Vital Karate is a book written by Masutatsu Oyama, this book is cover the Japanese martial art of Karate which has been very big in Japan and still is embedded in the culture. At the time of this book being published Karate was of worldwide interest, it still is a global martial art but has to compete with many modern fighting systems like BLL and MMA. There is still a loyal following. This amazing book is ideal for beginners, with some of the most original techniques and training methods being explained and shown.
About the Author
Born in Korea 1923, at the age of nine he studied kendo, went to Japan in 1938 and studied with Master Kodojan Judo but he found this was not for him and then switched to studying karate. He found this to be where his heart lied and made very quick amazing progress. At the age of 17 he was second dan (grade) and by the age of 22 he was forth dan (grade)
In 1947 he won the all Japanese karate Championships.
Traveled to America in 1952 to represent Japan in Karate in a large competition. He was defeated and returned to Japan in 1953 after beating some of America’s most noted boxes and wrestlers of that time. At one point taken on a bull and defeating it by snapping off one of its horns at the route. Then going onto battle 52 bulls in his lifetime. He was a very powerful man showing great feats of power breaking stacks of roofing tiles with one blow.
This book has much wisdom gained from the experience of such a karate icon. Karate has such incredible strength within those techniques and the master demonstrates them well. He smashes wood and stone with his bare hands. Karate has a long history with its power and techniques it is a timeless and useful martial art with great discipline and respected, As a self-defense karate he is very powerful and effective using great force, power and technique. Karate has been a great defense system for many years I myself have known Karate experts having to use their skills in self-defense and found them very effective.
This book will aid as an introduction or as a continuation depending on your skill level. Today, this Book could be seen as a collectors item and due to age they are not many copies around but the knowledge here is authentic. This book also include a large amount of special karate techniques.
Masutatsu Oyama Karate begins and ends with points and circles in which lies strength and the life of the system. With a sense of flow in motion. His whole approach to karate was psychologically based on Zen Buddhism and Shinto. He refined this martial art with great effect.
Karate weapons: this section covers the principles of Karate weapons along with the weapons themselves. Things like the head, first two fingers spear, knife hand, and many more. Precautionary calisthenics: Yes the section is about her exercises covering Achilles tendon exercise, thigh joints exercise, hip exercise and many more.
Stances: Covering the various karate stances leaning stance, stance straddle stand, cat stance and many more.
Thrusts: correct thrusts, and various strikes using thrusts, Blocks: various blocks the upper block, middle outside block, palm-heel block and many more.
Kicks: Various kicks’ groin, kick knee kick, side high kick, ankle kick and many more, Practice fighting: with three step fighting and one step fighting. Self defense techniques: one against two and self-defense for women.
This is a great book covering the importance of Zen meditation in karate. Along with the importance of a calm and controlled mind achieve through meditation. Allowing you to overcome your emotions and thinking. You need to be aware, practice zen and spiritual training is essential to be great at karate.
It has great information on practice fighting which is designed to lead you to actual combat situation this is a great way to improve your skills and learn how to react to various attacks. This helps with improving your speed, strength, balance and timing.
Breaking techniques learn about breaking described in the section The breaking techniques of bricks roof tiles using the hand, fist, even the head is used with nice clear concise pictures showing you actual techniques being carried out. How to use the hands and how to punch the correct way in karate which part of the fist to use. There are various pictures of the points to attack on the human body to give you the advantage and stop your attacker. You will learn the exact positions for chops the spear hand, the different types of fist for example dragon head fist and many more. There is also use of the fingers for jabbing and the inner side of the hand for an attack to various parts of the body which are shown. You also have palming techniques and which parts of the palm to use and condition for attack. Use of elbows and various kicks’ are used to kick, from the floor and kicking high also the use of the knee and various techniques The head can also be used as is shown here.
Karate has lots of kicking and a number of high kicks’ and there is a section on calisthenics which will show you various warm up exercises and flexibility exercises which will help to get your feet and ankles knees hips shoulders elbows and back etc flexible and warmed up. Then there are stretching exercises for your legs which will help you get very flexible these exercises are great exercises used in this art and there is a sequence of exercises which are fully explained and ready for you to practice or add to your practice if you are already a martial arts’ practitioner.
The pictures are great showing step-by-step instruction as well as explaining in writing. Basically this section covers the warm up and stretching for the whole body, doing this on a regular basis could make you very flexible and able to kick high. You must practiced as directed in this book all you need to do is be consistent with your training. I have personally done plenty of stretching in the past and the main thing is that you are warmed up your body and that you take it easy, listen to your body do not stretch overstretch it will come with time you just need to take your time.and listen to your body in order to achieve a good level of flexibility.
There is also a section on push-ups various different types of push-ups on your fist this is obviously a good way to condition your fist so when you punch you do not damage your hands or wrist along with conditioning. There is press-ups on two fingers and three fingers again this will strengthen your fingers enabling you to use those for the attacks shown in this book this again will take time and will need to be done by following the instructions laid out here precisely.
Stances they are various stances in karate and this section covers many they are explained with exact picture instruction and writing instructions.
Thrusts learn how to punch the correct way explained through pictures and vast explanation different types of punches are explained showing the various steps from the punch leaving your body up to hitting the opponent’. Attacks using the hand are explained showing the application and where to hit your opponent for maximum impact. Kicks are fully explained high kicks’ groin kicks’ knee kicks’, the use of the knee, how to kick is explained showing step-by-step pictures and the names of the kicks’ are given in Japanese as with all the techniques this is an important thing if you are a karate practitioner or decide to take up karate as you need to learn the techniques in Japanese as part of The martial arts’ system and also will be tested in grading s if you wish to grade and move up the ranks.
You also have flying kicks’ shown here, blocks are covered and in karate there are many blocks used to protect various parts of the body like the head and the groin and they are used against kicks’ punches and weapons. Being able to block correctly
with the right parts of the body is essential in order to prevent injury to yourself while trying to defend yourself this is explained and shown in great simplistic detail and learning these blocks would be a great advantage in a combat situation. These blocks of course need to be practiced and this is where practice fighting comes into action where various blocks and attacks previously explained and could include kicks’ punches. This way you will become efficient and hopefully lead up to becoming instant reactions to attack. The practice fighting section shows defense and counter attack to various attacks. There is also a section on women’s self-defense and two-person attack self-defense using good quality techniques.
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Please see Masutatsu Oyama works below concerning this book,
“A person who masters everything in this book should have considerable power. It will make me very happy if vital karate can be of help in studying correct karate and in making your daily life happier and more meaningful“.
I found the book great information for beginners or a reference book for the more advanced practitioners, this book is no longer printed and may be hold to find in the future,
Good straight forward information written in a clear and simple fashion as mentioned above the pictures are great, and the author is a legend. Karate is a great self defense system easy to learn if you put the work in, great martial arts’ for kids due to the straight forward moves and grading system which helps keep them motivated
This book is one of my old favorite books I bought many years ago when I practiced Karate for a short period before moving onto other styles of martial arts’.
my book rating: 4/5
Quote from: Masutatsu Oyama
“The best reason for learning Karate is to develop character to make a good man first and a strong man second, This must be understood to advance“
Train hard, focus and practice