Karate Science: Dynamic Movement

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement


$17.06 $18.95 Save 10% Current price is $17.06, Original price is $18.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, July 23


Dynamics, motion, and sensation are karate’s connective tissue—and they are the heart of this book.

As a lifelong student of martial arts, J. D. Swanson, PhD, had searched through piles of books on form and function. Stand here, they said. Step there. But where movement was concerned, not one of them went deep enough. No one discussed dynamics—the actual feeling of the moves.
Martial instruction, both in print and in person, 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 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 Movementis 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.
“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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594394591
Publisher: Ymaa Publication Center
Publication date: 03/04/2017
Series: Martial Science Series
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 519,928
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Kuya-John More than 1 year ago
Karate Science by J. D. Swanson, PHD Dr. Swanson spells out in easy to understand and an applicable format. Even though I do not train in the author’s style of Shotokan, I found that I agreed with the science. It is amazing that if we teach our arts with the idea of coming from a scientific background, we find that our arts are more alike than different. I would hope that through science we would come together instead of splintering into factions. This book is required reading for my adult students. By John Bain Kancho Go Hou Kan Kenpo
plwilloughby More than 1 year ago
I have found this book to be a great addition to my karate library which would have been a great resource for me when writing my instructor training reports. This book is a great resource in that it provides a concise and clear explanation of the techniques and principles of Shotokan karate with descriptions of the body parts (including muscles and joints) needed to properly execute them. Additionally, the technical principles that are of utmost importance in executing the techniques are explained in a clear and understandable way. A couple of things I personally find notable are that the author covers Shiko dachi, virtually unused in Shotokan, and the excellent illustrations that clearly depict what is in the textual descriptions. I recommend this book for both students and instructors alike.
JoshuaDHodges More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a resource not unlike Masatoshi Nakayama’s Dynamic Karate, in that it is very dense and detail oriented. It explains how to use the body in karate and the feelings as you execute each move. I read this book on the commuter train and found myself putting it down every few minutes to examine how my elbow is connected to my arms or how clinching a fist effects different muscle groups and so forth. It is very transportive writing. This book succeeds at creating a body awareness of how to do karate. As a practitioner karate for almost 20 years and a relatively new teacher, this is a valuable resource to reference again and again. For instructors, this book is an invaluable for lesson planning while still remaining accessible for all levels of training. If you are a practitioner of traditional karate, I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thorough scientific walk through the core karate curriculum. I recommend it to new and experienced karate-ka.
C_Ing More than 1 year ago
A great compliment to traditional training. The author provides a good foundation in physics, kinesiology and biomechanics that is ideal for the lay-person. He couples this scientific foundation with the concepts and techniques of traditional Karate to better explain the nuances of the art and to shed some light on details that may be missed or misunderstood. Applicable to Japanese, Okinawan as well as Korean styles, the information contained here is invaluable to traditional students of all levels.
RichardHoang More than 1 year ago
This probably is the first encyclopedia of martial art techniques and principles. The author took times to dissect each basic posture from the stances to the fighting aspects in clear and concise explanations. Even though this book is focused on Karate, the information can be applied to martial artists of other styles of fighting to have deeper understanding. It will help them to understand the "why" in each move. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Karate Science is a great read for karate practitioners and those interested in biomechanics alike! The text is well written and easy to understand. Coupled with beautiful illustrations, the content in the book will be sure to help karate practitioners improve their techniques. Even those who don't practice karate can appreciate the well researched scientific explanations for why karate should be performed a certain way. This book truly helps you to see the science behind karate and just how approachable karate is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book that any serious martial artist needs to read and read again. Instead of the usual outward positions and movements described in many karate books, the internal feel and bio-mechanics are presented with detailed descriptions, beautiful illustrations, and splashes of humor (who knew how often I said "diarrhea" in Japanese without realizing it?). Although Dr. Swanson is an advanced instructor in Shotokan, his Dan-level background in other martial arts shows through as he is able to connect the fundamental principles of physics and anatomy in a way that gets to the heart of all martial arts. No matter which art you are studying, physics and the body are universal, and this book shows you how to take full advantage of that fact. The author is no keyboard budo-ka: I have trained with Dr. Swanson and the themes he addresses in "Karate Science" are always present in his seminars. Not only in his explanations, but also in his demonstrations... my ribs can attest that he is the real deal. By using the principles of momentum, energy transfer, efficient movement, and timing of muscle tension, the author is able both to explain in his book how to improve your martial arts and show in real life how different ways of contacting a person has different effect. As a karate-ka with nearly 30 years of training, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about his or her martial arts. There are so many take-aways that one can continue refining the concepts contained in "Karate Science" for a lifetime.
Mphilliber More than 1 year ago
Class after class instructors direct you to punch this way, kick that way, stand like this, and block over here. Sometimes there are explanations on the physical dynamics and how energy is developed and delivered; but those explanations, in my experience, are rare. The lack of guidance on body mechanics in much of martial arts teaching can be remedied by the new 240 paperback "Karate Science: Dynamic Movement" produced by Dr. J.D. Swanson, Associate professor in the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI, and fifth dan with the International Shotokan Karate Federation. This fine manual has in mind both the newest and the more seasoned karateka, and is helpfully enhanced by the artful illustrations of Sam Nigro. In a nutshell "Karate Science" is the application of Swanson's scientific background in physiology and kinesiology to the four martial arts fundamentals of "posture, structural alignment, body mechanics, and practical functionality" (12). The author covers hitting surfaces, stances, thrusting, kicking, striking, blocking and breaking balance. He also spends considerable time explaining how joints and muscles work, maintaining balance, and ways to hit with force and power. Finally, he ties his subject down with instruction on the hip vibration, using body shift and rotation to generate power, breathing and how to manipulate reaction force. The material in the book is fairly scientific in giving the whys and wherefores, but it is simple enough that is doesn't lose the non-technical reader. Since the author is trained in Shotokan, the nomenclature of techniques derives from that tradition, but there is enough information that those from a different martial art stream will still be able to comfortably track with the author. The margin space in the book is plentiful enough that a reader can make notes on the pages for later recall and reference. The one item that would strengthen the book is if there were more directional illustrations showing the precise technique being described. All told, "Karate Science" is a manageable read for anyone who has taken up one of the martial arts. If the reader will take pen-in-hand, mark it and scratch out notes on the page edges, they will have a valuable, usable resource that they can profitably return to for years to come. The cash spent on obtaining a copy will be easily repaid in the help gained. I highly recommend this volume! Thanks to YMAA for providing, upon my request, the free copy of “Karate Science” used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).
MannyK More than 1 year ago
Excellent reference guide for instructors, peer-coaches, or anyone with a good foundation in martial arts. Not for beginners and not a technique book. Though designed for the karateka, other martial artists (like me...) can get a lot of value from this book; you just have to work a bit to translate karate terminology into something more familiar. The author hits it on the head early when he notes that Western students have a lot of questions and need more details than they often get from traditional Eastern teaching methods. This book helps to fill that gap. The first section is a nice primer on karate fundamentals (all of which have parallels in other styles). The second section is a very good analysis of physiology and biomechanics that brings it all together. I'm sure there are areas where you could argue for more depth and detail, but this is already a very content rich survey and you'll wear out the pages rereading and referencing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My review is in the context of being a practitioner of Shotokan karate for over 30 years, and a research biologist in the fields of neuroscience and physiology. This is superb book - a very valuable contribution to a scientific understanding of karate. The principles behind our traditional movements, and the correct biomechanics needed to optimize them for efficiency, power, and joint health are explained clearly and concisely. The illustrations are excellent and really help the reader understand what is being taught. This book will appeal to both beginners and experts - there's something here for everyone, both for intellectual stimulation and practical on-the-floor training. Overall, the application of critical analysis and modern knowledge about physics and physiology to traditional martial arts is necessary for our art to thrive and evolve. The author is an expert in this area, both an extremely talented practitioner and a scientist who has given these topics very deep attention. His own performance illustrates the remarkable benefits of training intelligently, with a focus on valid (not merely traditional) mechanical principles, all of which are laid out in this book. I recommend it most highly - if you care about understanding Karate and about improving your performance and that of your students, this book belongs on your shelf.