The next book I saw in the search was The Secrets of Shotokan Karate. Now, I don't mean to put down this book, as I have never read it and it may be a fantastic book on Shotokan techniques. I may even get it someday for that reason. But I've been seeing a few "Secrets" books on Karate lately. It just made me wonder at the idea of "secrets" in Martial Arts. If they are secrets, how did these authors learn them, and why are they publishing them in books.
I've been reading through Shotokan's Secret: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins It appears to be a really good book on the history of Okinawan Karate, especially as it effects Shotokan. The author appears to make some great analysis of the history, but although I read a lot I didn't know, I didn't read anything I would call a secret.
I remember reading Adams and Dr Hatsumi's books on Ninjitsu back in the 70's. I actually researched the subject quite a bit back then, before it became popular and I lost interest. I even did a report on it in High School and a book report on Eric Van Lustbader's The Ninja.
Now I personally have no idea if Dr Hatsumi is or is not a last descendant of a Ninja family or if Stephen Hayes or Robert Bussey studied with him. Full disclosure, I studied at a Robert Bussey school for 2 or 3 months in the 80's. Suddenly Martial Artist all over the world fell in love with this "secret" martial art. I've often wondered if it's because it's supposed to be a secret that it became so popular.
That brings me back to what could be a trend in "Secret" books for Karate. If these are secrets that are being brought into the public, I think that is great from a historical point of few. If, instead, these are advanced techniques that are taught in most schools, I would rather see them publish as such. I would be much more likely to buy "Advanced Shotokan Techniques" than "Secret Shotokan Moves Your Sensei Doesn't Know".
May be the public at large is more interested in Secrets than Advanced Techniques. So I've decided to begin work on "The Secrets of the Gallowglass; The Irish Ninja". Think it will sell?