The Twenty Precepts translated
Never under estimate the value of clarity.
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 colourful pictures, and glossy pages, was a small book with a brightly coloured jacket. Since I had learnt long ago that good things often come in small packages I picked it up.
I was not disappointed.
Here in my hand was a translation in English that for the first time describing, in detail the Twenty Guiding Principles of Shotokan 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 Ohshima, who many years ago translated Master Funakoshi's book "Karate Do Kyohan" into English. That book quickly became, and remains, the go to reference material for Shotokan Karate students the world over. Sensei Tsutomu Ohshima is the, Founder, and Chief Instructor of Shotokan Karate of America (SKA). While 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" and it contains a series of short commentaries written by Genwa Nakasone in 1938. The commentaries are on each one of Master Funakoshi's twenty precepts of karate. Master Funakoshi personally read all of the commentaries, and approved each of them. By adding a more detailed explanation to what Master Funakoshi 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-Do for many years, the book will also help new students get an early grip on Master Funakoshi's words. For this will aid and benefit them in their personal training as they progress over the coming years.
The choice here is a simple one - buy the book.
What is contained in the first few pages alone is well worth the price of admission.
Remember: "What is said, and how it is said, often determines who hears the words".