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American Freestyle Karate - 30 Year Anniversary!

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  • American Freestyle Karate - 30 Year Anniversary!

    Hi All,

    I was driving in to the dojo this morning and it occurred to me that that I began working on my first book, American Freestyle Karate: A Guide To Sparring 30 years ago!

    How it came about was I was at a tournament n Oakland, California talking to Paul Maslak, the editor of Inside Kung Fu magazine. He had put together a couple of manual on sparring himself. I told him that I had an idea in mind regarding doing a book on freestyle sparring and had approached Ohara Publications (Black Belt magazine) but got no reply. Right on the spot he told me that if I wrote it, he'd publish it.

    I got to work on it when I got home, hand writing it while I was at work. I ran a printing press that when set up properly, would give me 25 minutes uninterrupted time to work on it. There was this friend of mine in the steno pool (no computers back then folks - all type written) who typed it up for me at 3 cents a page. Three drafts later I had the manuscript done.

    I then flew down to Los Angeles with my top student, Bill Rooklidge, and shot the photos in one day. Ed Ikuta, the photographer, was amazed at how organised I was. I had every sequence planned right down to the exact number of photos for each. Roughly 8 hours later we had 1,200 pictures that I later had to edit down to about 700 or so (I forget exactly how many).

    That book was the first of its kind and is still around.

    30 years later I am now working on the proper follow up to it which will include fighting principles as well as how kata practice directly relates to freesparring skills. I'm not sure how long it will take but when it comes out, it will be a monster.

    Dan Anderson