Complete Shotokan Karate: The Samurai Legacy & Modern Practice (Tuttle Martial Arts) Paperback – 1 Nov 1998
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This text presents a history of Japanese karate in Asia and the West, and also provides instructions for students of Shotokan. Part One traces its roots from India, through China to Okinawa in Japan, and Part Two, illustrated with 600 photographs and 20 line drawings, includes instructions for Kumite (sparring drills), and nine Kata (forms), two of which - sochin and nijushiho - are rarely seen in English-language publications.
Top Customer Reviews
The pictures were good, but not altogether clear for a beginner, will be useful in colaboration with dojo training.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Also, although martial artists would like to daydream that theirs is a venerable and ancient art traced back directly to medieval samurai that is simply not the case. Modern karate has evolved so radically from what we find in the first baby steps of this art that the two are hard to link together from any technical standpoint.
What Rielly is presenting as the complete Shotokan karate is not quite accurate. The karate here in Japan is quite different.
The first part is indispensable for the Karate-ka. It gives a very detailed (that is to the extent possible) history of Karate-do, including its possible origins in India and Greece, as well as its arrival in Japan and introduction into the US. It then supplements this information with genealogical trees for the development of the four major styles of Karate-do (Shotokan-ryu, Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, and Shinto-ryu). It also outlines the origins of Isshin-ryu, Kyokushinkai, and Kobayashi-ryu. It then describes the feudal legacy of the Samurai and its influence on Karate-do. Many Karate-do maxims are analysis in this light giving the Karate-ka a more solid grounding in the philosophical aspects of the art.
In the second part of the book whole sections are devoted to the thorough explanation of etiquette, Kumite, and Kata. This is the part of the book that is geared soley to the Shotokan practitioner. I found the section on Kata to be the most indispensable. It lists the names and origins of the most popular of Shotokan kata dividing those that originated in the Shorin-ryu from those that originate in the Shorei-ryu traditions. But my fondness foe this section (and this book as a whole) springs from the complete and thoroughly illustrated step-by-step explanations of nine Shotokan Kata. Included are Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai, Nijushiho, and Sochin.
Topping of the book is an appendix describing the belts and ranking system and what judges look for in applicants for rank promotion. I recommend it for all Karate-ka regardless of style.
In conclusion, this book in combination with training under a competent Shotokan Karate instructor, is the best way to truly learn Shotokan Karate.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Shotokan Karate Self-Defense Techniques: Combat karate for the street).