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Available Now :- Karate Science: Dynamic Movement

YMAA | March 1, 2017

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement

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.

Karate Science: Dynamic Movement is 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

“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.”


Advance Prase for Karate Science: Dynamic Movement

1.     “Professor Swanson’s book, Karate Science: Dynamic Movement, is written in such a way that it’s easy to comprehend and applicable to all levels of karate practitioner. Instructors and students alike would benefit from reading this book and incorporating its clearly explained principles into their teachings and training. I am excited to use Karate Science: Dynamic Movement as the textbook for the karate course I teach at Temple University, Philadelphia.”

—Hiroyoshi Okazaki, author; chairman and chief instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation

2.     “Dr. Swanson makes a valuable contribution in understanding the how and why behind Shotokan karate techniques and principles. This book will help every martial artist better understand how the body works during martial movements, and how to generate strong, fast, and efficient techniques. Karate Science: Dynamic Movement is a great addition to any martial art library, and a must-read for those who practice Shotokan karate.”

—Alain Burrese, J.D.; fifth dan, Hapkido; author, Hard-Won Wisdom from the School of Hard KnocksLost Conscience; DVDS: Hapkido Hoshinsul, Hapkido CaneStreetfighting Essentials


3.     “Well, as you might expect from an associate professor of biology and biomedical sciences, this book is heavy on detail; however, because it is so well written, it is clear and concise, so you don’t need to be a professor to read it. I found myself nodding in agreement on many occasions as I worked my way through the chapters, in particular [those regarding] the biomechanics involved in the practice and application of karate techniques. Obviously an accomplished karateka and instructor, Dr. Swanson has managed to produce a very comprehensive and useful resource to any student or instructor, and I would recommend its addition to any serious martial artist’s library.”

—Aidan Trimble, eighth dan; chairman and chief instructor to the Federation of Shotokan Karate; former world karate champion (Tokyo 1983); author, The Advanced Karate Manual;

Karate Kata and Applications, Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4; Karate for Kids; Fundamental Karate; DVDs: Applied Karate Series, Volumes 1, 2, and 3


4.     “This is a great book! . . . This book cuts through the many misunderstandings and myths that surround Shotokan and gives technical, scientific, undisputable, and easily understood information for karateka of any level. It will allow readers to take this knowledge of the core principles and get back into the dojo to get on with the physical training that will help convert academic knowledge into physical intelligence. It is just what the Western karateka has been looking for.”

—Scott Langley, sixth dan; chief instructor of World Traditional Karate Organisation, Great Britain and Ireland; author of Karate Stupid and Karate Clever


5.     “This well-informed book demonstrates and explains how to apply the relevance and principles of biomechanics to a selected physical activity: karate. . . . I highly recommend all levels of karateka obtain this publication, as it will help all of us invaluably with our technique and teaching ability. This is a great read, and I’ve learned great things from it.”

—Mark Willis, recipient, New Zealand Order of Merit; seventh dan; deputy chief instructor, Traditional Shotokan Karate-Do Federation; New Zealand country representative, International Shotokan Karate Federation


6.     “I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. J. D. Swanson when he first came to the United States of America in 1998. It was clear from my first meeting with him that he is an intelligent individual who is passionate about all aspects of his life, whether it is his academics, family, or karate. It is that same combination of intelligence and passion that Dr. Swanson brings to Karate Science: Dynamic Movement. If you’re interested in the sizzle and not the steak, may I suggest you go someplace else. However, if you are looking for practical and scientifically insightful guidance about Shotokan karate and the superior executions of its movements, this is a must-read.”

—Carl Shaw, M.Ed, MBE; eighth dan, ISKF


7.     “Karate Science: Dynamic Movement is an outstanding, complete, and detailed work. The author covers a range of fundamental principles and technical subtleties that are critical to learning, understanding, and applying karate’s physical principles. This book has something to offer beginner through advanced practitioners, as well as instructors looking for new ways to develop and coach their students.”

—Edmond Otis, eighth dan; chairman and chief instructor, AJKA-International; author, Complete Idiot’s Guide to Karate, with Randall Hassell; DVDs: Essential Shotokan video series


8.     “The book is a concise and valuable source of reference for those wishing to further their study of karate. Techniques are described not only in terms of the underlying biomechanical principles, but explained from the performer’s internal perspective. Theoretical explanations are no substitute for ‘discovery through training,’ but this ambitious work is a welcome addition, which serious martial artists should be happy to add to their bookshelves.”

—David Hooper, PhD; associate editor, Classical Fighting Arts


9.     “J. D. has written an entertaining and insightful book looking at karate from the perspective of a scientist and has succeeded in the difficult task of making the science approachable. The book has a refreshing take, as it addresses karate technique in a questioning manner that encourages thought and contemplation in the reader. By focusing on conveying the feeling of ‘how to’ technique rather than just the shape of technique, deeper thought and analysis are possible, which have been presented here with excellent imagery, analogies, and some stimulating mind maps. If you read this book, you should not only gain a greater understanding of some of the dynamics of karate, but you should gain a greater understanding of how you can further your own analysis and thus development of karate.”

—Dr. Matthew Pain, reader in biomechanics, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, United Kingdom


10.  “I have always loved the energy and enthusiasm that Dr. Swanson exhibits in everything he does, including karate. Therefore, I am pleased to see this very technical and educational publication come to fruition. I especially enjoyed the sections explaining the forces that come into play during stance training and shifting. The illustrations were also helpful in visualizing how the hips ‘react’ during expansion and contraction. I assisted Okazaki Shihan and Dr. Stricevic in editing their Textbook of Modern Karate back in the eighties, and this book provides some different images and ideas that I find refreshing and helpful. I know I have come away with new teaching ideas after reading Karate Science: Dynamic Movement.

—Cathy Cline, eighth dan; regional director, ISKF Northwest Region; chief instructor, Western Washington Shotokan Karate Club; secretary, ISKF Technical Committee


11.  “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 countermoves 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.

“An informative guide for those looking to enhance their karate training.”

Kirkus Reviews