Five Years, One Kata by Bill Burgar is a book for advanced karateka typically 2nd dan and above and gives the reader a unique insight into an amazing five-year study of a single kata (Gojushiho). It shows the depth that is waiting to be discovered by the close study of kata, covering an incredible range of subjects including:

  • imagery
  • the psychology of confrontation
  • the common acts of physical violence
  • vital points and how to exploit them
  • the methodology for the break-down and understanding of kata
  • the applications of the kata
  • the principles of karate and how to apply them
  • the applications (in detail) for each of the movements of Gojushiho
  • the major variations of each application
  • objective measurements regarding their practicality
  • how to link the applications together

Five Years, One Kata by Bill Burgar

The author also explains how to undertake your own study using a single kata of your choice, and how to build a training regime based on the kata. If you have ever wondered what kata is really all about then Five Years, One Kata is for you. When karate was a secret art, practiced in the back yards of Okinawa by a few dedicated masters and their disciples, it was usual to train in a single kata for many years. A master of karate would know just one, two or possibly three kata. Through the deep study of those few kata the master karateka would possess a complete self-defense system, he would be well versed in the underlying principles of karate and he would have a memory aid which would map out his complete training regime.

Over the last century the practice of a single kata has disappeared from karate practice. The deep understanding of a few kata has been replaced by the superficial understanding of many. Five Years, One Kata shows you in great detail how to recover that understanding and how to put kata back at the heart of karate. What leaders in the field have to say about the book: “Without question this book adds to the body of knowledge in the study of karate” – Rick Clark

From the Author
Bill BurgarI am delighted that my work of the last six years has been published. I sincerely hope that readers will benefit from my unique study of a single kata.

My book Five Years, One Kata was published in 2003 and is still selling well. It is a book for advanced karateka typically 2nd dan and above.

In modern karate it is usual to study many kata (typically for most styles around 25 or 30 kata). However, when karate was practiced in secret prior to 1880 it was usual for a karate master to know just one or two kata. I decided to run an experiment to try training with just one kata for an extended period. Initially I set out to train for one year but, as I went deeper into the kata the time period extended, and at the point that I wrote the book (as the title suggests) I’d been training virtually exclusively in the one kata for five years.

This was a very unusual method of training compared to the modern way and the discoveries I made during that time were of great interest to my peers and I’m pleased to say quite influential.
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