Heart of Karate-Do

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Kodansha International, 2000 - Sports & Recreation - 128 pages
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Karate, which has come to be regarded by the public as nothing more than a spectacular, high-kicking style of fighting-with homicide as the objective-has meaning far beyond this superficial interpretation. As a method of self-defense, karate has few equals, yet despite its great popularity, the essence of the art has been poorly grasped by many of its practitioners.

Ancient in origin, the martial arts of the East have always had the development of man's spiritual, as well as physical, nature at their core. Karate-do, the "Way of Karate," is no different from the other martial arts in this respect.

Animals are not muscle-bound; why should a man be? Pliancy and flexibility are natural characteristics of the human body; rigidity is the mark of death. Beginning with the warming-up exercises-neglected in earlier karate books-and continuing with the fundamental stances and techniques, the student can learn to preserve that pliancy and flexibility and at the same time develop his natural strength, agility and coordination.

From the method presented in this book, the beginner can understand what it means to be calm of spirit but quick of mind. While actualizing the basic skills that lead to the confidence necessary to face any adversary, he will also develop the discipline that checks the misuse of such skills.

More advanced students, also, will find much of value here, for the author's practice of karate spans more than four decades, and he assesses both the changes in ways of training and in the way of thinking-as well as the significance of these changes. He shows the path leading to strengthening of body and mind and, thus, to harmony of mind and body.

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About the author (2000)


SHIGERU EGAMI was president and chief instructor of the Shoto-kan of the Japan Karate-do Shoto-kai. Born in 1912 in Fukuoka Prefecture, he began practicing karate while a student at Waseda University, whose karate club he helped to establish. In 1937, he was appointed by Gichin Funakoshi to the Shoto-kan's committee for evaluation; after the Second World War he studied under Master Funakoshi and assisted him in teaching. Formerly manager of Waseda University's karate club and lecturer in physical education at the University he also taught karate at Gakushuin, Toho, and Chuo Universities and was active in establishing a number of karate organizations both in Japan and overseas. Among his books in English is Karate-do: For the Specialist.

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