I looked at the huge line of fighters still to come. It coiled around three sides of the mat like some great white dragon waiting to devour me, and suddenly the task ahead seemed impossible. The Thirty Man Kumite is one of karate’s toughest tests, reserved for senior black belts with years of experience. One person fights a line-up of thirty fighters, one after another, full contact, moving up the grades and facing the strongest, most dangerous fighters last. This is a compelling account of the Thirty Man Kumite and the lifetime of martial arts that led to it, charting the development of mind, body and spirit over many years and offering a rare insight into the true purpose of the martial arts.
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