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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DON'T JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURES!!, 2 May 2010
This review is from: Karate-do Kyohan: The Master Text (Hardcover)
Karate-Do Kyohan was the first written text book of Karate, all Karate, not just Shotokan (and I am a Shotokan practitioner!. At a time when Karate had to evolve just to survive the Meiji Restoration,Funakoshi and his great teachers Itosu and Azato conspired to evolve Karate into a system of physical exercise. Encouraged by interest from military and governmental departments in both Ryukyu and Japan, these visionary men were the projanitors of the modern sporting phenomena we know today.

Unwilling to completely dilute his art from the deadly personal protection system that had been used by generations of royal bodyguards on Okinawa, Funakoshi includes, albeit at times vaguely, historical data that provides us with clues as to the true nature of his art, including the use of dirty tactics such as grabbing, wrestling and spitting at your opponent to distract them before applying a finishing technique and escape.

Often maligned these days for weakening a great fighting art, Gichin Fubakoshi's and indeed Itosu's decision to modify their art was a necessary evil to ensure the survival of Karate Do due to the Meiji regime's hatred of anything too old fashioned or barbaric. Take the time to read the text in this record and all the clues as to how Karate was originally intended to be used, as a brutal and practical self - protection system, are there. It is up to us as studious Karateka, to look at and extract the clues that were left to us in this and other texts of that time, written by the men who created and developed our art. I'm of no doubt that they knew a damn sight more about it than you or I. To criticise the teachings of men of the incredible calibre of Gichin Funakoshi is both ignorant and extremely arrogant!

Karate Do Kyohan is a piece of Karate History that every serious Karate student should have in their library.
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