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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Best Karate Volumes 3 and 4 Kumite 

M. Nakayama

These books are the who’s who of the JKA, containing most of the best Karateka to have ever come from the JKA.

Unlike many Kumite books, these books approach the topic slightly differently. Rather than look at different Karate techniques and simply provide technical details of how they work, these books has done something quite interesting.

The books - rather than being categorised by techniques - are categorised by the fighters who best use them. For example, Yahara is famed for being a very nimble fighter, fast on his feet and extremely dynamic. Through looking at the way each Karateka fight, you get an insight not simply into the techniques that these men use, but also for their personality as a fighter.

For example, Enoeda’s signature technique was his devastating sweep, so the section dedicated to Enoeda examined the best way to perform a leg sweep. Asai was famous for his ducking and evasive tai sabake, so the section dedicated to Asai discusses the best way to use the techniques that Asai was able to master.

The books were compiled from film footage of the Karateka actually in combat, and because of this, you can realistically see how these techniques are used in an actual fight. This is one very common error of many Kumite books, because you cannot fully appreciate how the techniques are used in actual combat.

The books also include the more philosophical parts of Kumite, including quotations from many influential Chinese and Japanese literature, which is very helpful for those Karateka who take much from such literature.

I love these books. Although they don’t really provide an extensive degree of textual information, the fact that you can see the techniques in real situations makes this book, so useful.

Mark Thompson

Date: 7/6/2006