Top products from r/karate

We found 35 product mentions on r/karate. We ranked the 75 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/karate:

u/SamsIAmz · 3 pointsr/karate

They aren't really uechi-ryu books, but here is a list of my favorite martial arts books:

[Karate-do My Way of Life] ( by Gichin Funakoshi - definitely my favorite martial arts book. This is the autobiography of Gichin Funakoshi. He talks alot about the history and culture of Okinawa and karate in general. His life is clearly a prime example of the spirit of karate-do.

[Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate] ( by Gichin Funakoshi.

Basically anything by Gichin Funakoshi

[Beyond The Known] ( - More abstract. Presents some wonderful philosophical ideas about the unity of martial arts, the unity of spirit, and the higher purpose of the martial arts. Perhaps a better read for later in your training.

[Zen in the Martial Arts] ( - Everyone should read this once. It presents basic, but very important spiritual ideas relevant to the martial arts.

[Way of The Peaceful Warrior] ( - Absolutely fantastic (and entertaining) spiritual, development novel about a college age student seeking a higher meaning in life. Not exactly about martial arts, but the mindset and spiritual lessons are the same. I highly recommend this book.

[The Weaponless Warriors] ( - More of the mythical/legend type stories about many of the famous okinawan karate practitioners. None-the-less an exciting and entertaining read about the many legends of karate.

My top recommendations is "karate-do my way of life" by Gichin Funakoshi. My second recommendation would be "way of the peaceful warrior". Most of the books I recommended are not technique books. Honestly, I don't find technique books very useful. They have their places, but I think the spiritual lessons are better learned from books, and the motivation that can be derived is beneficial as well.

u/GreedyButler · 5 pointsr/karate

Here is most of my library, broken down, with links and some thoughts on each.

Karate Specific

  • The Bubishi by Patrick McCarty (Amazon) - I think this book needs to be in every library.
  • Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate by Patrick McCarthy (Amazon) - One of the first books I purchased by McCarthy. Details older version of classic kata found in a lot of traditional styles.
  • Karatedo by My Way of Life - Gichin Funakoshi (Amazon) - Great read! I really nice view at the life of Funakoshi.
  • The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate by Gichin Funakoshi (Amazon) - Another great read. While I'm no longer a practitioner of Shotokan, I believe the teachings of Funakoshi should be tought to every karateka.
  • Okinawan Karate : Teachers, styles and secret techniques by Mark Bishop (Amazon) - Great amount of historical content, and helped link a few things together for me.
  • The Study of China Hand Techniques by Morinobu Itoman ( - The only known publication by Itoman, this book detains original Okinawan Te, how it was taught, practiced, and some history. This was one of my best finds.
  • The Essence of Okinawan Karate-do by Shoshin Nagamine (Amazon) - Great details on Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu kata, and some nice historical content.
  • The Way of Kata by Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder (Amazon) - Fantastic book on diving deeper into kata to find the application of the techniques.
  • Classic Kata of Shorinji Ryu: Okinawan Karate Forms of Richard 'Biggie' Kim by Leroy Rodrigues (Amazon) - Not quite accurate as to the title, this book details the versions of shorinji-ryu kata as if they were taught by a Japanese school. Still able to use, as long as you understand what stances and techniques have changed between Okinawa and Japan.
  • Black Belt Karate by Jordan Roth (Amazon) - This was a gift from a friend. I have a First Edition hard cover. Shotokan specific, and has some nice details on the kata.
  • Karate-do Kyohan: The Master Text by Gichin Funakoshi (Amazon) - Love this book, especially for the historical content.
  • Kempo Karate-do by Tsuyoshi Chitose ( - The only known book from Chitose, highlights his history, his thoughts and ideas for practicing karate-do as a way of life, and contains steps for practicing Henshu-Ho. Chitose is the creator of the style I study. I have this book for obvious reasons. Your mileage may vary.

    Kobujutsu Specific

  • Okinawan Weaponry: Hidden methods, ancient myths of Kobudo & Te by Mark Bishop (Amazon) - Really great detail into the history of some of the weapons and the people who taught them from Okinawa.
  • Okinawan Kobudo Vol 1 & 2 ( - Fantastic books detailing the kihon and kata of Okinawan Kobudo. Anyone who takes Ryukyu Kobujutsu, and doesn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on the original texts by Motokatsu Inoue, this is the next best thing.
  • Bo: Karate Weapon of Self-Defense by Fumio Demura (Amazon) - Purchased it for the historical content. Doesn't actually apply to anything in Ryukyu Kobujutsu, but still a decent read. I also have his Nunchaku and Tonfa books.

    Other Martial Arts

  • Applied Tai Chi Chuan by Nigel Sutton (Amazon) - A great introduction to Cheng Style Tai Chi, detailing some of the fundamentals and philosophy behind the teachings.
  • Tai Chi Handbook by Herman Kauz (Amazon) - More Cheng Style Tai Chi, but this one has more emphasis on teaching the shortened form (37 steps).
  • Tai Chi Chuan: Classical Yang Style: The Complete Long Form and Qigong by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming (Amazon) - Just received this for Chirstmas, and looking forward to diving in. Includes some history of Tai Chi Chuan, Yang style Tai Chi, philosophy, and has instruction on the complete long form (108 steps)
  • The Text-book of Ju-Jutsu as Practiced in Japan by Sadakazu Uyenishi (Amazon) - I have a very old version of this book (1930ish). Picked it up for the historical content, but still a great read.
  • Tao of Jeet Kun Do by Bruce Lee (Amazon) - Notes on technique, form, and philosophy from Bruce Lee. Another must read for every martial artist, regardless of discipline.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: The Ultimate Guide to Dominating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Combat by Alexandrew Paiva (Amazon) - Excellent step by step illustrations on performing the basic techniques in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Easy to understand and follow. Contains several tips on what to watch out for with each technique as well.

    Health and Anatomy

  • The Anatomy of Martial Arts by Dr. Norman Link and Lily Chou (Amazon) - Decent book on the muscle groups used to perform specific techniques in martial arts. On it's own, not totally useful (but not useless), but with the next book, becomes gold!
  • Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy by Bret Contraris (Amazon) - Brilliant book that details what muscles are use for what type of action, and gives examples on body weight exercises that pin-point those specific muscle groups. My best purchase of 2014, especially when paired with the previous book.
  • Martial Mechanics by Phillip Starr (Amazon) - Slightly Chinese Martial Arts specific, but contains great material on how to strengthen stances and fine-tune technique for striking arts.

    EDIT: I can't believe I forgot this one...

  • The Little Black Book of Violence by Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder (Amazon) - Fantastic book about situational awareness, what happens during fights, and the aftermath. LOVED this book.
u/Llamanerds · 3 pointsr/karate

I have a few thoughts, in no particular order:

  1. yes, if you just train it for a while, your flexibility will improve. Your body is just smart like that. The caveat is that if you have something like arthritic hips, there's just going to be a reasonable limit to how high you can kick.

  2. Inflexibility in no way inhibits your ability to do a kick properly. Anyone who tells you otherwise has no idea how to teach kicking. What you need to really focus on right now is learning to do the kicks properly at the height you can reach. That way, as your flexibility increases you won't have to "relearn" the kick. Train the muscle memory, and it will carry you through.

  3. Regardless of how flexible you want to be, never EVER stretch before a workout. Good, proper "stretching" weakens your muscles temporarily. Weakening your muscles before a workout is a bad idea, and leads to injury. Stretching belongs at the end of the workout, after the muscles have been fatigued and your blood is already flowing.

  4. Regardless of how flexible you are, you should ALWAYS warm up before a workout. Warming up means moving as many muscle groups as is reasonable through their current range of motion. Again, you're not trying to kick higher or bend lower here. If you can only touch your knees on a given day, your warm-ups should involve knee touches. If you can only kick waist height, your warm-up kicks should be no higher than waist height. The goal here is to warm up the muscles and get your blood flowing.

  5. Thomas Kurz's Stretching Scientifically has much to say on this topic, and will not lead you wrong.

  6. Last thing: If at any point your sensei of another instructor tells you to do something that causes you pain, explain the problem. If they're worth what you are paying them (in time, money, commitment, whatever: even free classes have a cost) they will help you make the technique work with your body. Every body is a little different, and a good instructor knows that and knows how to help the more complicated bodies get along.

    Have fun!
u/cfwang1337 · 2 pointsr/karate

Dynamic stretching for kicks!

Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps of the following stretch kicks:


  1. Front stretch kick
  2. Side stretch kick
  3. Back stretch kick
  4. Inside-outside crescent kick
  5. Outside-inside crescent kick


    Increase your kicking height over the course of each set. Use your hand as a target for the front, side, and crescent kicks. Ideally, you would also perform this routine first thing in the morning. It generally doesn't hurt to do more, as long as you aren't fatigued.


    Once you reach the desired level of flexibility, you'll only need to practice a couple of times a week to maintain the existing level of flexibility.


u/winters_vw · 2 pointsr/karate

If you can find the Demura books (example: real cheap, they're worth it. I have the tonfa one and the sai one. There are some great youtubes out there as well. I've never tried any of the instructional DVDs.

I was fortunate because the class I was taking delved into some of the weapons. I wouldn't have been able to compete with the instruction I got there but the instructor was able to show us basic strikes and blocks.

I'm by no means an expert or anything and I would never rely on it in the real world, especially to block something but I can knock you pretty good with it and I have fun :)

u/Ariliescbk · 2 pointsr/karate

Thanks for telling me. I've tried to search around, I ended up buying mine when I went over there, direct from the museum. All sources online show that it is no longer being printed, which is really strange. Someone in South Africa is selling it for $300, which is a complete and utter b.s. price.

I reckon if you contact the Okinawa gojuryu kenshikai museum or his Hokama Tetsuhiro's facebook page directly, they could help you out. Hokama's facebook page is not run by himself, but a representative.

It kind of makes me sad that this book, which is such an important text, is no longer in print.

Alternatively, you could also look at Karate by Jesse. His blog posts are quite interesting, and offer some pretty good insights into Karate and his various philosophies.


Also, check out The Bubishi (as translated by Patrick McCarthy)

u/Binasaur · 1 pointr/karate

A little different from what you are looking for; but I have found this book to be a great teaching tool not only for Karate training but for life as well.

Zen in the Martial Arts

u/nastylittleman · 2 pointsr/karate

You're sure to find The Book of Five Rings cheaply and/or at a library. I've only read excerpts, but a lot of it, surprizingly, sounded like Uechi to me.

Here's another easy find, written by the father of the author of Turning the Mind into an Ally: Shamballa Warrior

u/ergotron · 1 pointr/karate

None of those kata are unique to your style. Mark Bishop wrote an excellent book on Okinawan karate that you might find enlightening.

u/Kenji776 · 3 pointsr/karate

I'd highly recommend this one

The dude who brought Karate to Tokyo and was instrumental in bringing it to the world shares stories and thoughts about karate. I honestly couldn't put it down.

u/umop_apisdn · 0 pointsr/karate

Kata were originally the distillation of fighting techniques. But because of the Japanese obsession with secrecy it is pretty clear that most - and by most I actually mean practically all - sensei have no idea of what the techniques actually are. "Bunkai" is the name for the application of the techniques contained in the kata, and most bunkai you are taught is bunk. Some sensei have made an effort to find more realistic bunkai - Iain Abernethy is one, Bill Burgar is another, and there are a few others, but take it as read that the bunkai you will be taught won't be remotely realistic.

Having said that, kata are a way to demonstrate your control of your body, your form, your technique; and for that reason they are important. They are the heart of karate, and while they are a pain to remember, once they are internalised they become the expression of your karate. And they are never perfect, they only get better with time.

u/WastelandKarateka · 2 pointsr/karate

Michael Clarke Sensei's book on hojo undo is the best material I know of:

u/mrscissorhands4 · 6 pointsr/karate

Here is a great book - Karate-Do Kyohan by Gichin Funakoshi translated by Tsutomu Ohshima.

u/bastih01 · 4 pointsr/karate

Maybe you should start with what wikipedia has to offer: Further, there are some good books, Funakoshi - My Way, and there are tons of material across the internet.

I had the honor to attend a 6th and 7th dan examination that was quite thorough in terms of letting the senseis explain the art to other attendees - as in where it comes from, how it came about. So while I can relate to your wish to learn from someone who does it, I'd think you should do some due diligence instead of expecting us to type all that out ;-) If you have some more specific questions than those broad general ones... shoot.

Also, may I suggest studying the art by practicing it? it's one thing to read and talk about it, but really another to dive into it.

u/YellowHatGuy · 1 pointr/karate

If you are set on learning kobudo from a book, please, please use this one:

u/MrPattywack · 2 pointsr/karate

I have a book on traditional training and equipment Hojo Undo or something along those lines. Ill try and find it
Sorry Couldnt find it. Here the amazon link for it. Maybe you could find a pdf or order it. A good read.

u/Anubiska · 1 pointr/karate

This book will set you on the right path of understanding where the Shotokan style came from.

u/cypherlock · 3 pointsr/karate

Rob Redmond moved from Atlanta to Japan to train for two years. he wrote a book about his adventures in and out of the dojo.

u/Toraden · 1 pointr/karate

Not sure if it's exactly what you are looking for but Wado Ryu Karate, by Hironori Otsuka goes into the mentality and idea of karate at the beginning, I'm currently reading it, the translation isn't perfect as it was first of all dictated then translated.