The 20 Precepts translated
Friday found me in a book store wandering around in the sports section.
There on the shelf, stuck between a bunch of larger books with lots of colourful pictures and glossy pages, was a small book with a brightly coloured jacket. Since I had learnt long ago that good things come in small packages I picked it up.
I was not disappointed.
Here in my hand was a translation in English for the first time, describing in detail the 20 guiding principles of karate as laid down by Master Gichin Funakoshi.
The book originally written in Japanese has been translated by a fellow martial artist named John Teramoto, Go Dan, (5th Dan) who also translated into English Master Funakoshi's book "Karate-Do Nyumon".
John is a student of Sensei Tsutomu Oshima, who himself, many years ago, translated Master Funakoshi's book "Karate Do Kyohan" into English, which in turn became the "Bible" for Shotokan karate practioners the world over. Sensei Oshima is the Founder of Shotokan Karate of America (SKA) and John Teramoto is currently the President of the Shotokan Karate of America's Black Belt Council.
The book is entitled, "The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate".
This book contains a series of short commentaries written by Genwa Nakasone (1895 -1978) in 1938. The commentaries are on each of Master Funakoshi's 20 precepts of karate, and Master Funakoshi personally read the commentaries and approved each of them.
Commemorating the establishment of the basic kata of karate-do (1937)
(Front row from right to left) Chojun Miyagi, (Founder of Goju Ryu), Chomo Hanashiro, Kentsu Yabu, Chotoku Kyan, (back row from right to left ) Genwa Nakasone, Choshin Chibana, Choryo Maeshiro, Shinpan Shiroma.
By adding a more detailed explanation to what the Master meant by each of his precepts the book clarifies many of the precepts that up until now had been left open to various interpretations.
While much of what is written will be of more benefit to students who have followed the path of Shotokan karate for many years, the book will also help new students get an early grip on the Master's words which will aid them in their personal training as it progresses over the coming years.
The choice here is a simple one - buy the book - what is contained in the first few pages alone is worth the price of admission.
Knowledge comes from many places,
but only to those who seek it.
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay