Along with all the popular interest in *self-defense Karate* and *free-sparring Karate* and [seemingly] further onward into MMA [mixed martial arts], there seems to be a fairly common impression that most of *that old-school Do martial arts stuff* is increasingly unrelated to current times. In particular, it is suppossed that *that Do stuff* is hopelessly tangled in *ancient tradition* and therefore *rigid patterns* -- that even more, in particular, is *just by-the-numbers standing dance*. Some folk would even seem to practice the *ancient ceremony and ritual of Kata patterns* -- to knowingly recreate a little bit of a half-lost Way of Life. A few folk [such as myself] even still seek to find out what is possible about the living vitality of the full spectrum of *Karate-do* -- that would seem currently alive if it would include integrated *self-defense* sparring, grappling and weapons usage -- leading into *health-defense* and even *spirit-defense*.
"The Secret Royal Martial Arts of RyuKyu* presents aspects NOT commonly seen -- that seem to address the above topics in a good way towards providing a look-see into *that old-school Do martial arts stuff*. For me, this book has verified that from Udun-di to Shuri-di to Tomari-di to Naha-di to Shotokan Karate-do and even to [Hawaii] Kenpo Karate-do -- there runs a deep stream of *Ibukido* [unwar-spirit-way] -- that involves Kata being equally Arts of *kumite* [sparring], *tegumi* [grappling] and *kobudo* [weapons] -- LIKE a unified *form* of *karate*, *aikido* and *arnis*. And, centered practice of such *ancient Kata*, can develop *form, mind and will in parallel*. Karate-do Kata [can] even have a Sword Way as shown by the following quote [from page #3 of the book under review] and some further clues and cues ---
"The Ryukyu Kingdom was unparalled as the "Nation of Courtesy." For over 300 years, inside the royal castle at Shuri, a unique martial art was developed in response to Chinese and Japanese prototypes, and passed on in utmost secrecy. This martial art is known as *Ryukyu Oke Hiden Bujutsu*, which transilates as The Secret Royal Martial Arts of Ryukyu. It is the acccumulated wisdom of both martial and academic studies of the past kings. The secret techniques are found within the sword, which are able to defeat any opponent. It is also easily applied to the movements of dance, making it truely a curious art." Now, compare to "Shotokan's Secret" [book] and the traditional fists, grips and canes of Kata, and we can begin to see *The Do of that old Karate-do* +++