Quite some time ago I downloaded “The Study of Seipai by Kenwa Mabuni” as translated by Mario McKenna. However, it’s only been recently that I’ve got around to reading it. Seeing as Mabuni is one of the key players in the founding of modern karate, it is a shame that less of his work is available in English.
One of the dangers with translations like this is that people sometime view them as “previously hidden works that will reveal all!”. That’s never the case however and the true value of such books is the little snippet of information that can provide useful insights. Those serious about their karate history with therefore want this book. Defiantly one to download.
The confirmation that the “blocks” / receiving methods never had names until relatively recently is one thing of interest:
“From long ago, all karate styles and systems had names for their kata, however for blocking techniques there were none which in fact is quite foolish. Therefore for the purpose of instruction and explanation of the various blocking methods to my students, and for convenience, I devised the following names.”
There is statement of the nature of kata:
“Kata movement is meant to be used in a real encounter as it effectively uses physical strength, respiration and vital energy to mould technique”.
There are also some interesting thoughts on the nature of the sparring of Mabuni’s time including:
“Kumite can be broken down into three types: simple, complex, and real kumite … Real kumite is quite different to what is currently practiced as kumite today. It is a contest in which one strikes and kicks for real.”
There is plenty more for the thinking karateka to ponder over in this short work. The blurb for the book is copied below:
"The study of Seipai" by Kenwa Mabuni outlines the correct way to perform the kata Seipai as well as demonstrating its major techniques with Konishi Yasurhiro. Mabuni also introduces fundamental training methods and the classical Chinese text on boxing, Bubishi.
It’s only available as a download and can be acquired from the following webpage: http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/the-study-of-seipai-by-kenwa-mabuni/5949794
Definitely one to add to the collection for those who have not done so already.
All the best,