In the interests of full disclosure: The author was kind enough to send me a copy of this book. I have, however, never communicated with the author at the time of writing this. I’ve never met Christopher Clarke and I was sent a copy because my own work is critiqued in the book. Obviously, I was keen to see what was written about me, so I dived straight in. I got nothing else done that day! The author’s knowledge and passion for bunkai makes this book an enjoyable and informative page-turner.
What I really liked about the book is that it draws together many sources from the past and present. Unlike any book I’ve read on kata application before, this book not only brings together information from the past, it also looks at many of the contemporary approaches to bunkai and their proponents. I was honoured to feature in this, and just in case you think this is a bit of “mutual back slapping”, let me assure you the author’s critique of my work is not without criticism. The reason I’ve written this review is because it’s a great book which has much to add to the modern conversation around bunkai.
The book is concise without being shallow; a difficult thing to pull off. Every page has valuable information and the author does a great job of guiding the reader through it all. The author also manages to strike the balance between giving his own views on the source material, and yet never letting his views obscure the nature of that material.
It truly is a superb read which is very information rich. This is a book that all karateka with an interest in kata application need to read. In a word: Excellent!