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on 22 December 2012
I just got this book and have not yet had time to really read it. I'll get back here and update this review when done, but for now it's very important to stand that this book is for GOJU RYU Karate. Not that you can't use it if you practice other styles, but it'll be much harder to follow up. Besides, it's ilustrations suck (not photos, but scatches). More info when I have the time to read it.
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on 15 September 2005
'The Way of Kata' is a thoughtful, thorough and informative analysis of the 'hidden' fighting applications of kata. This superb book is essential reading for all those who wish to understand the highly effective techniques, concepts and strategies that the katas were created to record.
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on 10 September 2011
The book is what I expected it to be after previewing it on Google-books.Having practised kata (off and on sometimes) I was looking for a more thoughtful interpretation of seemingly endless repetition of very basic movements.
This book may not be an epiphany.This should, however, set one thinking and it may be no exaggeration to say that they may experience a sudden light dawning in some areas.
While it is possible that the authors may have emulated the masters of old and still withheld some of the 'secrets' that they have understood themselves, it is still a very revealing book.
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on 31 October 2010
This book is without doubt one of the best books on Karate Bunkai around. Kris Wilder and Lawrence Kane have done a fantastic job in not only getting across information that was for the most part of history kept secret, but they do so in a concise and logical manner. This makes it a pleasure to read. Certainly, when you read it, you get a feel for the 'true' art of karate, not the karate that most people will immediately conjure up images of. Indeed, this book allows you to practise your karate as the holistic art it was and is meant to be. This book will make your kata become a living and breathing thing. I can not praise this book enough.

Now this is not a book that you read, and then proceed to put it back on the shelf once your finished. Readers will find that it will become a constant reference point for the study of Kata and the true value of the book will be realised for years to come. With the bunkai checklist you'll be able to cross-check your applications and can constantly flick back should you need some more information.

It's all in the kata, and with this book, you'll be on the road to the heart of karate.

My thanks to the authors for providing such a fantastic book!

James - London, UK
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on 6 November 2012
I avidly read this book on arrival and was not dissapointed.
I have 40 years experience in karate and other martial arts and whilst my kata bunkai understanding has increased through my own training this book gave me the final key(s) to finish my understanding on how to find the applications. it is well worth the money to purchase and I can not recommend it enough.
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on 9 March 2016
This book is certainly thought provoking, but as much for the reasons why I think the authors are wrong as it is for their insight. This book touches on many interesting areas, and references many other martial artists, and it is ironic that some of the best parts of this book are the areas that do not relate directly to kata interpretation. I particularly liked the bits about street defence requiring a non-diagnostic response, and the discussion of the erroneous idea practiced by many schools that the attacker gets one go and the defender many! But you can get all this is spades by reading Rory Miller or others. Still it is nice to see it summarised here.

As far as the kata interpretation goes, I find that the 12 principles and 12 rules are excessive. Do we really need 24? I find that with this many rules you can justify almost anything. I am also not entirely convinced by their example bunkai, especially when they start talking about hidden techniques that aren't even part of the kata movement. Overall for bunkai the works of Ian Abernethy are superior.

It also bugs me no end that the defender always seems to manage being in an open stance with the aggressor; I noticed this in my prior Karate training also. Are they saying you start in a neutral stance and then always move forward or back with the appropriate leg when attacked? Or that this is a preparatory move to put you in a superior position? It is never explained. Their understanding on the flinch response seems a little off too, as many movements are explained as a modified flinch but bear no resemblance to how you would actually move when surprised. Or did they mean that the moves are based on working well straight after a flinch? They seem unsure themselves, but I for one would definitely welcome a further book on this subject from the authors.

Despite my criticisms I do have a great deal of respect of the authors and overall did get a great deal from this book. One must always bear in mind that a book like this should only be a starting point for your own investigations and that reliable bunkai can only be created out of your own endeavours.
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on 14 April 2008
This is a book which I've read a few times since I bought it. It has now become a reference book to me. There is so much depth and good advice in it.

Ernest Tuff 2nd. Dan
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on 4 November 2016
A great read, and insight to better understand how to learn from the 'kata', more than its face value and initial application. Read it many times, and apply it many times more. Recommended for those looking on from the path taken to obtain black belt in whichever style you earned it.
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on 8 March 2013
Very nicely presented book on a fascinating and much misunderstood subject.
Highly recommended for all open minded martial artists looking to explore the
practical applications of the movements in their Kata's.
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on 1 March 2015
I've only just started reading this book and very impressed with the first chapters. I would say that it is a must read for all traditional karate students that practice kata and bunkai.
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