Karate Science
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Dynamics, motion, sensation...they are karate's connective tissue―and they are the heart of this book.

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement will help you understand the mechanics of the human body. Swanson describes these principles in incredible detail, drawing on examples from several styles of karate, as well as aikido, taekwondo, and judo. Whatever your martial background, applying this knowledge will make your techniques better, stronger, and faster.

  • Understand the major types of techniques, including their outward appearances and internal feelings.
  • Master the core principles behind these feelings.
  • Learn the biomechanics and dynamics of core movement.

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement is filled with examples, anecdotes, and beautiful illustrations. Although Shotokan karate is the author's frame of reference, the principles of human mechanics translate to all martial styles.

This book features

  • Clear and insightful explanations of dynamic movement.
  • Over 100 illustrations.
  • Profound but accessible analysis of the kihon, or fundamentals of Shotokan karate.

As a lifelong student of martial arts, J. D. Swanson, Ph.D., had searched through piles of books on form and function. "Stand here, step there" they said. But where movement was concerned, none went deep enough. No one was discussing the dynamics―the actual feeling of the moves. Both in print and in live teaching, karate instruction tends to focus on stances and finishing positions. But dynamics, motion, sensation...they are karate's connective tissue―and they are the heart of this book.

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement is rooted in the teachings of the masters,” Swanson says. “This book nucleates that knowledge, clarifying and distilling the key principles behind movement dynamics. This is the next evolution of karate books.”



Publié par
Date de parution 01 avril 2017
Nombre de lectures 29
EAN13 9781594394607
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 17 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


YMAA Publication Center
Wolfeboro, NH USA
YMAA Publication Center, Inc.
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire 03894
1-800-669-8892 • info@ymaa.com • www.ymaa.com
ISBN: 9781594394591 (print) • ISBN: 9781594394607 (ebook)
Copyright ©2017 by John-David Swanson
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Edited by Doran Hunter
Cover design by Axie Breen
Illustrated by Sam Nigro
This book is typeset in Adobe Garamond and Frutiger
This ebook contains Japanese translations of many terms and may not display properly on all e-reader devices. You may need to adjust your Publisher Font Default setting.
Publisher’s Cataloging in Publication
Name: Swanson, J. D. (John-David), 1973- author.
Title: Karate science : dynamic movement / J. D. Swanson. —
Description: Wolfeboro, NH USA : YMAA Publication Center, [2017] | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: ISBN: 9781594394591 (print) | 9781594394607 (ebook) | LCCN: 2016962683
Subjects: LCSH: Karate—Training. | Karate—Physiological aspects. | Human mechanics. | Biomechanics. | Martial arts—Training. | Martial arts—Physiological aspects. | Hand-to-hand fighting, Oriental—Training. | Hand-to-hand fighting, Oriental-Physiological aspects. | BISAC: SPORTS & RECREATION / Martial Arts & Self-Defense. | SCIENCE / Applied Sciences. | SPORTS & RECREATION / Training.
Classification: LCC: GV1114.33.T72 S93 2017 | DDC: 796.815/3—dc23
The author and publisher of the material are NOT RESPONSIBLE in any manner whatsoever for any injury that may occur through reading or following the instructions in this manual.
The activities, physical or otherwise, described in this manual may be too strenuous or dangerous for some people, and the reader(s) should consult a physician before engaging in them.
Warning: While self-defense is legal, fighting is illegal. If you don’t know the difference, you’ll go to jail because you aren’t defending yourself. You are fighting—or worse. Readers are encouraged to be aware of all appropriate local and national laws relating to self-defense, reasonable force, and the use of weaponry, and to act in accordance with all applicable laws at all times. Understand that while legal definitions and interpretations are generally uniform, there are small—but very important—differences from state to state and even city to city. To stay out of jail, you need to know these differences. Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this book.
Nothing in this document constitutes a legal opinion, nor should any of its contents be treated as such. While the author believes everything herein is accurate, any questions regarding specific self-defense situations, legal liability, and/or interpretation of federal, state, or local laws should always be addressed by an attorney at law.
When it comes to martial arts, self-defense, and related topics, no text, no matter how well written, can substitute for professional hands-on instruction. These materials should be used for academic study only.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword by Robin Rielly Foreword by James Field PART I The Techniques and How to Do Them CHAPTER 1: An Introduction and How to Use This Book CHAPTER 2: The Four Fundamental Requirements of Martial Arts CHAPTER 3: With What and How Do I Make a Hitting Surface? CHAPTER 4: Stances, the Body Postures of Karate CHAPTER 5: The Dynamics of Stances CHAPTER 6: Tsuki: Thrusting Techniques CHAPTER 7: Keri: Kicking Techniques CHAPTER 8: Uchi: Striking Techniques CHAPTER 9: Uke: Blocking Techniques CHAPTER 10: Kuzushi: Techniques of Breaking Balance PART II Principles of Karate Techniques CHAPTER 11: How the Body Works: Joints and Muscles CHAPTER 12: How the Body Works: Balance CHAPTER 13: Biomechanics: How Do I Hit Something Hard? PART III Internal Movement of Karate CHAPTER 14: If I Jiggle My Hips, Do I Hit Someone Harder? Hip Vibration CHAPTER 15: Hit Them Like a Steam Train: Using Body Shifting to Generate Translational Power CHAPTER 16: Rockin’ and Rollin’: Rotation of the Body to Create Power, Coordination of Movement, and Superior Body Position CHAPTER 17: Breathing: The Key to Coordination CHAPTER 18: How Do I Hit Things and Not Fall Over? Keage, Kekomi, and Ate CHAPTER 19: Is There Equipment That Can Help Me? CHAPTER 20: Conclusion Acknowledgments Index About the Author About the Illustrator
Robin Rielly, eighth dan, International Shotokan Karate Federation
It gives me great pleasure to see this book in print. In today’s market there is no shortage of books on karate, many by well-known experts in the field. This work is different. For the first time we have the observations of a karate instructor who is skilled in both the scientific field of biology as well as in karate. Professor J. D. Swanson is a longtime practitioner of karate and a certified instructor, judge, and examiner for the International Shotokan Karate Federation. He brings to the discussion a wealth of information that will help the karateka understand how and why the body moves in certain ways during the performance of stances, punches, strikes, blocks, and kicks. The book offers fresh insights into how the various muscle groups interact during the execution of these movements. In addition, the reader will be made aware of various methods of training the body that will improve karate techniques from both mental and physical approaches.
This work will be a significant resource for both instructors and their students. Instructors will have the scientific rationale available for the teaching of karate movements and how their students must perform them. Students will have an additional source of information to supplement their regular instructor’s lessons.
Many instructors are proficient in teaching movements to their students. However, for a good number, their proficiency is based on constant repetition, rather than a thorough understanding of how the body actually works. Professor Swanson’s approach fills a much-needed gap for instructors and students alike. In order to utilize one’s body efficiently, it is necessary to understand the factors that generate strong, fast, and correct movement. Throughout the book, Professor Swanson gives valuable suggestions to help maximize body efficiency.
In all, I believe that this is one of the most important books on the practice of karate that has been published in recent years. The International Shotokan Karate Federation has continued to grow and prosper through the efforts of both the older generation of instructors and the younger ones who continually strive to improve our knowledge as we continue to develop and grow into the twenty-first century. Thanks to the work of instructors such as Professor Swanson, we will continue to make progress in our study of karate.
Eighth dan, ISKF
Member, Shihankai (ISKF)
Chairman, ECSKA Technical Committee
James Field, eighth dan, International Shotokan Karate Federation
In karate a straight punch is executed with snap efficiency and shoots straight to the target. This book by J. D. Swanson does the same. Chapters are short, efficient, and to the point. They have solid content and make an impact.
Dr. Swanson approaches the subject of karate from a unique personal perspective that is both thoughtful and thought provoking. Here’s a sample description of kiba dachi (or horse-riding) stance: “The feeling is as if the practitioner is pushing on a flexible bow braced down the inside of the leg and attached to the hip and foot. As the practitioner pushes down, the bow bows outward, creating the bend in the knee. Kiba dachi is formed by two of these bows pushing toward each other, hence the stability of the stance.” Now, that’s a simple description that’s clear and easy to picture, yet I’ve never heard it before in my fifty-plus years of practicing Shotokan karate. I believe it’s a really helpful explanation.
Whenever possible, Dr. Swanson attempts to explain the why behind karate body positions and body dynamics (important and often neglected information in karate books). For example, he doesn’t just say to keep the back leg straight but not locked in a forward stance, but adds why: if the rear leg is locked, “this will lift the rear hip and break the lower back posture by lifting the buttock up and out.” Or, “if the technique requires a bend in the elbow, then a ninety-degree angle is best” because “the right angle presents the strongest position for the biceps to keep the arm bent due to utilizing the maximum number of filaments interacting in the muscle.” The rules of biomechanics and physics as they apply to karate are frequently employed here.
From the description of how to make a fist to the discussion of how to reconcile the “seemingly paradoxical F = ma equation used in karate,” there is something here to be learned for practitioners at every level.
This book is well researched, well illustrated, and should prove an excellent tool in promoting the understanding of the art of karate.
I am happy to recommend it.
Eighth dan, ISKF
Member, Shihankai (ISKF)
Director, ISKF Technical Committee
Director and chief instructor, ISKF Southwest Region

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