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Karate the Art of "Empty-Hand" Fighting [Paperback]

Hidetaka Nishiyama , Richard C. Brown
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 15 1990
Karate: The Art of "Empty-Hand" Fighting has inspired hundreds of thousands of karateka, and it remains one of the finest texts available on the technique, art, and spirit of karatedo.

This definitive volume is a systematic presentation of the art of traditional Japanese karate. An easily accessible martial arts manual illustrated with more than 1,000 photographs, Karate: The Art of "Empty-Hand" Fighting gives step-by-step explanations and thorough analysis of all the basic movements and techniques of karate. Chapters include:
  • What is Karate?
  • A Short History
  • Essential Principles—physical principles; psychological principles; combined physical-psychological principles
  • Organization of Karate Techniques—overall organization; organization of hand techniques; organization of foot techniques; organization of stance; organization of posture
  • Training methods
  • Calisthenics—exercise sequence; limbering-up exercises; muscle-strengthening exercises; wind and reaction-time exercises
  • Striking Points and Vital Points—fore-fist; other striking points; vital points and their respective striking points
  • Stance—informal-attention stance; open-leg stance; straddle-leg stance; forward stance; back stance; diagonal straddle-leg stance; cat stance; hour-glass stance; wide hour-glass stance
  • Posture—front-facing; half front-facing; side-facing
  • Body Shifting—stepping; double-stepping; sliding; slide-stepping; turning; step-turning
  • Hand Techniques—attacking techniques; punching techniques; striking techniques
  • Blocking techniques—rising block; forearm block; knife-hand block; downward block; augmented forearm block; x-block; wedge block; other miscellaneous blocks
  • Foot Techniques—attacking techniques; blocking techniques
  • Techniques in Combination—balance; muscular control; use of body dynamics; switch-over from one technique to the next; shifting body weight; examples of common combination techniques
  • Formal Exercise—advantages of practicing formal exercises; schematic diagram; hints on mastering formal exercises; a representative formal exercise; schematic diagram of heian no. 4; the form (heian no. 4)
  • Sparring—basic sparring; semi-free one-blow sparring; free-style sparring
  • Throwing Techniques
  • Defense Against Holding
  • Defense from Floor-Sitting Position
  • Defense from Chair-Sitting position
  • Defense Against Knife Attack
  • Defense Against Attack by Club
  • Defense Against Pistol Threat

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The literal meaning of the two Japanese characters which make up the word "karate" is "empty hands." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early work but still great Oct. 5 2000
Considering this book came out originally in 1960 and was the first large-format book on Karate I had seen up to that point, it is remarkable that it has rarely been exceeded in the all time since. The photos of the basic techniques are very clear. The applications sections are generous with good coverage of sparring and self-defense.
I have a personal story about Nishiyama, although I didn't study with him myself, but someone I know did. Nishiyama was in Los Angelos for some time back in the 60's and he was conducting a training session. One of the students, a guy by the name of Ray Dalke, who later led the U.C. Riverside Shotokan club to the national championship title, was in the class. I met Dalke when I was a doctoral student at UCR back in the early 80's, but I actually heard this from one of his students. Ray had never been very loose in the legs, especially the groin stretch, where you sit on the ground in a quasi-lotus position and bounce your knees up and down and try to get them all the way to the ground.
Anyway, Nishiyama came around to Dalke, and noticed his problem. He says to Dalke, "You want to have loose lap?" (Sometimes Nishiyama's English was a bit rough, but the meaning came through loud and clear). Dalke says, "yes, Master, I do." Nishiyama says again, "Are you sure you want to have loose lap?" Dalke says, "Yes, yes, Master, I want it more than anything!" At that moment Nishiyama jumps up into the air and comes down with both feet planted squarely on Dalke's knees, driving them all the way to the floor.
Well, he said Dalke's scream of agony could be heard for two city blocks. They had to get an ambulance and take Dalke away. But he survived and was back later after he healed with the "loosest lap" you've ever seen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental Shotokan Karate March 16 2002
Karate: the Art of "Empty Hand" Fighting by Hidetaka Nishiyama and Richard C. Brown is the perfect starter book for any one wishing to learn Shotokan Karate. It describes all the stances, punches, strikes, blocks, and kicks. An explanation of the application of Karate techniques in self-defense situations is given. Briefly outlined is the history and principles of the art but what is indispensable in the book are the recommended schedules for the different training situations which make this book a perfect guide for the student and helpful manual for the instructor. After learning what is in this book I would suggest moving on to one of the books by Robin L. Rielly; either Complete Shotokan Karate, ISBN 0-8048-2108-9, or The Secrets of Shotokan Karate, ISBN 0-8048-3229-3. My only wish is that the chapters on Kumite and Kata would be expanded but that is why I recommend the two books above as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars May be the best karate book ever written Jan. 6 2000
By A Customer
This is the most complete instructional karate book I've ever seen. It came out in 1960 and has still not been improved on. The authors were disciples of Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of modern karate. There is very clear step by step and pictorial instruction on how to do all the moves of traditional shotokan karate, the original style out of which all the others grew. If you are attending a karate class now you will recognize your techniques in this book. The styles haven't changed that much in 40 years. There are probably more moves in this book than in your class.
The book has 22 chapters. Some of the chapter titles are: striking points and vital points, stance, hand techniques, foot techniques, sparring, and throwing techniques. There are 40 pages of self defense moves.
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By A Customer
Thank God that Tuttle has seen fit to make many of their classic karate books available once again to the benefit of all interested.This book covers all the basic hand and foot techniques but in the context of one on one sparring.Moves are explained clearly and with enough photographic evidence from various angles.This is a great book to work with when you want to practice with a partner;a vigorous workout is guaranteed!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very informative book April 4 2000
This is a great book for any student who is trying to polish their techniques a bit. Nishiyama's book is loaded with all the information you would need to refine your skills. It's rather lacking in historical and philisophical information (two things I enjoy studying and don't think any karate book is complete without), but it's nonetheless an excellent aid for practice.
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