Disclaimer: Sugiyama sensei is my teacher’s teacher and I have been to many seminars of this school.

The author, Sugiyama sensei is a well-respected karate instructor who came to USA in the 1960s. Many of his high-rank students reside in the Midwest.

This book grows from many versions of unofficial printouts that circulates among the students in this school. Some of the exercises in it were practiced regularly in my old dojo.

In my opinion, there are three types of karate books.

  • The first type talks about the history of karate, basic moves, and a few kata. Most books belong to this type.
  • The second type further talks about breathing, coordination of the body in the basic moves. Masatoshi Nakayama sensei’s Best Karate series and Masutatsu Oyama sensei’s Essential Karate (also published under the names of Mas Oyama’s Complete Karate Course and Karate School) belong to this type.
  • The third type further talks about the mindset and qi (also spelt as chi, or ki in Japanese, or gi in Korean, or possibly the same thing as prana in Sanskrit). This book is the only one that belongs to the third type.

The first half of this book discusses the interplay among mindset, breathing, and body movements. Exercises are given to demonstrate each point.

The second half of the book is devoted to sensing qi, developing qi, visualizing qi and using qi for healing purposes. Detailed exercises are given. Sugiyama sensei also distinguishes what he heard/read from other sources and what he experiences. Since I do not practice these qi exercises in this book, I can only say that these contents are very interesting. This second half also overlaps heavily with another book of Sukiyama sensei: ‘Aura, Ki & Healing’.

In my opinion, this book is worth to have even only for its first half. As the name indicates, you probably won’t find the contents in other karate books.