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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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The Art Of Empty-Hand Fighting
H. Nishiyama & R. Brown

This book is the biggest selling Karate book of all time, or so I have been informed, and when you look inside, you can clearly see why.

Much of Nishiyama Sensei’s theories and concepts have to some extent been dis-credited, because his ideas are not necessarily the common ideas on certain things, but you cannot deny the brilliance of this instructor.

This, like Dynamic Karate, by M. Nakayama is an excellent resource for all Shotokan Karate-Ka, and even if your own ideas don’t necessarily correspond with Nishiyama’s, you cannot deny that Nishiyama was a pioneer, and even to this day remains an essential part of Shotokan Karate.

This book looks at the essential aspects of Karate techniques, providing a brief explanation of the technical points. This section is quite worthwhile, particularly if you want to clarify or check a technical point, especially since it’s quite simple to follow.

The Kata section is quite brief, but the Kata Heian Yondan is demonstrated by a very young Kanazawa, whose technique is excellent. Although certain technical points have changed now, the basis and emphasis of most of the basic points remain the same, so this book will always serve a purpose.

There is also an interesting section devoted to weapon attacks, and although many may say that the defence against such attacks is quite unpractical, the emphasis Nishiyama is making is quite relevant.

This in my opinion is a very good book, and even if you don’t necessarily agree with Nishiyama’s teachings, I believe this book is well worth buying.

Warning however, shop around for this book, for some will try and sell this book for ridiculous prices, although some shops and web sites will sell this book quite reasonably.

Jeanette Pearse

Date: 17/07/06