Books

Tanpenshu

This is an eclectic book about Gichen Funakoshi, who many consider to be the father of Japanese karate. But this is not a book of commentary about this master. Instead, the man, his background and early karate history are intimately portrayed through his own early writings, his portraits, many photos and other related materials.
While not aimed at the martial arts beginner or casual reader, the book would be enjoyed by historians, researchers, Shotokan karate practitioners or anyone interested in the development of karate in the early 20th century.Although some of this information has been printed elsewhere, the book does provide new translations, while also revealing the sources of the information.
Central to the collection are new translations of five early writings by Funakoshi dating back to 1914 that touch on a wide variety of subjects: His thoughts on the origin of karate, other former martial artists, styles of karate, kumite, points of practice and fighting, the relationship between karate and academic study, his personal prospective of the introduction of karate into Japan, his recollections about his teacher Azato Ankoh as well as the contrast of stillness and action (yin & yang) and how it relates to karate practice.
The publication is enhanced with nearly 40 pages of rare and historical photos, portraits, sequences of technique and translated calligraphy. Among them are the controversial 925 King Magazine illustrations that depict the story of Choku Motobu defeating a foreign boxer in a challenge match, but rather than Motobu being shown the drawings are of Funakoshi.
Also of interest to many Shotokan practitioners and many historians is an informal chronology of Funakoshi as well as a bibliography and a fairly comprehensive index.
Watashi no Karate-jutsu

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Watashi no karate-jutsu

At long last we are pleased to announce that the 1932 Motobu Choki publication, “Watashi no Karate-jutsu,” is finally completed thanks only to the assistance and co-operation of many kind people. The publication is approximately 120 pages in the same size and format as our Funakoshi Gichin publication, Tanpenshu.

Here, in this small but provocative publication, lies yet another milestone in the legacy of Karate. “Watashi no Karate-jutsu” (“My Art of Karate”), introduces comprehensive insights into a fighting tradition as known and taught by one of its early Okinawan innovators, Motobu Choki (1870-1944). One of only two books he ever published on the art it is not widely known in modern karate circles or outside the spectrum of those who research its history. Straightforward in its approach, this modest work outlines those unique methods that made Motobu Choki, pound for pound, possibly the greatest technician and karate fighter of his generation.

One mistake the modern karateka often makes, when trying to grasp the technical ambiguities surrounding the application of early karate practices, is to depend on contemporary assumptions. This small but powerful book provides a window through which the reader is better able to perceive the cultural landscape and mind-set of those people who shaped its practice.

What could possibly improve a reader’s overall understanding of the art more than walking in the footsteps of those people most responsible for pioneering it? Great people should never be forgotten, if only to remind us of the potential latent in ourselves. By studying the anthropology of this tradition it becomes evident that many of the early pioneers established a symbiosis with karate so that their lives became as much a product of the art as was the art a product of their lives.

Researched and translated by Patrick & Yuriko McCarthy

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15-year Journal Special Collectors CD in PDFs

Anthropology, Ethos,  Tactical Strategies & Pedagogical Principles
Before the advent of modern karate, there existed a remarkable martial art in Okinawa referred to as Ryukyu Kenpo Toudi-jutsu. Simplified for the purpose being put into Okinawa’s turn-of-the-century school system to build robust bodies and militaristic mentalities, in support of Japan’s escalating war machine, Ryukyu Kenpo Toudi-jutsu ultimately fell under the influence of Japanese Budo culture which transformed the modified practice into a sport and cultural recreation. The IRKRS Journal is the official journal for both members of the International Ryukyu-jutsu Research Society and the students/teachers of Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu. Not a commercial rag aimed at marketing martial arts products, announcing tournament results or glorifying physical violence, the Journal is an informal quarterly on-line publication addressing important historical, philosophical and technical issues at the forefront of karate & kobudo. From 1995 through 2010 this publication served as invaluable reading for many like-minded researchers, teachers and students from different styles all over the world. Featuring cutting edge articles, biographies, book reviews and Japanese-to-English translations, the Special 15-year Collectors Journal is a unique and important source of primary information helping readers better understand the ambiguous issues surrounding the evolution of karate, its cultural obscurities and the functional application principles & practices of kata. This highly informative CD includes all fifteen years worth Journals dating from Dec 1995 to Dec 2010. At just $59.95 (USD…plus shipping) it is well valued and filled with important information.

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