If you’re friend, partner or family member is a Karate-ka why not consider getting them something related to their passion? See below for ten great Karate books that could be the perfect stocking filler … or something just to read over the holiday period.
Skilful Karate by Greg McLatchie This book provides guidance for those practising the enormously popular martial art of karate. The author looks at combination techniques, training and building up for grading or competition. Additional material is provided on sparring, the development of breaking techniques and how to prevent, or cope with, injury through correct warm-up and practice sessions. Greg McLatchie is a former consultant adviser to the martial arts commission, has a black belt in karate and runs a sports clinic in Hartlepool.
The Bible of Karate: The Bubishi (Tuttle Martial Arts) Treasured for centuries by karate’s masters, The Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa. Dealing with philosophy, strategy and medicine as they relate to the martial arts, it has been studied and taught from by all of karate’s legendary masters. This English translation includes numerous explanations and notes to ease comprehension. The author also includes research on Okinawan and Chinese history as well as the fighting and healing traditions that developed in those countries, making it useful for researchers and practitioners alike.
75 Down Blocks: Refining Karate Technique This book is again a wealth of information for those martial artists who wish to see how a technique *could* be applied and to then discover more about their own art.
This is not about spoon-feeding a large number of techniques (there are far more than 75 applications for the down block) but about supplying readers with applications that can not only be found within the Karate katas, but the Tae Kwon Do Hyung, Poomse and Taeguk as well as Aikido and JiuJitsu.
Open you eyes, look past the applications shown and see what you can find it your own style. This book is designed to get people thinking for themselves rather than waiting for others to give them everything they need to know.
Karate’s Grappling Methods A very interesting and informative book on the practical side of karate. Karate’s Grappling Methods uncovers a mass of effective techniques within all styles of karate. Many aspects of real fighting are discussed and simple, effective techniques are clearly explained and illustrated. The author includes hook punches, throws, ground fighting, chokes, arm bars and pressure points to name but a few and whats more is the delightful way in which it is all related back directly to the techniques and principles found in karate kata! Through work like this karate can truely be rediscovered as the deadly system that it is. Whether beginner or black belt there is something for us all to learn in this ‘enlightening’ book.
The Little Black Book of Violence: What Every Young Man Needs to Know about Fighting It’s a sad fact that the vast majority of “self-defence” books on the market are based on the fantasies of inexperienced and uneducated martial arts instructors. Whist possibly well meaning, these books are almost always based on Hollywood violence or the safe and satisfied world of most dojo. It’s therefore always a joy to come across a book that “pulls no punches” and discusses violence as it truly is. The true chaos and horror of violence is addressed in this book along with all the physical, legal and physiological consequences. Forget all the books based on “formal martial arts in jeans” or testosterone driven misinformation and ignorance, this is a book that truly tells the reader what they need to know. I congratulate everyone smart enough to purchase this book and take to heart the advice it contains. You’ll be well prepared.
Four Shades of Black: The Traditional Path to Building The Complete Fighter Regardless of style, all karateka should read and digest the information contained within this excellent book. Gavin Mulholland is someone who fully understands the realities of combat and kata and if you wish to practise karate as the pragmatic fighting system it was intended to be, you should familiarise yourself with Gavin’s work. This is a thorough and accessible explanation of everything you need to know to make sense of kata and become a complete fighter. Four Shades of Black is a must-read book that is certain to become a modern classic. Enjoy!
Dead or Alive: The Definitive Self-Protection Handbook `Dead or Alive’ is a self defence book written by one of the UK’s most well known martial artists. Whilst it has much sound advice and suggests you run away before you attempt to fight in any confrontation, it doesn’t shy away from telling you what needs to be done to protect yourself, however ugly or scary it may seem. This looks at attacker and victim mindsets and also interviews various attackers to gauge how they choose victims and when they will walk away. The chapters showing the various techniques are illustrated with clear black and white photography and there are chapters on the law and how alcohol affects conflict. The early chapters look at physiological responses to conflict and how you can best control them to protect yourself. Some of the accounts are quite shocking and even scary to read, but if you want to protect yourself you have to know the truth of confrontation. I think this book would be best if used in conjunction with a self defence course and as such would provide an excellent reference book. Overall the advice is clear and sensible and whilst this is sobering reading, it is also required if you take personal protection seriously.
Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence Iain Abernethy: Meditations on Violence: ‘A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best books on self-protection ever written. I really enjoy books that cut through the crap and give useful (i.e. potentially life-saving) advice in a down to earth and accessible way. Rory has a great writing style and the hard-won information he presents is imparted in way that is very easy to digest. The student in the martial arts can run in to the problem of being given dangerous misinformation by people with no idea of what a real situation involves. There are also those who understand the realties of violence, but are unable to communicate it effectively. Sergeant Rory Miller is one of the rare, and much needed, instructors / authors who has both “been there” and is also able to effectively communicate what the unforgiving world of real violence truly demands. To get to the point, this in an outstanding book that all martial artist need to read.’
Five Years One Kata: Putting Kata Back at the Heart of Karate This remarkable book gives the reader a unique insight into an amazing five-year study of a single kata (Gojushiho). It shows the depth that is waiting to be discovered by the close study of kata, covering an incredible range of subjects including: * imagery * the psychology of confrontation * the common acts of physical violence * vital points and how to exploit them * the methodology for the break-down and understanding of kata * the applications of the kata * the principles of karate and how to apply them * the applications (in detail) for each of the movements of Gojushiho * the major variations of each application * objective measurements regarding their practicality * how to link the applications together The author also explains how to undertake your own study using a single kata of your choice, and how to build a training regime based on the kata. If you have ever wondered what kata is really all about then this book is for you. When karate was a secret art, practiced in the back yards of Okinawa by a few dedicated masters and their disciples, it was usual to train in a single kata for many years. A master of karate would know just one, two or possibly three kata. Through the deep study of those few kata the master karateka would possess a complete self-defence system, he would be well versed in the underlying principles of karate and he would have a memory aid which would map out his complete training regime. Over the last century the practice of a single kata has disappeared from karate practice. The deep understanding of a few kata has been replaced by the superficial understanding of many. This book shows you in great detail how to recover that understanding and how to put kata back at the heart of karate. What leaders in the field have to say about the book: “Without question this book adds to the body of knowledge in the study of karate” – Rick Clark
Shotokan Myths Yokota Sensei has practiced karate for more than half a century. He is pleased with the idea that Japan, aside from exporting manufactured products, has introduced this Japanese culture—karate—to the world. But he is still not satisfied with the current status of the karate world. There are several important issues that must be tackled. And in this book, he debunks some Shotokan Myths.
Here, he discusses and corrects the many myths and misconceptions about karate, especially the ridiculous ones that karate practitioners would have to laugh them off. Some of these myths may be controversial but he brings this out to the open so people can review them and be aware of these fallacies.
Most of the ideas and concepts pointed here are based on the knowledge and wisdom the author gained from his two masters, as well as his personal research and investigation. He hopes that through this exposition, people will appreciate karate even more.