View Full Version : “Funakoshi Gichin INTRODUCTION TO KARATE – Translation & Analysis” by Henning Wittwer

31st January 2023, 09:34

I am happy to announce that my new and complete English translation of G. Funakoshi’s (1868–1957) book “Introduction to Karate” (Karate Nyūmon) from 1943 is now available as a hardcover book. It contains all the original illustrations as well as many footnotes that address linguistic, contextual and historical questions. Further insides are provided in my concluding annotations on the translation.


The book is available via: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTDB7KT5/

If you have questions regarding the book, please feel free to ask ...


Henning WIttwer

Cady Goldfield
2nd February 2023, 01:20
Congratulations on the publication of your work, and best wishes that it is well received!

9th February 2023, 14:00

Thank you very much for your wishes!

It is a special book for Karateka with a keen interest in old Shōtōkan, who like to read literal translations with a many footnotes. Therefore there probably is a limited readership. Still, for me it is a very important book ...


Henning Wittwer

26th February 2023, 13:28
Will have to pick up a copy.

Funakoshi's teaching in this modern era (IMHO) seem to be glossed over.
On Facebook (and I'm not dropping a name here... just adding it for context sake) I was discussing Taikyoku kata w/ Sensei K. Funakoshi and put forth the belief the Kata is basic as well as very advanced. In which Sensei Funakoshi was in full agreement.

Taikyo (in English has a similar translation to Taiji in reference to Han/Mandarin.) A kata series to be taught to beginners, then doubled back on when advanced.

(the advanced aspects are akin to moving meditation, i.e. internalizing breath control, movement the Hara, Ki projection etc )

That is deep...& if true... Taikyoku Kata was reported to be practiced by Gico Funakoshi daily ... defiantly would make sense.

anyway ... There is much that demonstrates Gichen Funakoshi's teaching are not what they appear to be (on the surface simple, but in reality complex)

3rd March 2023, 08:28

Thank you for your interest in the book!

You are right, "Taikyoku" is the Japanese version of the Chinese word "T'ai-chi". In the book I shortly discuss G. Funakoshi's use of the word Taikyoku (p. 255). And yes, it is a kata designed for beginners; however, it still is important for advanced karateka. It was certainly practiced in the old Shōtōkan, but only very few University karate clubs used Taikyoku later on.

If question arise after reading the book, please feel free to ask ...


Henning Wittwer