Ginchin Funakoshi has been credited with modernizing karate. He is also the first to open a dojo (karate school) in Tokyo. Whether he is actually the father of modern Karate or not is not relevant because he is truly a recognized Grand-Master. This is his story of both his life, karate, and the philosophies the martial artist follows. He also explodes some of the more famous myths that seem to surround karate and other martial arts such as ripping a man’s heart out with your bare hands.
Funakoshi writes about his masters and the differences between karate then and now. He writes about the change of his culture during the late nineteenth century and the resistance with the Samarai families. He explains the dedication and hardships he endured to open Shotokan (his first karate school). He does not weave a tale of woe. He actually understates the case and leaves it to the reader to grasp the obvious. It is this understating that is the true beauty of this book. He writes about having to hurt a would be attacker and then feeling that he failed in his quest of martial arts. Funakoshi states time and again the artist does not use his art to harm and he feels that it is true failure to lower oneself to the use of violence. His anecdotes is how a true master is able to avoid physical conflict. This book is a great read for both the martial artist and non-artist. This is not a how to, but the story of the develpoment of a grand-master. Highly Recommended.