Coming Soon: A Kyokushin Beginner’s Guide by Nathan Ligo

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This new book by Nathan Ligo is currently being edited and we hope it will  be available on Amazon within a few months. The subtitle is “Replicating Mas Oyama’s Budo Karate in the Western Dojo.” This blog, Budo Karate West, has partially been created in order to create a forum in which readers can ask questions or discuss points made within. Here’s the start of the book’s Introduction:

This book is intended to prepare the beginning student, and to better empower the intermediate one, for learning Budo karate in the Kyokushin dojo of the West. Such preparation is beneficial because of the cultural differences that exist between Japan, where Budo is an inherent part of the national persona, and your Western country where some of the ideals integral to Budo karate training are not always so easy to grasp. Read this, and you will be better empowered to learn karate as it is best learned. Adopt the principles contained within – avoid the pitfalls away from which this book will warn you! – and the attitude with which you train will have a better chance of developing into something that would have fit in Mas Oyama’s world headquarters dojo. In short, your karate training experience will be more rewarding, and you will be made stronger by following the more authentic path.

This book pre-supposes that your dojo is one in which students of all levels train together in one class, and that there is, therefore, some attempt made to adopt Mas Oyama’s sempai-koohai (senior-junior) system. The advice contained within is written for the beginning student looking up, although the advanced student – or the teacher! – wanting to make his/her dojo stronger, might certainly benefit. It is separated into 116 one- or two-page essays, each with a title designed to conjure the section’s content at a glance, so that the student who has already read might later review with ease. The best use of this book would be to read it when you begin your training, and then to re-visit it 2 or 3 times during your first and second years of training. Since each essay can be devoured in a matter of minutes, the ongoing student might also opt to review one or two principles at each sitting, and just continue to re-visit the book regularly.

The stark beginner should be cautioned about becoming intimidated by the strict nature of some of the advice contained within. “Get with the program, or go find a different dojo!” for example. Budo karate students in the West start and continue and fumble along in their Budo karate training all the time without following the type of advice contained in this book. Any part that you don’t understand – or that might not apply in your dojo where your teacher might do some things differently – will become clear to you as you train. One point made handily within is that karate IS WHAT YOUR TEACHER DEFINES IT TO BE in the relatively closed world of YOUR dojo. Some concepts that I promote here, therefore, might not fit within your dojo; the extent to which they do will depend on your teacher and which parts of what’s presented here he/she chooses to promote.

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