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Karate memory aid, a book to remember nothing


Karate's memory aidKarate Aide-Mémoire

Here is an article written by Philippe Laurent, a karate enthusiast and author of the book Karate Aide-Mémoire.

You probably already know Philip through the many relevant comments he has already left on this blog.
I find that his initiative to write a Karate checklist is very good and I asked him to come talk to us directly here. I therefore give him the floor:

Karate Aide-Mémoire by Philippe Laurent:

Among the many motivations that drive martial arts, the need to exercise was my initial motivation because I am convinced that the body is not intended to spend 40 years sitting in front of a piece of furniture (the computer ). A little everywhere in the body, it must circulate, that it moves, within the limits of our capacities, between recovery and wear.

A second motivation was that the martial arts solicit the whole body through different "games": optimization of movements, exchange of attacks and defenses in a dialogue of opposition but friendly, learning sequences of movements in the space that makes us discover an unusual "biomechanics", polite relations in a place where the uniform abolishes for a time the social differences.

Currently, the choice is varied compared to the 70 years and the combat sports have been constantly changing for decades mainly driven by 3 phenomena:

  • The discovery of practices of other cultures ignored until now,
  • An appropriation of current disciplines, which translates them into the terms of our culture and our institutions at the cost of significant changes,
  • The discovery of more original versions of known styles that can be accompanied by a set of notions that did not cross borders.

Karate has not escaped these changes and the practice comes in very different ways depending on his age (7 77 years), his motives (zen or competition), his fitness (ascetic or follower of the "6 pack" ), his environment ("bronx" or "boboland"), his good manners (control or full contact).

Resuming karate after many years, at sixty, I decided to iron all the belts having forgotten kata and integrated "deformations" of other styles (Kung-fu, Taekwondo, Hapkido), even forms of techniques that are no longer those of now. To be honest the belts, before, did not interest me. Now, I think it's important to focus on a de facto norm and see the evolution that we are offered as long as we can follow it, even if it is different later (the choices are choices and it is not necessarily true or false).

In order to prepare the black belt, I started by inventorying everything you need to know from the federation website. At first it was simply the lexicon, then I added chapters corresponding to known practices but whose exact meaning escaped me a little. As it looked like a book I decided to illustrate the techniques, I made the drawings myself which takes a considerable time. Then, the more time passed, the more I felt obliged to finalize because otherwise I would have lost months for nothing. Comparing with the current books, I found that they did not cover everything and I completed as I read. On the other hand it is an aide-memoire to the extent it describes what you need to know, and what is done, without developing "the how", which has been done better elsewhere.

My idea is to make a "pure ebook" readable on Windows, Mac, tablets & phones under IOS and Android:

  • The pages have been designed to scroll on various equipment (tablets, phone) that can be read on the beach, in transport, waiting at supermarket checkouts, at the post office, in the toilets at work, at the dentist's. , the cardiologist, before the interview with the HRD, etc.
  • It can evolve according to my experience (I would like to add the bunkais for example, notions of "Japanese bodybuilding", food, enrich the bibliography).
  • The most complete for the cheapest possible.

Here is the Content of the book:

  • The current official terms of shotokan karate is name and illustration for each technique.
  • Techniques: 18 positions, 7 moves, 17 defenses, 14 direct attacks, 8 percussion techniques, 16 foot attacks.
  • 6er dan 1 kata: lists of techniques and diagrams to remember.
  • Index to find each technique from its name.
  • More general glossary of karate: 284 terms.
  • Updated bibliography.
  • Web links to organizations, sources of info.

Here you will find theKarate checklist on Kindle with the possibility of leafing through.


You can encourage Philippe by leaving him a comment below!

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  1. Clarification :

    The price of the book is the price of an Abbey beer on the terrace.

    I think it's a good way to index the cost of living.

    An economist had found this idea to compare the costs of life: how much time to work to buy an egg..but I monitor my cholesterol ...

  2. Lisa Chaix- Orlando at

    Hello Philippe,
    I congratulate you for your work which has taken a considerable time and on which you have applied yourself.
    I'm going to flip through your book right away.
    Good night.
    Best regards.

    • Thank you for the compliments ! The idea came from the fact that I did not find a small booklet that summarizes the practice on the site of the FKDA. I found lexicons but they did not overlap, hence the idea of ​​making one, then explain other things. The same expensive books are the same and we can not walk with 3 books all the way day for in case ...
      On an ebook you can have pages scrolling on a phone or a small tablet, to review during the times that you lose in transport, queuing at the post office, etc ...
      The last point is that I think the digital edition will allow another form of editing. I will see the future as digital books that would be printed on demand (sometimes we do on copier what we did in offset). No more stock and pestle. The ideal, not seen yet, would be a paper + digital pack. A book is written, then sold. It's the paper. While an ebook, can evolve, for example, one could develop what readers wish to have in the book, delete what they found irrelevant
      The big disadvantage is that very young people have phones but not all accounts amazon ..

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