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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"Karate" by Hidetaka Nishiyama and Richard C. Brown. A Review

Karate The Art of Karate The Art of "Empty-Hand" Fighting by Hidetaka Nishiyama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Originally published in 1960 (republished in 1990) "Karate: The Art of "Empty-Hand" Fighting" is an early, straightforward "how-to" book of principles of Karate. It covers a short history of Karate; lays out a weekly work-out and training schedule; explains the various punches, strikes, blocks and kicks along with their applications; shows samples of techniques in combination; various defensive moves from the floor, in a chair, and other venues; and walks the karateka through the heian number 4 kata.

It becomes quickly obvious that the material was pulled together long before Karate became commercialized in the West. All of the pictures are in clear, black and white photos. Sparring only takes up one short chapter and pictures the contestants without any protective gear. The main focus of the book is on learning the proper way to perform strikes, punches, blocks and kicks, and their martial applications. The explanations that accompany each chapter and every picture are sensible and lucid.

"Karate" is a basic, but useful volume. It will help the practitioner to have a sense of groundedness to one branch of the martial arts before the sports aspect took over. This would make a solid addition to any martial artists library. I highly recommend the book.


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