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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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'Mind and Body - Like Bullet'

By Sensei Yutaka Yaguchi with Catherine Pinch

 

Pushed through the letter box, a package with the title of the book ‘Mind and Body – Like Bullet’ printed upon it…then my hands ripping away the packaging faster than the smile sprinting across my face. Picture the scene.

 

This year we presented an interview with Sensei Yaguchi to all of our readers on TSW. Not only was I over the moon that we managed to get an interview with this legendary Shotokan Master, but he gave us one of the very best interviews we have to date.

 

What can I say about Sensei Yutaka Yaguchi? He is a genius and a legend.

 

He is one of the longest practicing karateka still teaching and training, and a truly devoted ambassador of the art, and this book ‘Mind and Body – Like Bullet’ by Sensei Yutaka Yaguchi and Catherine Pinch is the amazing book that tells his life story.

 

Our interview with him, having never trained with him myself, made me think ‘WOW, Sensei Yaguchi has a superb sense of humour’ and this is imprinted boldly throughout this book in every beautiful detail.

 

A perfect example of this is the story when he tricked a group of cadets to present a box of snakes to Master Nakayama, knowing full well that he had an uncontrollable fear of them. This as you can imagine had me laughing out aloud, enjoying the refreshing experience of listening to a man who has clearly not lost his grounding in spite of being one of the most important karate teachers in the US.

 

On the adjacent page is a picture of Sensei Yaguchi and Master Nakayama clowning around during a trip of theirs. This is one of many fantastic photos that I have never seen before and was simply so grateful to have the opportunity to do so. 

 

It could be said that this book is two books in one – half written by Sensei Yaguchi himself and the other half written by a long and illustrious list of Martial Artists including the likes of Senseis Okazaki, Kanazawa, C.W. Nicol, Koyama, Field, to name a few, sharing stories of Sensei Yaguchi.

 

This book therefore gives an overwhelming impression of not only the events of the life of this renown teacher, but also allows you to visualise the personality that lived and experienced them. When reading not only the written text by Yaguchi Sensei himself, but also the text of his Seniors, peers and students, the reader gets a full bodied sense of the man in and beyond karate.

 

This man has undoubtedly had a profound impact on the lives of his students, and this is vivid when reading the book. His conviction and dedication however to karate and its preservation is also blatantly clear. To students of Yaguchi Sensei, and to the students of karate-do around the world, this book will be an absolute inspiration, encouraging you to keep going and achieve more. Reading this book, about this gentleman, you will want to work harder and try to become everything you can be.

 

This book is like two superb books put together, and is an incredible read. From the beautiful design and presentation, down to its humour and flesh-like-accounts, this book is wonderful and will certainly be a treasured book to all who are lucky enough to read it.

 

Shaun Banfield