Okinawan Kempo: Choki Motobu Paperback – 25 Apr 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
I am pursuing amazon in this regard.
This reproduction of the oldest manual on kumite (sparring) presents the original kumite techniques which were developed in secret by Motobu Sensei through rigorous fights and intense training. They can be definitely described as genuine classical Okinawan kumite, which have little relation to today's sport karate. Motobu Sensei appears himself in the photos, demonstrating the proper execution of the exercises presented.
However the byuer should be aware of a very important fact which is that the photos from the original manual have been severely retouched, meaning that basically they are almost painted sketches from an earlier edition of the book. It is worth noting though that it is a good attempt, considering that some of the photos did not appear in the original and were created based on the context. A vast majority of them still serves its purpose, meaning that they can be easily viewed, however there are some -important in my opinion- details which are gone.
The book has also a nice cover and an insightful forward, plus the very important herb recipies that Master Motobu left.
Personally if I had the option to I would seek the original little booklet with the original photos (even if they had bad quality) but still this book generally holds priceless historic value and it is a must have for any karateka and historian of the art. It is referenced in several martial arts books (rightfully) and we should consider ourselves very fortunate it exists (for the preservation of the original okinawan martial arts). It helps the reader understand the origin and early development of karate.
'Please remember that photography was not highly sophisticated in 1926 and that the photo quality was not at its best'.
(Some very sophisticated action photographs exist from battles in World War 1).
I have reproductions of these photographs which are not only far superior to the artwork included in this book, but which also accurately depict the hand positions -unlike the drawings.
An example of this mis-direction can be found on page 60, where the artist has either misinterpreted or wrongly recreated the hand positions, perhaps due to inferior photocopies.
The third verso page, following the title page, shows calligraphy taken from Seiyu Oyata's 1977 translation. Unfortunately, it has been lifted and reversed!!!!
The translation is also remarkably close to that of Oyata's book.
Any serious student would be better served obtaining a copy of Oyata's translation, or seeking out the original at http://kindai.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/922034