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Karate Science


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgments Part I: The Techniques and How to Do Them 6 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: Zuki: 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: Principals 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 Juggle 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 Co-ordination 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: Conclusions About the Author About the Illustrator

About the Author

J. D. Swanson holds a PhD in integrative biosciences and a fifth-degree black belt from the International Shotokan Karate Federation. He is an official ISKF instructor, examiner, and judge, having studied under both Okazaki and Yaguchi sensei. Swanson began his martial studies in 1980 in his native New Zealand. He moved to the United States in 1998. He is a professor in the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Salve Regina University and the head instructor of the Shotokan karate clubs at Brown and Salve Regina Universities. J. D. Swanson resides in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.


An informative guide for those looking to enhance their karate training.Swanson's debut is a scientific guide to the stances, movements, and techniques of karate.Swanson, a professor of biology and biomechanics at Salve Regina University, uses his scientific training to help teachers and students better understand the tenets of karate. The many illustrations (ably provided by Nigro) show everything from proper alignment of a striking surface (say, a fist or a foot) to how one's body should move from the beginning to the end of a thrust. The first part of the book focuses on technique, with sections on stances, thrusting, kicking, striking, and blocking. The guide does more than demonstrate how positions should look; Swanson takes the time to explain how each should feel and which muscle groups should be engaged throughout the process. The second part explains the science behind how our joints and muscles work as well as how the body keeps its balance. This section also includes a brief primer on the application of kinesiological principles to karate," which outlines ways to get more force into moves by increasing mass and, crucially, speed. The last section deals with the notion of internal movement," essentially a system of muscle retraction and counter moves that aid in perfecting efficient and powerful techniques. While many students mistakenly think of this process as simply hip wiggling, Swanson shows that the process is more focused on intra-abdominal pressure, and he explains how the proper tensioning and contracting of certain muscles are key to quick and powerful movements. Swanson's writing is clear and informative, and his pure love of the art shines through. This book is not for karate neophytes, and the terms used will be confusing to unfamiliar readers. But for teachers and students who want to not only perfect techniques, but also understand the biology behind them, the book will be an invaluable aid. -- Indie Editors Kirkus Reviews, 15 January 2017

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