a result of this, the various exercises detailed in this book can be practised at home in order to enhance your practise outside of the dojo.

There are also a number of interesting photographs throughout from both the authors private collection, as well as well sourced historical photographs which show how the pioneers of Okinawan karate made hojo undo a part of their everyday life.

This book would serve equally well to both the newer student as an introduction to the history and practise of hojo undo, as well as the more experienced practitioner who will no doubt find new exercises and ideas with which to introduce into their own practice to enhance their understanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff 26 Jun 2011
Despite modern karate's obsession with the three K's of kihon, kata and kumite, the original karate of Okinawa was--the author asserts--based on the four pillars of prepatory exercises, strength training, kata and bunkai.

Anyone who has studied the history of karate will know this assertion is difficult to argue with, or ignore. The use of the makiwara (striking post) by the old masters is well documented, though nowadays it is rarely used, while other Hojo Undo training practises have been all but forgotten in most dojos and styles.

This is a loss, because even in their own writings, the old masters did not attribute their power solely to technique. The recurring themes of these texts such as punching power and grip-strength show the importance placed on strength training in the developers of the art. Modern weight training can go some way towards this, but there are several key exercises and pieces of equipment that develop specific strength for the karateka.

Michael Clarke brings years of personal experience (including training in Okinawa) to bear in this exploration of this little-known subject of Hojo Undo. With clear explanations and good photos and diagrams, he shows how to build and use a wide variety equipment, from the famous makiwara to the lesser known nigiri game (gripping jars), tetsu geta (Iron Sandals) and impact tools such as the tou (bamboo bundle).

The author's ability and enthusiasm for this forgotten subject shines through. The Art of Hojo Undo is an important text, both as a link to the past and a means for today's karateka to take his or her power to new heights.
Goran Powell, 4th Dan Goju Ryu Karate and author of A Sudden Dawn
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Michael Clarke is clearly one of the most dedicated and passionate western martial artists on the planet. As the fantastic photographs in his book show, he has followed his art all over the world, including time on Okinawa which I'm extremely envious of by the way; and he has trained with some of the most experienced and revered Japanese, Okinawan and western instructors alive today. It also becomes evident throughout the book that Mr Clarke has far more knowledge of Hojo Undo than some of our leading Japanese Karate Sensei, particularly those of the Shuri te styles, Kanazawa in point of fact.

Is it that, as times have moved on and training has progressed and become far more scientific, the need for such tough, painful and potentially damaging training has been deemed outdated and uneccessary? After all, we as karateka are not expected to defend ourselves or our King from armed Samurai, as were the great masters of old. Or is it that, since Karate's migration to Japan, it's dissemination throughout the world and the growth of the sporting aspect of the art, the aesthetic importance of Karate has now completely saturated and dissolved the true nature and needs of the art? The sweet sugar being lost by the bitterness of the coffee, so to speak.

The answer to both the former and the latter is YES in varying degrees. Lets leave the sport karate question out of equation, as its my opinion that it has no semblance of the traditional art attached to it anymore, and lets concentrate on the need for Kojo Undo conditioning.

Let's face it, the need for traditional Hojo Undo training probably isn't necessary today as there are many modern and some would argue, better training methods and equipment at our disposal these days.
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