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Classical Masters of Karate
by Tsunami Instructors

Watching instructors of the caliber of Morio Higaonna and Shinyu Gushi I am constantly amazed by their ability, and awed by the physical and spiritual sacrifices they must have made to reach this level of performance. How can men who are no longer young retain this much speed, power, and flexibility!  How can their students kick through thick timber and bundles of baseball bats with their shins! How were these arts developed, and by whom!  Some, if not all of these questions are answered in this new DVD from the acclaimed Tsunami studio. And the way they do it by cramming so much footage, imagery, and music  into the program that the viewer is overwhelmed by the sight, sound, and fury of the action. 

The first half of the program is an overview of the history of karate. It deals with the origins of karate in China, then moves on to examine the Okinawan arts that developed from Chinese models, specifically Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu. Demonstrations by Higaonna sensei and Gushi sensei follow which include, kata, applications, test breaking etc. We then move quickly through the development of modern karate which is illustrated with a mass of beautiful old photographs supported by film footage from the 1950's -1980's of early Shotokan, Shoshin Nagamine's Shorin Ryu, and the Japan Karate Association. Quite an experience! 

The second half of the program takes a much closer look at the ancient style of Uechi Ryu and Goju Ryu. We trace their development and examine the unique features of both as we watch a montage of historical images blended with technical demonstrations by instructors Higaonna, Gushi, and others. This is followed by a very detailed look at the formative years of Japanese karate specifically Shotokan, Shito Ryu, and Shindo Jinen Ryu. There is no pause in the action, nothing is repeated or dragged out, we move at break neck speed through a kaleidoscope of moving and still images propelled by a stereo soundtrack that ranges from classical oriental to esoteric electronic than back to solo Chinese flute. It's difficult to image that it's nearly an hour long-but it is.

As a magazine editor I know just how difficult it is to find two or three historic photos to illustrate an article-here there are hundred and the quality of the images is exceptional. The soundtrack is superb, clean, rich, and satisfying. The editing cannot be faulted and the instructors perform as one would expect-flawlessly. This is the just the sort of program that Discovery and the History channel should be screening!

Instructors featured: Shinyu Gushi 9th Dan, Uechi Ryu; Morio Higaonna 9th Dan Hanshi, Goju Ryu; Hideharu Igaki 6th Dan, Shito Ryu; Takehiro Konishi 10th Dan, Shindo Jinen Ryu; Liu Chang I, Feeding Crane Kung Fu; Yukiyoshi Marutani 7th Dan, Gen Sei Ryu; Shoshin Nagamine 10th Dan
Hanshi, Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu; Toshishiro Oshiro 7th Dan Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu; Eihachi Ota
7th Dan, Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu; Kiyoshi Yamazaki 7th Dan, Shindo Jinen Ryu.

Available in the following formats:


Running time 56 minutes. $39.95

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Tsunami Productions martial arts programs can be found at selected Borders Books & Music and at the website.

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