Shoshin Nagamine's book is invaluable to anyone who studies Shorin-ryu Karate, or a school related to or derived from Shorin-ryu (& Shotokan). Although Nagamine's volume was originally published in English in 1976, it still sets the standard for other books on the subject of Okinawan karate (I don't know of any English volume as thorough on this subject).
It's also the only English language Shorin-ryu manual to include complete demonstrations of ALL 18 kata of this style, all of which are demonstrated by Mr. Nagamine himself (photos, foot position & stepping diagrams, and narrative). They include: Fugyu Kata I & II, Pinan 1 through 5, Naihanchi 1-3, Ananku, Wankan, Rohai, Wanshu, Passai, Gojushiho, Chinto, and Kusanku. Practitioners of styles such as Shotokan and Tang Soo Do will enjoy comparing these older versions of the forms with those they practice today.
This is one of the few books on Karate which could benefit a practitioner at either the basic OR advanced levels, due to the amount and depth of information included within.
Another attractive feature of this book is the excellent autobiography which Mr. Nagamine includes. He writes about personal aspects of his life, his interest in karate and other martial arts (he was also a skilled judoka), and includes a subsection on each of his teachers describing his experience and what he learned. He describes training with his first teacher, Ankichi Arakaki, and then the famed Chotoku Kyan, and the Kempo master Choki Motobu. Nagamine offers his personal thoughts on karate training, including a series of precepts which have guided his own studies.
The section on basic techniques (preceding the lengthy section on kata) shows exactly how each movement is to be performed, and includes detailed photographs from the start of the technique to its finish. There are also sections on Kumite (showing 7 sequences and also brief information on breaking objects and makiwara training) and Kobudo (weapons such as Sai, Bo, Nunchaku, etc.).
Concerning Shoshin Nagamine, the man was a truly dedicated karate researcher as well as a skilled & devoted practitioner who knew & became close to many of the old grand masters and was friendly with karate men of other styles. Nagamine's specific style is called Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu. He was a policeman by trade, and has written a second book called "Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters (Tuttle Martial Arts)", which includes much more about his experiences delving into karate history.
All Matsubayashi Practioners need this book in their possesion. Breaks down all eighteen katas and leaves room on every page for notes and highlighting. Shoshin Nagamine does an excellent job in helping us learn about his life, the history of karate and the techniques of Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu. This book is the best guideline in helping anyone learn and maintain their katas, kihon and yakusoku kumite. I have recommended it to all of my students and friends . I live by this book. Sensei Dan Cole Nidan, 2nd Degree Black Belt
This is the most important book you can own if you study Matsubayashi Ryu. It is very well written. Shows all 18 kata, kihons and yakusoku kumite. This book is not only good as a refresher but as a text book. I require that all my students purchase this book. I am a Shihan, 5th Degreee Black belt in Matsubayashi Ryu.
This is the definitive book for Matsubayashi-ryu karate. It was written by the master himself. The book is not designed to teach the methods or the kata, but instead to act as a reference book. I use this book all the time to help me remember the steps of the kata that I learn in class. It also has a very brief but excellent section on the history of Okinawan Karate-do.
Nagamini's book is not an instruction manual, but a straighforward textbook designed to supplement the study of Matsubayashi style shorin-ryu karate. Students will find it most helpful as a reference for the entire curiculum of 18 kata, which Nagamini illustrates with photographs and foot movements. Preceding kata instruction is a brief history of Okinawan karate-do, an explanation of theory, and an overview of techniques. As a brown belt, I have used this book as an essential reference text throughout my study. James R. Strange, 3rd kyu, ASKA (American Shorin-Ryu Karate Association)
This is an excellent first look at the shorin-ryu styles whose lineages originate with Kian Chotoku, one of the Okinawan karate greats. There is generally good coverage of the kata, although there could be more description immediately with the photographs. Certainly, this is one of the best books of it's kind available and there should be more like it. I was a little surprised that the book had so little history (only a few pages). For a direct student of Kian Chotoku, history should be the strongest part of the book.
I have read and lived this book and its teachings. This is the essential student companion to class instruction. Plenty of room under photographs for note taking. Hard cover for durability. All eighteen katas shown. Text is through and understandable. I've carried this book for 13 years as my reference and recommend it to all students of Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu. For more info on Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu please see [...] Nidan, 2nd degree - Sensei Michael Tobin.
This allows the student the opportunity to touch up and improve training technics at home... after the class, when sometimes he/she might have slipped on a particular move and needs a little reference before the next class... great to be able to do this... When used as a reference to the actual class, it is invaluable. Sometimes the pictures and the foot work have to be studied rather closely... somewhat difficult to view at times. Overall, excellent.
This a very good book on karate methods, traditions, and history. Areas that are somewhat lacking are the descriptions of the katas. The pictures are well done, but there could be more information provided on specific moves. As a Godan (fifth level black belt) in the martial art of Karate, I find this book to be a valuable addition to my reference library. -Gary W. Parks, Shihan
A excellent source of theory ,motivation, culture and history, of original Matsubayhashi-ryu Karate-do. Written for the true development of skills, tradtion, culture, respect and expierence through practical application. This reading is a must for any dedicated karateka. The greatest benefit of this book is achieved through the direction of a great sen-sei. Since the book is written from the first hand knowledge and expierence and life long dedication of Shoshin Nagamine, one must expierence karate-do first hand through self challenge and physical persistence to develop a meaningful respect for the authors incredible endeavor. Some things in life cannot be gained without first hand participation. The essence of the writting is not without sacrifice, and through this personal investment of self, one can begin to consider the vast opportunities presented, to begin the life fulfillment process. Humility is a constant effort, but a most worthy teacher. If only some of these insights were taught at an early age, I dare beleive that the world would be a safer and more enjoyable place. Personaly I cannot give enough appreciation to repay those who taught me the valuable lessons I have received directly and indirectly from the reading and implementation of this magnificent recipe for life. All I can do is try to pass it on to those who are willing to grasp it. A sincere Domo-Arigato go zai master to the grand master of Matsubayashi-ryu Karate-do; "Domo Arigato" Shoshin Nagamine . DHC