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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Karate-Do Nyumon
G. Funakoshi

When you look at the cover of this book, you may think to yourself, ‘this is one of those books that’ll change my Karate forever’. Well, yes and no.

The written content of this book is excellent and will forever be a vital piece of Karate literature, for it will always be the words of a master, and because of this, the book will never go out of print, and will always be read by those who yearn to learn more about the art.

But for God’s sake don’t mimic the photographs. If you’re a beginner to Shotokan, then these photographs will both mislead you and instil terrible errors in your technique that will soon cement themselves as terrible habits. Since most beginners learn most from examples set by their instructor, if they followed this book, they would all be leaning forward, with terrible posture, wearing gis that are way too baggy.

If this book is in fact aimed more at the beginning student, I don’t think the pictures really do justice to the words of Funakoshi Sensei. Nonetheless, if you overlook the technical errors of the photographs and just enjoy the writing for what it is, I’m sure you’ll learn a great deal from this book.

Nevertheless, this book is, as I have said, a piece of vital Karate literature because it provides history into Karate, with anecdotes about Master Funakoshi’s teachers, and this is a great read. I am sure I’ve read pretty much the same details in ‘Karate-Do My Way Of Life’. Nevertheless, this is a great book.

The most important section of this book is the coverage of Ten No Kata, which I think is great since I don’t believe I’ve read any other book that contains this Kata. In the eyes of many, this Kata is dead and buried, and should stay that way, but to people like me who believe Ten No Kata is an invaluable training tool, ignore the cynics and enjoy this book.

Katherine Claremont

Date: 28/07/06