Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Now

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
63
4.7 out of 5 stars


on 14 February 2007
In his biographical masterpiece, Supreme Grand Master Gichin Funakoshi gives a very witty, intelligent & often funny account of his whole life, from his early days when he was forced to take up training for his poor health to when he was finally invited to Japan to give the first successful demonstration of his art - Shotokan Karate.

He was obviously a very clever man who really had a passion for his art. At an early age he developed a goal, a vision and a passion to learn all he could about karate from the then great masters of his time and present it to the world. He recounts several times in his life when he was confronted by would-be assailants and describes how he got out of the potentially lethal encounter, he does this in a very witty and often funny way.

Despite the book being very small and could be read by some perhaps in a day or so, it really is very interesting and worth reading several times, especially if you practice Karate. I think that it's the sort of book that should be given to new students on joining a Shotokan club.

It's just packed with gems of wisdom worth there weight in gold for successful living, even in today's manic society.

As in all the other positive reviews listed here already, Funakoshi's book is full of wisdom, inspiration and hope.

Do check out Clive Layton's "Training with Funakoshi" too, an excellent work from a different perspective not to mention Funakoshi's "The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate".

Ought to be on every Shotokan karate-ka's bookshelf!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 October 2005
In my opinion, this is a great read for anyone, not just those who have or are still training in the martial arts, but for anybody. It is so easy to read and one has to be very impressed by the honesty shown.
I found the chapter entitled "One life - great losses" very touching, where he spoke about his wife's death. In the same chapter, section entitled "every day", he gave a detailed description of his healthy life style. So much information in this section alone. Great man, with great enthusiasm and plans for the further development of Karate-do.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 February 2003
I enjoyed this on the level that it is an interesting autobiography of an incredible man, as well as enjoying it as a study towards an eventual black belt in Shotokan. I believe that I learned a good deal from this book, and therefore from the man. The reader should remind themself that he was born at a difficult time in Japanese history and would have been 23 when Queen Victoria died; imagine what values your own great grandfather might have had and you will understand more. A great man who achieved much in a difficult time.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 October 1998
This book is very insightful and gives the reader a lot to think about. It reads very easily, and any martial artist would be able to relate to it.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 October 2000
For anyone studying the art of Shotokan Karate this book is an essential read. From the roots of Shotokan itself, following on to how it became integrated into the Japanese school system before spreading world wide. The history, the politics and the story behind the man and the teacher himself.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 January 2009
In his biographical masterpiece, Supreme Grand Master Gichin Funakoshi gives a very witty, intelligent & often funny account of his whole life, from his early days when he was forced to take up training for his poor health to when he was finally invited to Japan to give the first successful demonstration of his art - Shotokan Karate.

He was obviously a very clever man who really had a passion for his art. At an early age he developed a goal, a vision and a passion to learn all he could about karate from the then great masters of his time and present it to the world. He recounts several times in his life when he was confronted by would-be assailants and describes how he got out of the potentially lethal encounter, he does this in a very witty and often funny way.

Despite the book being very small and could be read by some perhaps in a day or so, it really is very interesting and worth reading several times, especially if you practice Karate. I think that it's the sort of book that should be given to new students on joining a Shotokan club.

It's just packed with gems of wisdom worth there weight in gold for successful living, even in today's manic society.

As in all the other positive reviews listed here already, Funakoshi's book is full of wisdom, inspiration and hope.

Check out Clive Layton's "Training with Funakoshi" too, an excellent work from a different perspective not to mention Funakoshi's "Twenty Guiding Principles".

Ought to be on every Shotokan karate-ka's bookshelf!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 March 2010
`Karate-Do: My Way of Life' is an excellent book by Gichin Funakoshi where he recounts various events and experiences from his life. Rather than being a traditional autobiography it is more like a memoir where he shares his training, beliefs and theories on life and Karate. He shares assorted stories about his early training and the truth behind some of the myths that have sprung up around him, his fellow Karateka and his martial art in general. It also looks at the development of Karate from a secret martial art practised by him and a few others during the early years of the Meiji restoration to it's later status as an internationally renowned art. This book is very easy to read and you can see this master is both wise and humble and many martial artists can learn a great deal from him (whether Karate is their chosen art or not). This also sheds some light on life in Japan during the period of the authors life and makes for fascinating reading if you are interested in Japan in general. There is also a middle photo section showing Funakoshi during his later life. It pays to be aware that this book has no specifics about Karate techniques (you will need another book if that is what you are after) but it does look at Funakoshi's thoughts of life, training and the experiences of his life and overall it makes for fascinating and enlightening reading.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 August 2015
This book is short but content rich. In it Funakoshi tells the story of his early life, of his beginning to study Karate and then his pursuit to expand it as an art.

Funakoshis style is very simple and clear, understated and humble, but none the less full of meaning. His personality oozes through each paragraph.

He provides perspectives on karate and the way he sees is the correct approach to the art. He relates many stories about his studies, including a moment of grandeur when he stands on his house roof in a typhoon or when his master stares down a bunch of thugs rather than electing to fight them.

It is clear Funakoshi took great pride in how his students perpetuated the art he developed, and he also relates some more emotional moments; such as financial poverty and visiting a Japanese war memorial with the commandant of the US air base it is within. Not quite the political or world figure Jigoro Kano was he none the less made a profound contribution to the world in developing his Ryu of karate and this book illustrates that journey.

A good read for anyone interested in karate philosophy, how Shotokan karate was developed, and in the life of Gichin Funakoshi.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 June 2013
Whatever you know or think you know about Gichin Funakoshi you should read this book. This book truly explains and shows the man he truly was. A peace loving, generous, dedicated, humble master of the martial arts.

I am not a practitioner of Shotokan karate, but neither was he really; he was just a man that wanted to make a difference to every life that he touched and in most cases that is exactly what he did. Irrespective of what you think of Karate or Japanese martial Arts this man stands out as a true gentle spirit that followed what he believed was his true calling in life for nearly 80 years. He never entered in to a confrontation, succumbed to ego or diverted from what he believed was his life path, and in the process he managed to create the world's most practiced martial art; although if you asked him I am sure he would tell you this was never his intention, he simply wanted to help people better themselves. Which he did in great numbers. Hironori Ohtsuka, Mas Oyama, Keinosuke Enoeda, Kanazawa, Masatoshi Nakayama, Hidetaka Nishiyamaand many many more.

This book is a must for any Karateka, martial artist or historian looking at the birth place of modern Karate.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 September 2010
I really enjoyed reading this book, it made me think of Karate a lot more seriously (not that I didn't take it very seriously before I read it). This is a very easy read, Ginchin Funakosh's down to earth style made me enjoy every page. My favourite passages of the book were when Ginchin Funakoshi was being taught his kata's, it was brilliant when Itosu watched him from the roof! Another bit I enjoyed very much was from Ginchin Funakosh's school teaching days. When the teachers were running after the students, to in force the topknot ban it wasn't very nice, but he made it sound very amusing. This book and 'The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate' made me see Karate in a completely different way. I read this book when I was a purple belt (5th kyu) I am now purple & white (4th kyu), that's 4 away from my junior black belt. I would like to recommend this book to everybody.
Note: This review was written by my daughter Maya Jagger.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)