Thursday, 4 June 2009

Four Shades of Black

I'm reading it now and LOVING it! It's beautifully laid out and makes a lot of sense, written by a guy with plenty of experience.

Just check out the typography:


The photos are wonderful, powerful pieces on black backgrounds which enhance the body movement. I have some design issues with it such as certain photos are laid in the centre of the full spread and as such are lost when the book has been bound. This is probably because the gutter width is too tight (10mm I think) so I have to bend it out uncomfortably to read the text. Having said that, it's generally well designed and a nice book to look at (which is not the case for a lot of books on the martial arts).

Never mind though because Mulholland writes well about the kata applications, history and deeper techniques of Goju ryu. For all Okinawan practitioners it's a must but traditional karateka will certainly get off on this too (I am!).

Interestingly Mulholland puts forward the idea that karate 'lost' some of it's grappling elements at a time when it was carving out a niche in Japan where Ju jitsu and aikido had already taken this ground. In fact Mulholland bemoans the fact that many karateka no longer practice bunkai and he gives this much attention in the book-no wonder then that the foreword is by Iain Abernethy (a leading exponent of karate application). 


And as a bonus I found it from my local library!

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