I watched it recently with my husband and we were bowled over by the fighting scenes - no wires, no CGI, just good authentic karate performed by high ranking karate sensei who have entered the world of martial arts film making.
Here's a synopsis of the plot:
"The year is 1932 and the Japanese military is dismantling each Karate dojo across the country. Amidst this chaos, the master of one dojo dies before passing on the 'Kuro-obi' to a successor. Three men of the dojo compete to earn the Kuro-obi and must face the might of the Japanese army. This leads them on very different paths, pitting each man against the other, and ultimately thrusting them into a terrible encounter with fate....."
The leading parts are played by TATSUYA NAKA (Sixth Dan), instructor at the Japan Karate Association
General Headquarters (Corp.), who plays Taikan and AKIHITO YAGI (Fifth Dan), instructor in
International Meibukan Goju Ryu Karate, who plays Giryu.
Here's a clip from the film where Taikan challenges a respected and feared karate instructor to a fight in his own dojo in front of his students,watched closely by Taikan's paymasters - the Japanese military. The clip shows the full range of what karate has to offer in terms of strikes, kicks, takedowns and even a bit of ground fighting....
This next clip comes towards the end of the film when Taikan (Shotokan) and Giryu (Goju Ryu) fight to decide which one of them will inherit their late Sensei's black belt and thus become the head of the dojo. This scene is shot in black and white to add even more drama and ends in a real slug fest in the mud!
As you've probably gathered the film is in Japanese with English subtitles but the this does not detract from the film at all. I definitely recommend this film to anyone who wants to know what real full contact karate looks like outside a rule bound competition arena. This film is available from Amazon.
Heres a link to some more info on this film: http://www.jka.or.jp/english/news/movie_kuroobi_main.html
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