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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Karate My Life
H. Kanazawa

There are very few in the world of the Martial Arts who have attained paralleled success and fame as that of Master Kanazawa. He is commonly regarded as the most significant Karate instructor since the late Master Nakayama, and is undeniably one of the most popular. Despite being a man of great importance and power, he remains humble and warm hearted, and this is most definitely portrayed here in his autobiography.

Karate My Life could in many respects be the sequel to the autobiography of Master Funakoshi, in respect of the fact that through these two books, we are able to chronologically see the development of Karate via the nine decades of Master Funakoshi’s life, and the seven of Master Kanazawa’s so far.

This is a truly brilliant book. It’s rather witty and comical, and chapters such as the ‘Sumo Geezer’ reflect the refreshing attitude of Master Kanazawa. The book is excellently translated, and the essence of Kanazawa has not been lost in the translation.

Master Kanazawa reveals his extensive knowledge of Japanese and karate history, demonstrating his deeper understanding of Karate-Do, whilst also dipping into philosophy of his Karate, an element of the book that any karate enthusiast would find fascinating.

What makes this book so brilliant however are the funny anecdotes that he has collected over his years as an instructor, and as you read, you can almost imagine Kanazawa himself telling the story. There are darker elements however, such as the split from the JKA and how this affected him, but not once does he criticise or disrespect his instructors or peers. This section of the book reveals Kanazawa’s sincerity and highlights the fact that Kanazawa is the Master that he is because of his warm and honest personality.

You cannot help but be overwhelmed by the essence of Kanazawa in this book. Its funny; at times sad; but always heartfelt. A definite for all Karate-Ka.

Sarah Amos

Date: 21/01/06