It is almost impossible for someone taking up karate today to understand what karate was like in the early days, what training was like before the arrival of The Japanese Karate Association, before professional instructors etc. How hard it was. Karate was to be endured, the word enjoyment didn't come into it!
Sensei Michael Randall began training over forty years ago with the late Sensei Vernon Bell. He has seen the proliferation of all martial arts not just Karate. He has lived through its many changes and the transformation into what we practice today. This book deals with the highs and lows of those changes from the early days of the British Karate Federation through the arrival of Shihan Kanazawa and the tremendous effect he had on the British Shotokan movement in general.
The Kanazawa years concentrates on the early times of karate during it's development in the mid nineteen sixties. It was at this time Sensei Randall became a dedicated follower of Sensei Kanazawa and as such became one of the first in England to get a black belt in Karate who actually began training in this country. The book is full of fascinating little facts and anecdotes. Where did you get a Gi? Where could you practice? There are also many amusing tales such as why in the name of training did Sensei come to punch a policeman on duty?
Sensei Randall is one of the best equipped to talk on the early days of karate, more than qualified to authoritatively talk on the subject. The book concludes with a potted history of the next thirty years development up to the turn of the millennium.
The Kanazawa years containing over one hundred photographs, some which have never been printed before, is one of a kind. Compulsive reading from cover to cover this book is a very enjoyable and informative read.
This book may not be in print anymore, Amazon does not list it as a current item. Though there are some second-hand copies available from various Amazon shop dealers: see here.