Kanazawa Sensei’s books and DVDs feature here on TSW quite frequently firstly because he has created so many of them, the most important reason though is that he is one of the most important names not only in Shotokan Karate, or even Karate-Do for that matter, but possibly the entire Martial Arts World.
A few years ago, Emma and I decided to start collecting rare 1st Edition Martial Arts books and all was going swimmingly until I stupidly bought two first editions that were actually the same book just with different names. With two copies of the same book, albeit with different names, but my wallet considerably hit, I have decided to write one review for the two books, but if you do decide to go and buy a copy of either of these books, please ensure you’re only getting one or the other.
‘Kanazawa’s Karate’ or ‘Dynamic Power of Karate’ by H. Kanazawa is a textbook that covers all of the basic karate techniques and stances, with Kanazawa Sensei as the demonstrator for all of the techniques. In many ways, ‘Black Belt Karate – The Intensive Course’ by H. Kanazawa is a more in depth version of these books, but for the collector or Kanazawa fan, these books are a real treasure.
The book opens with some interesting sections looking at:
- What is Karate-Do
- Karate as an Art
- Karate? Not just a way to train fighters
- Underlying Principles
- Evolution of karate
- Physiological Aspects
- Psychological Aspects
- Principles of Physics
All which make a nice introduction for beginners to the art, but advanced karateka can also take a thing or two away from it.
The book then goes on to discuss ‘Focus in Karate – Kime’. To break down and fully explain this, Kanazawa Sensei uses a lens with sunlight shining through as an analogy to illustrate the finer points of power creation and transition and when read in this way, a very complex concept is perfectly understood.
This book also deals quite deeply with the effective methods of breathing in karate. It deals with the correct relaxation and contraction of the body, specifically those areas connected or working with the breathing. It also deals with the very precise Kanazawa breathing exercise that he teaches at the end of each series of techniques, concluding with the proper execution of Mokso and the breathing exercises of Tai Chi.
There’s even a section dedicated to the Instructor, dealing with the ‘Instructor’s Behaviour’ and guidance of instructors and teaching kata.
One of my favorite sections of the book is the ‘Photographs’ Section.
Here is a series of wonderful black and white photographs from throughout his career. One of my favorites includes a line up including Senseis Kanazawa, Kase, Shirai, Watanabe, Iwai, Sumi, Miura, Nagai, Takahashi and Sugimura. There are also wonderful photographs with Enoeda Sensei, Shirai, and even one or two with Andy Sherry and Terry O’Neill if you look close enough.
This book is wonderfully photographed as I have already mentioned, with technique demonstrations by Kanazawa himself. Although the text to accompany is rather limited, Kanazawa Sensei’s technique more than makes up for this and if you look closely you can see the Kanazawa’isms as I like to call them (Technical details directly linked to Kanazawa Sensei).
This book covers:
- Limbering up exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Use of the hips
- Use of the muscles
- Relation in techniques
- Techniques: Terminology, Choku-zuki, Gyaku-zuki, Oi-zuki, Morote-zuki, Morote-hasami-zuki, Age-zuki, Mawashi-zuki, Kage-zuki, Yama-zuki, Tate-zuki, Ura-zuki, Uraken-uchi, Haishu-uchi, Tetsui-uchi, Haito-uchi, Shuto-uchi, Empi-uchi, Age-uke, Soto-ude-uke, Uci-ude-uke, Morote-uke, Shuto-uke, Tate-shuto, Juji-uke, Kakiwaki-uke, Gedan-barai,
- Striking points
- Kicking: Mae-geri, Yoko-geri-keage, Yoko-geri-kekomi, Mawashi-geri, Ushiro-geri, Ushiro-mawashi-geri, Ura-mikazuki-geri, Mikazuki-geri, Ura-mikazuki-geri, Mae-hitsui-geri, Mawashi-hitsui-geri, Mae-tobi-geri, Yoko-tobi-geri, Tobi-mawashi-geri, Ushiro-tobi-geri,
All in all, this book covers most of what a beginner would want, and acts as a perfect partner to go with the early training. If you want to see Sensei Kanazawa’s kihon, this book is perfect, and even though it doesn’t delve into too much depth, this book is still worth a buy, and a definite for the collector…just make sure you’re buying just the one copy.
Shaun Banfield 07