Funakoshi ‘s Footsteps by John van Weenan: Book Review

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Funakoshi’s Footsteps: What the blurb says

John van Weenen tells the story of his adventurous life with astonishing candour and perception.

After a childhood of poverty in North London, John travelled the world and discovered Karate, eventually returning to Britain to achieve success by sheer hard work, and to meet and marry the love of his life.

He developed his passion for Karate, that most artistic and demanding of martial arts in Japan and later under the great Master Hirokazu Kanazawa, himself a student of the legendary Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957), who introduced Karate to Japan from his native Okinawa in 1922.

Funakoshi saw Karate as more than a physical martial art form – for him it was the key to his philosophy of life: of responsibility to others: ‘Make Benevolence your lifelong duty.’

John van Weenen modelled his own life on Funakoshi’s precepts and followed in the Master’s footsteps. He handed down the message of his mentors Kanazawa and Funakoshi to generations of new students of the art: encouraging his followers to help the needy. Ultimately, his teaching led to the giving of time and skills by many to a series of epic convoys of mercy during the Nineties to help the starving and dying of Albania and Kosovo.

John’s enthralling and romantic record of achievement is an inspiration to all who love and live life to the full.An excellent autobiography, with some great stories. If want an insight of what it is like as a westerner to train, for real, in an Asian martial art. This book is an excellent way to go.

Funakoshi’s Footsteps: What Enso Martial Arts thinks

Training all round the world, with some of the best karate practitioners of the time. This is a must read for all karate practitioners and for all traditional martial artists alike.