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Bible Of Karate Bubishi Paperback – Nov 15 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: TUTTLE PUBLISHING (Nov. 15 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804820155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804820158
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The Bible of Karate, "Bubishi" is a good title for this book. The Bubishi must be in every true martial artist library. This particular translation has a lot of commentary by McCarthy. His translation is accurate, and his commentary is not out of line. But I prefer literal translations, with my own mind being used to interpret what was meant. (As I feel this book was originally intended). This is the second translation of the Bubishi that I have added to my library, and I consider both copies very important to my collection. I believe that martial artist can benefit by reading this book.
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By A Customer on March 25 2002
Format: Paperback
Bible of Karate: Bubishi translated by Patrick McCarthy is an indispensable volume for the avid Karate-ka. A novice to Karate-do might do well to put off getting this volume until a more stable grounding in the art in attained. Otherwise, I say get it.
It contains no detailed explanation of technique but the section on the history and philosophy alone would make buying this book more than worth it's price. Those practicing Goju-ryu, Isshin-ryu, or Kyokushinkai varieties of Karate-do will find the origins of Kata, such as Sanchin and Seisan, given here most interesting. If technique is what you're looking for then get The Essence of Okinawan Karate-do by Shoshin Nagamine, ISBN 0-8048-2110-0, along with this book and you won't go wrong.
The Bible of Karate: Bubishi contains the descriptions of Chinese medicine, vital point striking, and strategy that informed the techniques of the Okinawan Masters. In and of themselves these explanations are inadequate introductions to these subjects. But that together as a book, that it became a volume treasured by the Okinawan Masters is of immense importance in that it give us helpful clues to the subjects these Karate-ka concerned themselves with and which they felt to be of vital importance to the advancement of their technique.
If what you are interested in is more specifically the history of Okinawan Karate-do and Kobudo get this book along with Patrick McCarthy's two volume Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Koryu Uchinadi; ISBN 0-8048-2093-7 volume one, ISBN 0-8048-3147-5 volume two.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book mainly for the first 40 pages or so. It is basically a history of the bubishi itself, but also gives an excellent overview of karate history in general, even though it is mostly previously known information.
It goes further than most karate history texts, including a good set of references about where the author found some of his information.
This, along with "Unante" by John Sells is the most read karate book in my library.
As for the actual Bubishi translation, I have it on good authority that it is an excellent translation from people who can read the original Japanese translation from which this is taken.
I personally didn't find the Bubishi sections on fighting and grappling particularly useful, but they do serve for good historical perspective.
Some very useful sections from the book include a glossary of terms with their kanji equivalents, something that I've found very useful for translating lists of people's names, names of kata etc...
The quality of the books is excellent, with very crisp, sharp photos liberally distributed through the text and an excellent index.
I do feel that this should probably rank high on most people's list of books to buy, especially if you are starting out and are interested in karate history.
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Format: Paperback
This book is quite interesting as an historical document. It is, by the author's own admission, incomplete and at times was uninterpretable. As a piece of martial arts history - it is a treasure. One can begin to see how a martial art migrated, was passed on and even how it influenced and influenced by, other styles. There are, of course, many unanswered questions. The Bubushi was undoubtedly of great value, but grammatical errors and uninterpretable, obsolete Chinese characters and time have made the true meanings of many of the parts, unknowable.
What I came away with was, judging by the scope of knowlege the Bubushi covers, the martial arts practitioner of the past was a well rounded individual in the truest sense. Science, medicine, anatomy and philosophy as well as the martial techniques were all a part of the makeup of the martial artist.
There are too many limitations to make the Bubishi a modern martial arts bible. Among others, there are really NO complete training guidelines, the medicine/treatments are incomplete, and the lethal striking points are unexplained (i.e. WHERE to strike may be explicitly documented, but HOW to strike and with what technique, and how hard is not addressed).
As a book (hopefully one of many) the student of martial arts would study to understand the roots of their art, I would say it is a good read. As an instructional tome I would be quite wary. The author points out the limitations of his reasearch. He is aware of the shortcomings of the final product and he cautions the reader appropriately. But he has given us a fascinating view of the past, cobbled together and distorted as it is.
So beware. This book is like being the last one in line at a game of telephone. We hear what has been passed on by the previous person, but do not really know if it is a complete and accurate interpretation of the original. This is not the fault of the author, it is just what is....
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