Essence of Karate Hardcover – 1 Jul 2010
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
GICHIN FUNAKOSHI (1868-1957) is one of Karate's great masters. Born in Okinawa, the birthplace of Karate, he began training in the secret martial art as a child. In 1922, at the request of the Japanese government, he demonstrated the still-secret Okinawan art of self-defence on the Japanese mainland, which led to Karate's introduction to the rest of Japan and subsequently the rest of the world. Funakoshi devoted the remainder of his life to this traditional sport and wrote several classics on the subject.
Top customer reviews
Fundamentally, a small collection of memories, short anecdotes and words of wisdom from the great man; this book is quite the little gem. I read it in little under an hour, so don't buy it as holiday read unless you intend to study it carefully, then take a note book with you aswell and you'll stretch it to a day two.
There are, as always with Funakoshi's works, glimpses and clues as to the true nature of Karate-do, in particular for me the line, and excuse me as I'm paraphrasing here, "the true nature of Karate can never be reproduced in the sporting arena" is particularly telling. With these few words Funakoshi is clearly informing us that the true nature of Karate as the most effective self-protection system ever devised, is so brutal and dangerous that it's techniques, used as they were intended could never be re-produced as a sport. Gichin Funakoshi then states in the clearest of terms what most pragmatic karateka already knew to be the case but many others choose to, unbelievably, deny and even ignore; "kata is the essence of karate" for within each kata are held complete fighting systems waiting to be unlocked and revealed.
The Essence of Karate give us wonderful insights into Funakoshi himself but also much more than I've ever read before about his great masters, Itosu and Azato, their similarities and differences and the effect of their fighting styles upon unfortunate opponents.
The forward by Sensei Kanazawa is quite interesting in itself but the afterword by Gisho Funakoshi, his nephew is filled with warmth, respect and awe for an uncle he briefly knew but left an ever lasting impression.
The Essence of Karate by Gichin Funakoshi is an absolute must for any Karate enthusiast.
Funakoshi was a prolific writer and it seems every few years another text is uncovered and translated for all to enjoy. My concerns that this book would basically consist of a retelling of previously published anecdotes proved to be unfounded. This is indeed a new publication for 2010, written by Funakoshi when he was in his sixties, translated by Richard Berger and with a nice afterword by Gisho Funakoshi.
At 125 pages short, with a quite limited word count per page, this book won't take long to read; I picked it up twice in two days and finished it. It's definitely a case of quality not quantity with this particular Funakoshi title.
What you do get is 11 short chapters packed with fairly lightweight stories from the early memories of Gichin Funakoshi. There are some nice details about the famous Karate demonstration that lead to the growth of Karate in Japan, and he also reveals some details about his own masters, unintentionally clearing up some ambiguity's of his earlier works. He also explains in a clarity previously unseen, how his pen name of "shoto" came about.
The book also contains a few fairly rare photographs that are nicely reproduced, showing the author both in action and at ease.
In summary The Essence of Karate will provide a moderately interesting read for anyone engrossed in the early days of Japanese Karate as recounted by Gichin Funakoshi.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Look for similar items by category