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on 18 March 2013
I have read this book cover to cover in fairly short space of time and given it a couple of days to reflect on it. I've been practising karate and kickboxing for about 20 years. This is the first book I've read which is about the 'way' of Karate, rather than an instructional guide.

My reasons for buying it were to try and understand more about what I can learn from Karatedo, and how. Having become reasonably proficient physically speaking, my training had reached a plateau so I needed further direction - having only occassional contact with my Sensei due to location, I have turned to books to further and broaden my learning.

In that respect alone I have found this book extremely thought provoking.

It goes a long way to dispelling some of the myths and urban legends that may commonly be held in the West, perhaps due to the influence of movies and games and so on. It tries to tell us about the depths of Karatedo beyond the superficialites with which it often treated, and more importantly it challenges you to seek out these depths.

There is also a good deal of practical advice in the book as well, both in terms of actual Karate training, but also what to look for in a Sensei and club, depending on what you want to gain. You will also find yourself thinking long and hard about what you actually want from Karate.

If you simply do Karate for sport/fitness/fun then I would not recommend this book for you. Particularly those who practise Karate as a sport, you may find that Lowry comes across as somewhat superior and almost sneering at your chosen level of depth - I'm sure this is not quite his intention but his style of writing certainly frustrates on occasion in this respect. His position seems to be (this is how I took it) that competitions are at a superficial level and place too much focus on defeating others in a non-realistic environment and placing too great an emphasis on style over substance.

Personally I found that, despite his style being a bit finger-wagging and trying a little too hard to sound sage in places, he nevertheless speaks a lot of sense and indeed delivers a few home truths about training habits and perceptions both here and in Japan.

He has clearly been there and done it, and you can get the feeling that he is reminding you of this constantly, but forgiving some of those indulgences will enable you to learn, or at least seek to learn, a great deal.

To conclude, a little frustrating in places and you might often feel like you're being scolded. Lowry is opinionated to say the least but then such is his entitlement. I'm undecided as to whether I will buy another Lowry book as I find him just that little bit superior in places, but I will dip back into this book as there was a lot of very good and considerd advice in there. For those who wish to explore the deeper meanings of Karatedo, if you are prepared to be open-minded, perhaps prepared for a little constructive criticism and above all willng to undergo some honest introspection about you Karate training, then this book offers some genuine guidance that you will undoubtedly look back on and be thankful.
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on 21 October 2014
I bought this because I was interested in a training, practice philosophy that is a great part of this book. I think it largely meets that requirement for me as a golfer. It is very interesting to read a practice book that is not so much about the sport but about an appraoch to training at the highest levele. I could thoroughly recommend this to athletes, golfers, tennis players, whatever. If you wantto getto the top - this book should be amongst your reading books at home. On a eet windy winter evening, what better way to get prepared than reading books like these?
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on 21 May 2015
I guess i was expecting more from this book, seems like a recollection of small magazine type chronicles published together
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on 5 April 2014
A very interesting book. It raises thought-provoking ideas and allows the reader to look deeper into oneself and their training. I did enjoy reading this credit to the author.
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on 15 October 2014
Perfect condition.
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on 7 February 2015
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on 10 January 2009
Time to reassess your Karate (Budo)?

I haven't finished the book yet but........

Dave Lowry addicts will not be disappointed & in fact will be very pleased with his latest work which takes a "serious" look at some aspects of karate that isn't covered in any other book I have ever read about karate.

I will update this review with more detail shortly when I have finished the book. It may seem strange that I'm writing as review so early, please forgive me, I could not wait to write about the enthusiasm and motivation that the book gave me in only the first few chapters.

This book is designed & more suitable for the karate-ka (budo-ka) that has practiced at their art for a number of years and wants to go a little further, or to climb the next peak as Dave puts it so succinctly. It's also really well suited to those who have reached a plateau in their training & who feel that they can't seem to progress any further.

Dave's long experience with the martial arts & Japan give him plenty of credentials to write such a book & "lead" us on to a better path, as any caring sensei should. If you find that you're practicing the wrong style or the club you are a member of is not a genuine one, Dave reassures us that we don't necessarily have to start all over from the beginning again & that it would be better to look around & shows us what to look for in a teacher who can fulfil our needs & take us further up that proverbial mountain.

As always Dave's style is friendly, comfortable & easy to read & absorb. He gets straight to the point without the need for repetition or padding or constant use of strange technical terms or pages of Japanese terms.

Please be sure to check back here again for a fuller review, if you're not already hooked that is?
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on 30 October 2011
The alarm bells should have started ringing from the cover alone. Not only is it an image used on much better offerings on the subject of the Martial Arts but the gi is folded over the wrong way! A bit like wearing a kilt with the pleats to the front. I haven't read any of Mr Lowry's other publications and on the strength of this I probably won't. I felt the book was nothing more than a collection of short essays on a variety of unconnected topics. The author attempts to protect himself from any criticism, real or inferred, by suggesting that only 'serious' Martial Artists will actually get it. I would suggest that anyone who has parted with their hard earned cash to purchase this book would not be a serious Martial Artist in the eyes of the author anyway.
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