The Shotokan Karate Bible: Beginner to Black Belt

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9780713678703: The Shotokan Karate Bible: Beginner to Black Belt

An authoritative text supporting the newcomer to karate with all they need to know, up to black belt level. Packed with clear photographs detailing techniques and kata, (the combinations of techniques students need to master to progress through the belts) this book will be clearly laid out and designed to take the student step by step through the progression of the martial art, taking each belt in turn. Photographs will be accompanied by clear instructions from the author, a trained instructor with his own karate school. Karate is a martial art that focuses on the application of strikes using predominantly the hands and feet. It originated in Japan and has become popular throughout the world. There are many styles of karate but the most widely practised outside of Japan is Shotokan Karate. Training in karate is normally divided into three sections: the basic technique; kata, or sequencing of techniques to imaginary opponents; and kumite, the sparring done with an opponent. Gradings are the exams needed to be passed to progress on to the next level. Around three months is needed to progress through each grading.There are typically three or four gradings per year, each with a syllabus. In total there are 10 gradings to be passed in order to get a black belt - this, on average takes a student 4 years to attain. This book would cover all the training needed to attain a black belt.

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About the Author:

Ashley Martin started training in karate in 1992, and has since been an instructor and grading examiner. In 2003 he co-founded Just Karate Ltd., an organisation that offers quality karate instruction (www.justkarate.co.uk) to private clients, at public classes, and at schools as part of the Physical Education teaching.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpted from Chapter One: Introduction

Karate is a Japanese martial art based on techniques developed in Okinawa and China that focuses on selfdefense using punches, kicks and blocks. Despite this emphasis, other techniques, such as joint locks, throws and leg sweeps, are also included in the system. Karate is one of the few martial arts to contain such a wide range of techniques.

This book is aimed at the student of shotokan karate. There are many styles of karate, for example, goju-ryu, wado-ryu and shito-ryu, but ultimately each style of karate teaches the same principles, just with a different emphasis. A punch is still a punch, a kick is still a kick.

The Shotokan Karate Bible is intended to be a guide for the karate student, from beginner right through to expert, when you would be tested to receive the coveted black belt. Studying from a book is no substitute for a good teacher, but it can complement training with a qualified instructor.

Written in kanji, Japanese pictographs, the word karate is composed of two characters. The first, pronounced kara, means 'empty' and has Zen connotations. The second pictograph, pronounced te, means 'hand,' so karate can be translated as 'empty hand.'

The kara symbol is thought to have its origins in the Buddhist sunyata, the Sanskrit term for the ancient metaphysical concept of emptiness or nothingness. Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern karate, wrote:

As a mirrors polished surface reflects whatever stands before it and a quiet valley carries even small sounds, so must the student of Karate-Do render their mind empty of selfishness and wickedness in an effort to react appropriately toward anything they might encounter. This is the meaning of the kara or 'empty' of Karate-Do.

Funakoshi is saying that you need to empty your mind in order to take the most appropriate action. He is implying that the appropriate action is the righteous and moral thing to do. However, many take it to mean the correct action to take in order to succeed in a fight. If you clutter your mind, you can't think clearly. Thus, an empty mind is needed to practice good karate.

This, however, is not the original meaning of karate. The original pictograph for kara was quite different. In Japanese, it was a homonym: that's to say, it was pronounced in the same way, but it had a different meaning. It meant Tang, which was a Chinese imperial dynasty at the zenith of Chinese civilization that had a huge cultural influence on its neighbors. Tang was synonymous with China, and the original karate pictographs meant 'Chinese hand.' In Okinawa, the same two pictographs were pronounced tode, and many in Okinawa referred to them simply as te, meaning hand.

This change from the old ideographs for karate to the new occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. Japan was very nationalistic at this time, and for many, the association of the old symbol with China was not acceptable. Some karate schools, particularly in Tokyo, began writing karate with hiragana, Japanese phonetic characters, as a way of avoiding the 'inappropriate' kanji with its Chinese connotation. Others had started writing 'empty hand' using the new symbol for kara. At a meeting of Okinawan karate masters in 1936, the new way of writing karate was officially accepted.

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Martin, Ashley P.
Published by A & C Black Publishers Ltd (2007)
ISBN 10: 0713678704 ISBN 13: 9780713678703
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
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Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
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Book Description A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110713678704

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