IT WAS ONCE SAID THAT ‘WHO WE ARE’
IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE ‘PEOPLE WE MEET’
AND ‘THE BOOKS WE READ’
Below are some excellent books we hope you will enjoy and make a difference to your life. These books will greatly increase your understanding of Karate and the benefits you will discover doing this fantastic martial art.
These books are highly recommended by our club members:
The buttons with ‘Amazon.com’ on them will take you to the Amazon website to find out more and to place an order if you wish. Delivery is very good, usually 7 to 10 days.
The twenty guiding principles of Karate-do
Gichin Funakoshi, “the father of karate,” once said that “the ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.
Karate-do My way of life
Linking the time when karate was a strictly Okinawan art of self-defense shrouded in the deepest secrecy and the present day, when it has become a martial art practiced throughout the world, is Gichin Funakoshi, the “Father of Karate-do.”
Out of modesty, he was reluctant to write this autobiography and did not do so until he was nearly ninety years of age. Trained in the Confucian classics, he was a schoolteacher early in life, but after decades of study under the foremost masters, he gave up his livelihood to devote the rest of his life to the propagation of the Way of Karate. Under his guidance, techniques and nomenclature were refined and modernized, the spiritual essence was brought to the fore, and karate evolved into a true martial art.
Nineteen kata (“forms”) of karate-the art of self-defense without weapons-arepresented here in complete detail. They are the ones selected by the great master and teacher, Gichin Funakoshi, to give comprehensive training in Karate-do, the way of karate.
Fully illustrated demonstrations by the translator cover not only every technique of the kata but also the fundamentals and applications: how to make a fist; the correct form of the open hand; preliminary training in blocking, striking and kicking; the seven stances; and sparring.
The author presents, besides kata that he himself originated, beginning and advanced kata from both the Shorei school and the Shorin school, the former remarkable for their forcefulness and development of strength, the latter characterized by their gracefulness and lightning swiftness.
This book, the most comprehensive and authoritative ever published, was being revised by the author shortly before his death in 1957, at the age of eighty-eight, and is translated for the first time. Through his advice on both practical and spiritual aspects of training, the master guides the student from techniques to the Way of karate. Complementing the English edition are illustrations of National Treasures from Kofuku-ji and Todai-ji temples in Nara and Master Funakoshi’s calligraphy.
Karate, whose value for the well-rounded development of strength, coordination and agility is scientifically validated, can be practiced at any time and in any place, for any length of time, by men and women of all ages, and requires no special equipment. It also fosters the development of spiritual qualities: courage, courtesy, integrity, humility and self-control.
Gichin Funakoshi’s karate books, the first published in 1922, are landmarks, for the development of this martial art in Okinawa was shrouded in secrecy, and almost no records of its early history, dating back more than a thousand years to the Shao-lin Temple in Hunan Province, China, exist. Karate-do Kyohan is a book that lives up to its title: it is in truth the master text for karate instruction at all levels and in all aspects of technique and character development.
Karate-do Nyumon literally means a passage through the gates of the Karate way-in other words, an introduction to the world of Karate. Karate-do Nyumon is the result of Master Funakoshi’s wish to clarify Karate thought and practice for those who know nothing about it. It comprises unpublished writings from the years before his death in 1957, together with simplified kata-sequences of movements-synthesized by Funakoshi from the traditional Okinawa Karate-do kata, for beginners.
Master Funakoshi begins by exploding some of the myths of Karate:
“Karate-do is a noble martial art, and the reader can rest assured that those who take pride in breaking boards or smashing tiles, or who boast of being able to perform outlandish feats like stripping flesh or plucking out ribs, really know nothing about karate. They are playing around in the leaves and branches of a great tree, without the slightest concept of the trunk.”
In his description of what Karate is, the Master describes the history of Karate-its origins in the ancient methods of unarmed combat in China, and its growth as a fighting method in Okinawa, a country where arms were banned in a succession of decrees from the Japanese mainland. In order to prevent it being subjected to control, or more importantly, to prevent the Japanese overlords from knowing and using the techniques, the practice of Karate was kept a secret. To preserve this secrecy, the habit persisted until very recent times of keeping no records. Master Funakoshi, however, recognized in this book and others the need to formulate the kata precisely, so as to establish a standard of true Okinawan Karate.
The kata in this book are not traditional kata, but they serve to establish the correct habits of stance, thought and action, and to facilitate the eventual mastery of the true Karate-do kata. All these special kata are clearly explained and illustrated by photos.
Lastly, Master Funakoshi recalls stories of men who were living legends when he was a youth in Okinawa, men whose reputations overcame even the secrecy that clung to Karate until the middle of this century.
Shotokan Karate-do Kata – Volume 1 by Hitoshi Kasuya
(13 Kata – Junior to Black belt)
Shotokan Karate-do Kata – Volume 2 by Hitoshi Kasuya
(12 Kata – Black belt and above) Not available through stores, available through the club.
Both books are only available through the club. Order through the contact us page (top right) for these two books.
If you have read a book, that you think we should add to our list, please send us an email with it’s name and author and we will review it and look at adding it to this page.