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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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The Ultimate Aim

Legend TV Productions

When Sarah Amos informed me that I would be reviewing ‘The Ultimate Aim’, I was thrilled. I had watched a ‘Legend’ video many years ago, on VHS, believe it or not (if anyone remembers what they are), and I was always impressed with the standard of their products. When I placed this in my DVD Player however, my excitement was justified, because this is an excellent piece of material. 

The DVD opens with a small introduction into the history of the art, and a little information of Master Funakoshi. This, although brief, sets the scene that eventually highlights how traditional the KUGB were, and remain to this day.

Advocating this deep respect for the KUGB, along with an insight into the wonders of the art is an interview with Harry Cook, which is broken down throughout the DVD. Highly respected Cook provides a valuable academic insight into the art and its practices. This is wonderfully juxtaposed with an interview with Sensei Gerry Breeze, who sincerely discusses his memories of his start in Karate. Comically, when talking about the fist time he saw Enoeda Sensei, he said to himself ‘Shit’, with an exclamation of shock and awe. This gives the DVD a personal feel, and is vital in portraying both the KUGB and Enoeda Sensei.

One major thing that I was extremely impressed with was the calibre of karateka being interviewed for the video. Clearly, there were many people who simply felt a need to honour the work of Enoeda and the success of the KUGB. Talking throughout is, as already mention Harry Cook, but also people like Ken Smith, John Mullen, Charles Gidley, and Peter Consterdine. When Richard Amos came on the screen though, I was just blown away. He is currently a very significant man in the world of karate, so to hear him talking was very impressive, and brought the professionalism of this DVD to a new level.

Craig Raye, personal friend and student of Enoeda also provides his memories of the Master, discussing how although he grew very close to Enoeda, he always knew, Enoeda was the ‘Guvnah’. This kind of personal touch is very heart warming, and made you appreciate the impact Enoeda had on his students.

The most spectacular part of this DVD is the amount of archive footage. It’s both beautifully presented and is so alive and fresh that you can almost smell the sweat from the fighters. There’s fantastic footage of Terry O’ Neill kicking with brilliant precision and speed, Andy Sherry doing an impressive demonstration using a Bo, and Frank Brennan, Elwyn Hall and Bob Poynton fighting with extreme passion and commitment.

Particularly special is the footage of Enoeda Sensei teaching in his dojo along with Andy Sherry. You also see Enoeda land a nice kizami-tsuki on Brennan’s jaw, after which Enoeda tapped Brennan on the shoulder, as if to say well done for taking it.

The section of the DVD, which deals with the sad news of Enoeda Sensei’s death, is very moving. To the footage of Enoeda performing Kanku-Dai, the narrator reads a letter from Nishiyama sensei describing his sad grief at the terrible news. This was so poignant because the letter, saying how Enoeda’s spirit will forever live-on through karate, was coupled with the Kanku-Dai performance (The Kata which is representative of the universe), and made you realise that Enoeda Sensei’s soul will forever live on through his teachings and his students.

Bravely, this DVD also deals with a topic few have the courage to openly speak out about. The Olympics. They discuss how entering the Olympics may lead to a destruction of the heritage of karate, and how a commercial games such the Olympics would result in a loss of tradition. Whatever your views on this, you’ve got to give Legend their due for speaking their mind.

This is a fantastic DVD, which I look forward to watching again. Quite commonly when you watch a DVD that deals with the history of Karate, it can get a little bit boring, but this DVD just keeps you on your toes. It gives history through archive footage that is beautiful and neatly edited. The footage of the demonstration by Kanazawa Sensei and Enoeda Sensei is nothing less that inspiring, and when you watch Kanazawa punch faster than you or I can blink, you can be nothing but inspired.

This DVD will educate you on how Karate began in England, the karate of Enoeda, and will undoubtedly inspire you. Enjoy.

Mark Thompson

30/08/06

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