Sunday, March 26, 2017

Out Of Print, But Not Outdated

Now available online is a book penned by karate master Gichin Funakoshi, Rentan goshin toudi jutsu (Toudi arts: Polish your courage for self defense). Toudi, or to-te was the term originally used for karate before its codification on mainland Japan in the 1920s.

First published in March of 1925, this version is the sixth printing from just thirteen months later. It's a PDF format and in Japanese. There are over 200 photos, and two things I noticed were the high stances which are not a staple of Japanese karate, and nage waza (throwing techniques) that are given short shrift in most schools of karate. This was apparently before Funakoshi, who arrived in Japan in 1922, made some very deliberate changes to the Okinawa-te he learned back home. Funakoshi's style of karate eventually came to be known as Shotokan, a term the master supposedly never used or felt comfortable with.

The book is divided into four parts. The first part in an introduction into karate's history and formal etiquette required during training. The second part describes — using photos — how to make a fist, open-hand techniques including spear-hand and split finger jabs, stances (again, not very deep except for what looks like a lone illustration of zenkutsu-dachi from the kata Kusanku), embusen (starting point and directional line for kata), and directions for how to use a makiwara (striking post, usually bound with wicker). The third part is devoted to the complete kata canon of his system. The final section is entitled "Karate Research Gossip" which chronicles karate's development dating back to antiquity. [SOURCE]

Replete with illustrations, there are no English translations of this book to my knowledge.

For more works of this ilk go here.

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