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29 Reviews
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 (17)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading and learning
This book started my journey in learning Traditional Shotokan karate and has proved to be vital in my personal development acompanied with instruction.
Prior to training and gradings it helps provide a structure to analysing your own technique through Sensei John Van Weeenen's step by step guide and helps develops the karateka from basics to Kumite and...
Published on 27 Feb. 2003 by Frank

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beginner to black belt - not quite
The book has been around for many years and is invaluable as a training aid. It shows katas (up to purple/white belt), kumite, self defence techniques, sylabus, basic techniques and an A - Z of karate terms.
First, the section on katas is very good. Showing all the moves in clear black & white photos although there is no text to accompany them. Katas covered are from...
Published on 20 Jan. 2004


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Karate novice, 19 Jan. 2007
This book is an excellent training aid when used to support formal, professional karate training. It re-inforces the various techniques taught and serves as an excellent reminder of newly-learned strikes, blocks, stances and much more. I am fortunate enough to be a novice in a club run by Sensei van Weenen and could not wish to be in better hands. My daughter is also learning fast under his tuition and we both find this book to be invaluable. Highly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative aimed completely at the beginner, 3 Jun. 2000
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Very informative book excellent picture by picture breakdown very useful when used in conjunction with regular training at a club not instead of !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Good!, 2 April 1999
By A Customer
Good phots, instructions from the world famous black belt himself! Bye it for a beginners guide, teaches Katas and grades, brill!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shotokan Karate Guide by Sensei van Weenen, 4 Oct. 2002
This book serves a very good purpose in that you can take it virtually anywhere and use it to visualise the moves - e.g. for learning a kata. However, it is disadvantaged by the fact that you cannot see the moves in full swing - only in still capture. However, as an accompaniment to lessons and training, this book is great and I thoroughly recommend this book as it has everything you need to know - and a little more, to help you towards achieving black belt standard.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference material, 7 April 2010
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A great book. First bought it when I was 14 and unable to find a decent club to train at. This book was a perfect training companion for someone who just needed to know the basics. When I later started training in Shotokan I found it invaluable. Many years later, after training in many other martial arts I find myself drifting back to Karate and have found that the lessons first taught to me in this book are still very much valuable and easy to get back into again. Definitely the best reference book on Karate that I have read. There is only one other one that I would recommend. The only sad thing is that no one has persuaded John to make a video / DVD companion to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for all new entrants, 12 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
this book contains all the information that is required to help you through the early years, with the aid of regular class and a good sensei you cant go wrong with this book
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly!!, 28 Jan. 2005
Sensei Van Weenen is undoubtedly among Britain's top Shotokan experts, and this book, which has now been on the market for 22 years in different forms, is amongst the best available. It should of course be noted that any book can only supplement good practical instruction.
There are sections on the various moves, on kata, self defence and on weight lifting.
The section on moves is very good, but doesn't feature one or two moves which you might expect to find here, kizami zuke being one off the top of my head. The explanations and photos are excellent, however.
The kata section goes no further than the Heian katas, and you would certainly need more than this to become a black belt, probably Tekki Shodan and Bassai Dai. The kata section features very little by way of explanation, but the illustrations and diagrams are first class. It should be mentioned that Sensei Van Weenen has written another book featuring the more advanced katas.
The self defence section is worth a look, but to my mind is of no more than casual interest.
The weightlifting section is an excellent summary of the subject from a martial artist's perspective, but I can't help wondering why the man in the illustrations is pictured in gi (karate suit) bottoms alone!!
All in all, an excellent text, rounded off with some interesting photos and stories from the author's life in karate. You may notice that he has commented on his work here, not many authors do!
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good guide to karate, 12 Oct. 2011
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Mr. Simon Wilson (Helston, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beginners' Guide to Shotokan Karate: Beginner to Black Belt (Paperback)
The beginners guide to shotokan karate is a good guide for all those that practice Karate. Although quite dated, as it was first published in 1983, the Karate is still the same practiced now. The pictures are concise and the text is just enough to help you understand. This is an excellent book to aid with proper lessons.
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4.0 out of 5 stars John Van Weenan's Beginner's guide to Shotokan Karate, 18 Feb. 2014
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I have read many books over the years and this is the stand out best among all of them. I have bought it a few times and keep a library for mu students to borrow for reference purposes. But watch out there are a few out there that have copied this in layout and colour so be careful and choose the original and best!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutley brilliant., 26 Oct. 2000
Well, if you are looking for a karate book which will take you from white to black belt while maintaining the interest which made you start the sport in the first place, this is it.
It is friendly and informative, and certainly aroused my attention.
A recommended read for anyone who wants to succeed in Karate.
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Beginners' Guide to Shotokan Karate: Beginner to Black Belt
Beginners' Guide to Shotokan Karate: Beginner to Black Belt by John Van Weenen (Paperback - Aug. 1992)
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