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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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 Advanced Karate-Do
E. Schmeisser

There are very few books like this available. This is an in-depth, scientific approach to analysing and teaching karate, and despite the complexities of the concepts, it’s quite well written.

Despite the fact that many of the concepts and opinions in this book differ from my own, as it possibly might with many karate-ka, it’s still a valid resource, even if it just serves to give you a new way of thinking about something.

This book is very much the opinions of E. Schmeisser, and isn’t very balanced in the sense that it doesn’t comment on differing opinions. Some may find this useful, reading his way of doing things, although it may have been nice to have the book comment on opinions that differ from his own.

Despite differing opinions about what he should have done, and what he should not have done, there are some useful ideas here, and even if you disagree with his opinions, I suppose this is to some extent merely solidifying your opinions.

Useful to many will be the breathing section for Kata at the end of the book, especially for those who follow his beliefs on the breathing cycle, although I could not fully gain from this section, since what I’ve been taught disagrees with such ideas. Nevertheless, it undoubtedly provides food for thought.

It’s the common belief, where Karate is concerned, that eventually in your karate career, you’ll ultimately do karate that works best for you, karate that you can make work; so having a book like this in your collection will certainly provide you with another angle of opinion.

The problem with this book is that it definitely is not written for beginners, and you need quite an in depth knowledge of biomechanics to be able to understand much of the book. That said, this book should definitely be read, even if your opinions don’t line up perfectly with E. Schmeisser’s, and when you read it, and try out certain ideas he sets forward, be open to trying new things, for this book does provide some useful ideas.

Stuart Tiller

Date: 22/02/06