Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Essence of Goju Ryu Vol II

Looking to the past to find a way forward
The second book in the Essence of Goju Ryu series arrived in my mail box a few days ago. I've been looking forward to reading it since the publication of Vol I in 2011. Like it's predecessor, Vol II contains far more information than you might expect in a book of this size; information that a great many karateka will be introduced to for the first time.

As far as Goju-ryu is concerned, Vol II deals with the basics, nothing more. However, I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as "basic" karate, only individuals who have a "basic" understanding of  it. The contents of this book highlights the many deficiencies found in the modern approach to karate training, therefore, what passes for basic training within the Shinsokai, would no doubt be considered "advanced" in a great many other schools. As always, the reader is at liberty to work on the ideas and practises they discover here, and by doing so, improve their understanding of the karate tradition they identify with.

Books like this are needed today, perhaps more so than ever; for without them I fear traditional karate training is in danger of being reduced to attending seminars. Karatedo, the way of karate, is a dojo based activity, and what you find in this book is just that: normal dojo training. Although you can't learn karate from a book, you can be inspired by the written word as well as a captured image; this book is well written, the photographs are clear, and the ideas steeped in authenticity. I can't recommend this series on Goju-ryu highly enough.

You can buy this, and Vol I, on line through Lulu or Amazon.