A personal, philosophical, and historical exploration of Okinawan Goju-Ryu karate written by an experienced master.
In Wandering Along the Way of Okinawan Karate, Giles Hopkins draws on his fifty years of martial arts experience to take the reader on a journey through the meaning of kata (form) and bunkai (application) in Okinawan Goju-Ryu karate. Hopkins offers his personal reflections on the enigma of karate kata while explaining many of its little-understood applications. With skill and insight into kata’s connection to nature, the book addresses key topics such as why some movements are done slowly while others are fast, the significance of steps and turns, and the role of tradition in karate. The purpose of kata solo patterns is to solidify specific self-defense techniques. Contrary to the commonly held belief that kata techniques can have multiple interpretations, Hopkins argues that kata embodies specific martial principles that must be followed rigorously for it to be truly effective. He also reveals the spiritual dimensions of martial arts by explaining its deep connection to nature. Providing new understanding of kata structure, themes, and martial art principles, Hopkins sheds light on the practitioner’s journey.