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Recommended Karate Books
Karate-Do: My Way of Life
Gichin Funakoshi
Father of Modern Karate
Gichin Funakoshi was born in 1868 in Okinawa. His entire life was devoted to karate until his death in 1957. He was a small man but the power of karate made him one of the biggest and most powerful men of the martial art. His teachings and writings are the foundation of modern day karate, including the style taught at WSA. Although the main objective of Karate is to kill or stop with one blow Master Funakoshi's main focus was on spirit and self-control.
In Karate-DO, My Way of Life, Master Funakoshi talks about his life of studying and teaching karate and offers many valuable keys to successful training.
Karate-Do Kyohan The Master Text
Gichin Funakoshi
Nineteen kata ("forms") of karate-the art of self-defense without weapons-are presented 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.
Karate-Do Nyumon The Master Introductory Text
Gichin Funakoshi
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 It comprises unpublished writings from the years before his death in 1957, together with simplified kata-sequences of movements-synthesized by Funakoshi from the traditional Okinawa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.
Dynamic Karate
Masatoshi Nakayama
Head of Japan Karate Association from 1955 to 1987
Masatoshi Nakayama started his karate training in 1931 as a student of Gichin Funakoshi, Father of Modern Karate. Nakayama was a ninth degree black belt and head of Japan Karate Association from 1955 until his death in 1987.
Dynamic Karate is a great overview of the many aspects of karate training. Includes many photographs and instructions on applying correct techniques.
#1: Comprehensive
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
All the basic points of karate arranged systematically for effective learning, step by step--the parts of the body used as natural weapons, the stances, how to block, how to attack, introduction to the kata and to kumite.
#2: Fundamentals
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
This volume covers the underlying physical and physiological principles of karate. Every student from beginner to Black Belt should review this book again and again through-out their karate training.
#3: Kumite 1
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
In kumite (sparring) basic techniques are sharpened and body movement and distancing acquired through practical application. This volume explains the types and meaning of kumite and the relation between jiyu kumite and basic training in fundamentals.
#4: Kumite 2
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
This book complements volume 3 of this series and, like the earlier volume, includes writings of masters of the martial arts to guide the student toward spiritual awareness and mental maturity. It places kumite in perspective, relating it to training as a whole.
#5: Heian, Tekki
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
Kata, the formal exercises of karate training, were the essence of practice in Okinawa and China, and are the core training method even today. Detailed here in 1500 sequential photos are the five Heian and three Tekki kata, mastery of which is necessary to attain first dan.
#6: Bassai, Kanku
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
Fully described and illustrated in this volume are the widely practiced Bassal and Kanku kata from the JFA recommended group. The student learns fast and slow techniques, the dynamics of strength, how to turn weakness into strength, changing directions, jumping and going to ground.
#7: Jitte, Hangetsu, Empi
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
The three kata in this volume are on the Japan Karate Association recommended list and are notable for the sticklike use of the arms-Jitte, the circular movements of hands and feet coordinated with breathing-Hangetsu, and easy, agile movements, combined into continuous techniques-Empi.
#8: Gankaku, Jion
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
Gankaku-crane standing on a rock-a name descriptive of this kata, which has techniques for striking upward or downward with either hand while standing on one foot. Here are dazzling techniques for counterattacking with the back-fist or side kick. In the Jion kata there are many crisp, flowing movements, but within these calm, harmonious movements are strong, spirited techniques appropriate for mastering shifting positions, changing directions and sliding the feet.
#9: Bassai Sho, Kanku Sho, Chinte
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
These advanced kata may be selected for testing above shodan level. The techniques in Bassai Sho, using sword hand, ridge hand and tiger mouth, make good defenses against stick attacks. In Kanko Sho are many counter-attacks to the upper level. Chinte has unique techniques, the rarely seen tateken, and is especially valuable for women's self-defense.
#10: Unsu, Sochin, Nijushiho
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
In Unsu, there are constant transformations, signified by the name meaning "Cloud Hands." All parts of the body are used as weapons, with feints and provocations leading to unique combination techniques and multi-directional kicks. Sochin is characterized by a certain solemnity and imperturbability. Using a very stable stance, muscular power is built up slowly in many movements, instantaneously in others, leading to a keen sense of timing for continuous attacks. Nijushiho offers training in the unique back-hand block (haishu uke). It requires integration of varying strengths and speed, and mastery can be seen in a smooth and unbroken flow of movements.
#11: Gojushiho Dai, Gojushiho Sho, Meikyo
Best Karate Series
Masatoshi Nakayama
The three advanced kata in this book are a challenge to the performer's level of maturity. From the smooth and flowing movements of Gojushiho Dai through the transformations in the equally long Gojushiho Sho to the serene and mellow Meikyo kata, both the techniques learned in the basic kata and more sophisticated tactics call on the deepest reserves of balance, coordination, timing and technical skill.




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