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The Book


Learn the unbeatable core strategy of Ashihara’s circular evasive footwork to defeat any opponent, no matter how big or strong he is, by simply not being there when he attacks…and then hitting him from his blind side!

Malaga, Spain, 1948

Carlos Arruza, probably the greatest Matador of all time, faced his second bull of the afternoon. The first one had come so close on one of his passes, that a horn had removed a part of Arruza’s embroidered jacket.

On the first several passes, man and beast felt each other out. The art of the matador is not to just get out of the way of the charging bull, but to do so gracefully and with the smallest possible margin for error. There is a reason why Matadors earn such huge sums of money and why many die young. In three centuries of the sport, more than 530 have died in the ring or from injuries sustained there!

Yet again the bull charged in. Arruza gracefully pivoted, placing the barbed sticks called bandilleras with pinpoint accuracy as he did so.  Suddenly, on the last pass, the bull’s left horn grazed his chest.

An exhausted Arruza turned and faced the enormous beast one last time. One inch of movement in the wrong direction and it would all be over for the Matador from Mexico City. The bull charged, the ground trembled…to the crowd it seemed as if he had waited a split second too long. At the absolutely last possible moment Arruza angled out and with one thrust plunged the sword up to its hilt into the shoulders of the bull.

Flowers rained down into the arena. Men shouted “Ole”. For his courage, Arruza received not only money and adoration, but also the ears, tail and two hooves of the bull.

And it all hinged on one apparently simple, yet supremely effective and deadly strategy: When facing a superior force, get out of the way. Once you are out of the way, counterattack.

It is the ultimate expression, in action, of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. “Know yourself and know your enemy and in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated”.

If you should ever be threatened or attacked by someone who is clearly smaller or weaker than yourself, then perhaps you might stand your ground with an attitude of “who cares, let’s see what he does.” Then again, when last did this happen to you…or when last can you remember hearing of this happening to anyone else? It doesn’t, does it now?

Whether you are facing a schoolyard bully, an aggressive drunk in a bar or a criminal predator, the reason they are threatening you is because they are either bigger, stronger or younger than yourself or any combination of the above. If you meet their force head-on with force of your own, chances are good that you will be injured and will lose. You may even die.

Getting out of the way is the only sensible and potentially foolproof strategy there is. Many martial arts claim to embody this strategy and yet very few have a simple and coherent strategy that will work every time. Ashihara Karate is built around exactly such a strategy.

Another thing that is excellent about Ashihara Karate and its core strategy is how easily it can be grafted onto just about any other style of Karate, or Tae Kwon Do or most traditional striking arts. The Kata or forms of your style may be very different from those of most other styles, but one of the first things you will notice is how styles become similar, rather than different, when it comes to free-sparring.

The more “free” the sparring is, the less style-specific it becomes. In the beginner’s “one-step” sparring in your dojo you may still observe the extremely long and low stances or the large circular hand movements of your style, but when it boils down to moving freely and the winner being the karateka who lands a powerful blow first, most of the fancy stylistic elements melt away like snow in the sunshine. Stances are higher and shorter and evasion most often replaces “blocking”.

It is exactly here that the evasion strategy of Ashihara can supercharge your system. For once, you can have your cake and eat it! You can enjoy the powerful and specific traditional elements of your style, whilst having a secret “ace up your gi sleeve” at the same time.

And because it can be integrated so seamlessly with the free sparring of your style, it does not take thousands or even hundreds of hours to add on to your training, as it would with a completely new and differing stylistic training element! If you can’t find a suitable training partner for an occasional training session of the footwork, you could even practice the movement patterns on your own and then integrate them over time in the actual sparring training in your dojo.

Here is what is included in the book, all of which is backed up by the accompanying DVD:

  • The history of our art in six acts.
  • Why Karate may be better for you than Muay Thai, BJJ or MMA, in spite of what the Internet says.
  • How to select the right school and instructor for yourself.
  • The things you will learn in class.
  • How this translates into a sense of confidence and strength in today’s chaotic world.
  • How the rituals of the dojo enrich your life.
  • How to focus your power through Kiai, the Karate spirit shout.
  • The core concepts of stances and circular foot movement, known as “SABAKI”.
  • The way in which you can make your strategy work and that of your opponent fail through superior distancing, Ma-Ai.
  • Blocking – the back-up techniques to your primary strategy of foot movement.
  • Striking and how your knowledge of precise target areas supercharges your effectiveness.
  • How to throw Karate’s spectacular and powerful kicking techniques.
  • Your transition from single techniques to combinations.
  • How combinations are combined into longer forms, known as Kata.
  • Developing your timing, power and distance appreciation through co-operative partner-work.
  • How to progress to competitive partner-work: sparring and sport forms.
  • Karate and Self Defense, when your life is on the line.
  • The many and varied benefits of Karate training.
  • How Karate can be an art that the whole of your family can practice.
  • How being handicapped does not have to be a handicap for practicing Karate.
  • Making your living teaching Karate: how you can make it work for you.
  • Equipment training and pad work to sharpen your Karate attributes.
  • The Ashihara Karate Home Study program. How it works and why it could be of value to you.

After writing the first draft of the book, we sent it out to some highly respected Karate teachers and practitioners, to find out what they thought about it. Here is a selection of the feedback we received:

Welcome to the website for our new book and DVD,
“Ashihara Karate Sabaki – The Essential Guide to Mastering the Art”.

This book is the outcome and a distillation of over forty years of Karate practice and teaching on the part of Hoosain Narker and a similarly long time spent in practicing and teaching a variety of martial arts on the part of Erik Petermann.

It is motivated not only by a love of Karate in general, but also by the belief that the very specific footwork patterns of Ashihara Karate can enhance the training and tool chest of any Karate practitioner at any level of ability!

Have you ever wanted to understand not only how to do your karate techniques, but also the secrets of what makes them so powerful and effective?

So that you can plug this new understanding into your own training and become the kind of martial artist you always want to be?

The secrets of the Masters. You’ve heard about how, by not meeting force with force, even if physically weaker small or older person can defeat physically larger or stronger attacker. This book gives you the keys to those secrets, in the form of Sabaki footwork and body movement. This means you can automatically move out of the path of your opponents incoming power.

It does not matter if he is three or even 10 times as strong as you are. If you’re not there when his technique lands or weedy aimed at, you cannot be harmed by it. And at the same time you are positioned at an optimal angle from which to unleash a lightning counter-attack. ff

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