Articles

Dynamic Karate

"Look No Further"

It has been said, that "Karate-Do Kyohan" by Master Gichin Funakoshi, is the bible of karate for Shotokan practitioners. If that can be said, then "Dynamic Karate" by Master Masatoshi Nakayama has to be consider the second edition, or a more modern approach to the art of Shotokan. Published in 1966 this is the earliest books I can find to be written on the subject of Shotokan Karate, after Karate-Do Kyohan, by anyone so close to Master Funakoshi. The author is a legendary figure in the world of Shotokan, not only as a co-founding father of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) but also as Master Funakoshi's most senior student, and the future Chief Instructor of the JKA.

The photographs contained in this book are clear and concise and offer the reader, in particular a beginner, an excellent visual reference when it comes to basic stances, and proper posture. In addition to featuring the author in action throughout the book, when it comes to choosing a partner for the actual sparring techniques, he chose a young Hirokazu Kanazawa. This is probably the earliest book to feature the future this future legendary Master, and at the height of his physical fitness, as is clearly indicated by the photographs on pages 70 and 137.

In addition, the book also features early photographs of other future legendary greats. Hidetaka Nishiyama and Teruyuki Okazaki, in great form on pages 89 and 166. A wonderful display of tobi yoko geri in a photograph of Keinosuke Enoeda and Hirokazu Kanazawa on page 161, and a similar one of Hiroshi Shirai and Hideo Ochi on page 163. As well there are close quarter action shots of senseis caught during their kumite matches at the, All Japan Karate Championship Tournaments in 1963, 1965, and 1966.

If as they say, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, then this book indeed shouts volumes from the roof tops. Find it. Buy it. Read it often. And then read it again. This has to be one of the earliest and certainly the best book of its kind when it comes to the subject of Shotokan Karate, and the added bonus is that it is suitable reading for karate-ka of every rank, and at any time.

Remember: "While today we can not speak to past Masters, they however, can speak to us, if we look closely and read carefully enough".