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Journal of Asian Martial Arts - Articles
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Karate Kata: For the Transmission of High-Level Combative Skills, Vol. 2

By Giles Hopkins, M.A., Perry Campbell, B.Sc., F. Portela Camara, Ph.D., and Mario McKenna, M.Sc.

Karate Kata: For the Transmission of High-Level Combative Skills, Vol. 2
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Karate Kata: For the Transmission of High-Level Combative Skills, Vol. 2

A kata is much like a family jewel that has passed down through generations. It holds a significance that is difficult to decipher, and many dispute the meaning of every micromovement it contains. 

We are thrilled to present a two-volume e-book on this subject. If katas are learning tools that pass down knowledge of a valued art, then the authors included in this anthology can certainly facilitate the learning process for all interested in karate. Each author has excellent experience in the field, having studied directly under masters, often in Okinawa. In addition to their long years of physical participation in the school of hard knocks, their depth of scholarly research into the encompassing culture allows their writings to illuminate many aspects of kata practice that normally go unnoticed.

In our quest to better understand the full significance of kata practice, we must take a serious look at why old masters formulated the routines. How can kata practice better our health and promise to hone our self-defense skills? Each chapter in this anthology deals with the principles that guide kata practice. Hopefully the reading will reveal some of the secrets to improving techniques. As with other martial traditions, some insights cannot be shared through written word. Like good teachers, may the chapters here inspire you to look deeper into kata practice. 

Author Bio:

Fernando Portela Câmara, M.D., is head of the Epidemiological Research Section of IM-UFRJ (University of Brazil). He holds a Ph.D. in biophysics with postdoctoral experience in data mining. A longtime practitioner and researcher of Okinawan martial arts, he began his training under Akamine Seiichi, a student of Izumikawa Kanki, and he is currently ranked seventh dan in Goju-Ryu. He runs the Shoreijikan, a small, private dojo in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Perry Campbell, B.Sc., is a graduate of the geological engineering program at Cambrian College in northern Ontario and now works in the mining industry. Perry began studying karate in 1977 in Whitefish Falls, Ontario, under the tutelage of Israel Segarra. He lived in Okinawa in 1990 and 1991, studying daily with Yagi Meitoku and Akamine Eisuke. He is a sixth dan under Senaha Shigetoshi and fourth dan, under the late Akamine Eisuke. Perry teaches a small group of students in his dojo, as well as conducting a limited number of seminars annually.

John J. Donohue, Ph.D., a longtime practitioner of Japanese martial arts, Dr. Donohue’s professional background includes a Ph.D. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In addition to academic articles and books dealing with martial culture, John is a novelist. His fictional works have a strong thread of martial culture woven into the themes. See 

Giles Hopkins, M.A., a teacher of English and history, received a B.A. degree in English literature from the State University of New York and an M.A. degree in history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has been training in the martial arts since 1973 and holds sixth dan rankings and a teacher’s certificate in Okinawan Goju-Ryu and Matayoshi kobudo. His teacher is Kimo Wall, seventh dan and president of Kodokan, in the lineage of Higa Seiko and Matayoshi Shinpo.

Mario McKenna, M.S., holds a master of science from the University of Saskatchewan, and master of health administration from the University of British Columbia. He began his training in Okinawa Goju-Ryu and Tomarite (Gohakukai) karatedo in 1984 under Kinjo Yoshitaka. From 1994 to 2002 he resided in Japan, where he studied Ryukyu kobudo from Minowa Katsuhiko and Yoshimura Hiroshi, and Tou’on-Ryu karatedo from Kanzaki Shigekazu. He is ranked third dan, Gohakukai; fifth dan, Ryukyu kobudo; and fifth dan, Tou’on-Ryu. He teaches in Vancouver, Canada.

Marvin Labbate is an eighth dan black belt in Okinawa Goju-Ryu, fifth dan in Okinawan Ryukonkai kobudo, and a certified Yang taijiquan instructor. He has studied karate for over thirty-five years and is the international representative for the Okinawan Seibukai Association under President Nakasone Kinei, tenth degree. Mr. Labbate is the director of CNY Karate (, founded in 1963, which is the oldest karate school in upstate New York. 

Robert Toth has been training in the martial arts for over thirty years. His sensei was the late Dr. Richard Kim, tenth dan. Bob received a teaching grade of fourth dan black belt from Dr. Kim. After Dr. Kim’s passing, Bob became a student by Yagi Meitatsu, tenth dan, of Okinawa, Japan. He recently graded in Okinawa to fifth dan with Sensei Yagi and the International Meibukan Gojyu-Ryu Karate-Do Association. Sensei Toth is a published author of the martial arts, as well as an international teacher, lecturer, and tournament judge. Bob teaches at the St. Catharines Martial Arts Centre in Canada. See:

Product Specifications:
• The Shape of Kata: An Enigma of Pattern
by Giles Hopkins, M.A.  
• The Teaching of Goju-Ryu Kata: A Brief Look at Methodology and Practice 
by Giles Hopkins, M.A.  
 The Five Katas of Yagi Meitoku 
by Perry Campbell, B.Sc.
 A Preliminary Analysis of Goju-Ryu Kata Structure
by F. Portela Camara, Ph.D., and Mario McKenna, M.Sc. 
 Kata & Bunkai: A Study in Theme & Variations in Karate’s Solo Practice Routines
by Giles Hopkins, M.A.
 Nahate: The Old-School Okinawan Martial Art and Its Original Four-Kata Curriculum, Part I
by Mario McKenna, M.S. 
 Nahate: The Old-School Okinawan Martial Art and Its Original Four-Kata Curriculum, Part II 
by Mario McKenna, M.S. 
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