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The Island of Budo - Shito Ryu Karate
by Kenzo Mabuni

The intriguing title for this program is taken from a poem written by Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito Ryu Karate. It shows that, once again, Tsunami Productions has not only done its research, but really understands the subject to a point where it can convey the most complex historical and technical information in a simple, interesting, enjoyable, and very informative way

The program is simply packed with historic photographs of Mabuni, Chojun Miyagi, Yasuhiro Konishi, Gichin Funakoshi, Hironori Otsuka--in fact, anyone who was anybody in the world of karate in its formative years. The techniques are demonstrated by Kenzo Mabuni, the son of the founder, and head of the Nippon Shitokai. These are the techniques that he learned as a young man from his father, and they are textbook Shito Ryu at its best.

Also included are some of the techniques and principles that are unique to Shito Ryu Karate, for example: Uke no Gensoku--the five principles; Rakka, Ryusui, Kushin, Ten-I and Hangeki, Hiji Ate Goho, etc.

The demonstrations of basics, kata, and applications are excellent--the camera work and editing could not be better, and everything is easy to follow. As always, Tsunami does not "cheat" by using up your time, and tape, with constant repeats of the same material. They assume that you have a rewind button on your VCR, and that you are capable of using it. The program was still being edited when I saw the previews, but they were estimating it at about 60 minutes which includes an interview with Mabuni Sensei in which he discusses some of the pioneers of karate that he knew personally--Chojun Miyagi, Gichin Funakoshi, etc.--and also his father's views on karate, and how the Shito Ryu style came about.

From what I saw I can say with confidence that this is yet another extraordinary product from the Tsunami stable. The quality is exceptional, the music, editing and camera work more than one dare hope for, and the graphics, superb. If more were needed, they have it. In addition to the techniques, the kata, the principles, the unbelievable history section and the lengthy interview with Mabuni sensei, they also include demonstrations by Shito masters of other branches of the art including Teruo Hayashi, Hideharu Igaki, and others.

Shito Ryu - The Island of Budo featuring Kenzo Mabuni with Hideharu Igaki. 60 min. running time.

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