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4.8 out of 5 stars32
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 14 January 2010
Just what you would come to expect from one of the all time greats in Japanese Shotokan karate, a large (hard back) 240 page book packed with hundreds of small black & white detailed photos & explanations of all the 26 kata in the Shotokan canon.

Each move & many of the intermediate moves are explained in full detail under the pictures.

One nice little surprise for ALL Shotokan Karate-ka is a new (for me anyway - it's actually very old) kata called Koryu Gankaku or (Gankaku-Sho).

Each of the katas movements are highlighted with easy to read symbols to help you with speed, breathing & kime etc.

Bunkai (application of kata) is shown at the end of each kata as well as a glossary of karate terms.

Quite simply a great book to complete Kanazawa Sensei's bookshelf of books including: Black Belt Karate,Karate Fighting Techniques: The Complete Kumite,Karate My Life

At least in this book you may find all the Shotokan Kata in one place, whereas before you had to buy two books which are now becoming quite hard to get a hold of: Shotokan Karate International Kata: Volume 1 &Shotokan Karate International Kata: Volume 2
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on 1 August 2011
One's work should be compared to everything one has achieved so far. We ordered this book for our dojo to compare it with Kanazawa's first Kata book (actually one book but published in two parts).

The biggest problem with this book is that the transitions between the steps/stances are not shown correctly. In his previous book Kanazawa paid great attention to these transitions. This is very bad for beginners. They may know how a Kokucu-Dachi and Senkucu-Dachi look like, but the difficulty lies in combining the moves correctly. The images in the book show the beginning of the transitions and not the middle and thus important part of them. It is clear that it can't be as detailed as a video, but this was shown much better in Kanazawa's earlier kata books.

Pros:
* All Shotokan katas in one book
* Hardcover
* The technical analysis / interpretation (Bunkai) of the moves is longer than in the previous books of Kanazawa

Cons:
* Not all katas are performed by Kanazawa himself
* Images are quite small (they were bigger in the previous books of Kanazawa)
* Images with the transitions between the moves are poorly done (there is text below the images trying to fix this, but an image says more than a thousand words)
* Names of moves not below the image it belongs to (was better in previous book). You have to look up numbers like 19, 19-A, 19-A (rear view)...
* Nothing new in the text part. The history of the katas for example are copied from the previous books.
* We found some errors in the text below the images. The names of the moves are not always correct in the kata Jion for example. (Image 36-A is not a Nagashi-Uke)
* Deteriorated Style: As Kanazawa got older his style clearly deteriorated. His moves are not looking as good as they were in his previous books.

This is a book by Kanazawa the master of kata. It's not possible to perform a kata totally perfect, but when someone is doing a book on kata, he should look at every image and try to make it perfect. Unfortunately, this has not happened here.

We suggest that you get Kanazawa's earlier kata books.
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on 3 March 2010
If you are looking for a book to learn the kata from this is it, if you are looking for a book to tweak your kata, this is defo it. For example Empi, myself and a fellow karate-ka were debating on a part of the kata of which we disagreed on the correct movement. So, Being written by kanazawa you can bet your money he knows the answer. We had a little look in the Empi section and found our answer (incidentally i was right), but in short you can not go wrong with this book, nicely printed, clear pictures and well written.
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on 2 August 2010
I find the book very useful. shows all the Katas with the names in japanese and explanations for each movement which I find handy. I will not really need to buy another Kata reference book once you have this one as it has the lot

only set back are the photographs of the katas which can be a bit small compared to other books.
overall a good reference book for the shotokan katas from the master
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on 5 August 2011
What I like about the book is that first of all it's got all the katas in there, with explanation of origin and development as well as a brilliant glossary of all japanese terma.

All in all a nice guide to the katas and their history as well as a dictionary.

The only thing that is not too well done is the size of the photos, they should have been at least twice as large.
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on 19 February 2010
This is an excellent book for Shotokan Karateka. It covers each kata in great detail and is a superb reference. It has a couple of minor errors eg describing left instead of right.

The symbols used enable the reader to take note of speed, power etc.

Definitely one for the bookshelf.
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on 4 August 2012
I have a couple of years behind me within the martial arts community and the more time passes by I end up training more and more and longer hours. Kanazawa have great videos out there on the market, several here on Amazon but I have to say one thing, among all the Karate books I have bought so far, his leaves the rest behind. If one wants to understand the Shotokan Kata's this is the book to go with. Not only does he picture extreamly well every single step and move in the katas, he allso explaines in text under each picture and talks about where to put the pressure in ones stance. He takes up the subtle detailes that for many of us takes years and years to learn if not a gooood sensei teaches them to one. This is not the end though, after each Kata he shows the bunkai for the kata as well, and this is the brutal straight honest bunkai that NO one should use in real life, but to understand the kata you are training, these bunkai are simply the best gold nuggets you ccan possibly have with you in your training.

Remember, train always in a Dojo, but do NOT let the Dojo training be the only training you do, this book will let you keep on training outside the dojo as well. OSU!
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on 19 December 2013
Because I cannot think of anything else to add to this review, I am going to copy the following from my review of "Black Belt Karate: The Intensive Course" by Hirokazu Kanazawa:-
After being away from Shotokan for almost 40 years and coming back to the sport of karate with my granddaughter Rebecca, I am completely blown away by all of the thorough and impressive coverage and detail to be gleaned on YouTube for example!
This includes demonstrations by many of the greatest exponents of karate in the world, one of the most outstanding being the living legend of Shotokan who is Hirokazu Kanazawa!
This book, like his other publications, is beautifully printed and the many photographs of routines, sets and katas are fairly easy to follow and reproduce, although I feel there is a definite need to "tweak" these routines by training with experienced instructors who will be more able to fine-tune your moves.
Overall, an excellent book ... well worth the price!
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on 8 August 2010
Every Shotokan karate Kata you're ever likely to need is now available in one book - from beginner to advanced black belt grades.

Kanazawa-Sensei was my Shihan's sensei and is held in the highest regard in karate circles across the world. His book shows every stage of each kata in step-by-step images with descriptive text to help the student understand stance, direction and movement and each kata is accompanied by a technical analysis of some of the more complex movements, showing the bunkai (application) where appropriate.

Building on Shihan van Weenen's excellent books: Beginners Guide to Shotokan Karate and Advanced Shotokan Karate Kata, Kanazawa-Sensei's Complete Kata is, in my opinion, a must-have for all students of traditional Shotokan karate.
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on 15 October 2012
I've been practising Shotokan for almost 7 yrs now and currently Shodan from SKKIF association. Way Kanazawa Sensei , Yahara Sensei , Asai Sensei and others demonstrate kata is different than what's been taught in dojo these days. You will come to know and learn that difference only if you practise kata for years and years and that too from good karate ka or masters. If not then i would definitely recommend each and every karate ka to go through this book and feel that difference. Please don't buy this book just for sake of buying or if you are FAN of Kanazawa sensei. If you really want to know and learn difference between techniques and how actually stances and waza should be then only go for it.
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