Beginners' Guide to Shotokan Karate: Beginner to Black Belt Paperback – 1 Aug 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
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 kata!
Excellent reading and learning.
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 what most students know as Kihon (the very first kata you learn) up to Heian Godan.
The section on basic techniques is just a reference guide and doesn't really give you much info. Just one photo and a brief description.
The kumite section is quite good. Once again there is no text to accompany the photos, but the photos themselves are numerous and clear.
To be honest the self-defence section is a bit on the silly side. Obviously some of the techniques would work, but to be honest many of them are unrealistic, although this is the same in most books on karate. Have a look though, it's quite a good laugh.
The section on japanese terms is as it should be whilst the grading sylabus is fairly indicative of what to expect. Although you must realise that every organisation uses a slightly different sylabus.
The layout and presentation of the book seems almost amateurish and some of the comments are a bit naff. It seems Sensei Van Weenen has produced the book without any professional input, which is a great shame as it could have made a good book into an great one.
Although my review may seem negative, I would still recommend this book. Unfortunately there aren't really any exceptional books on karate so this is probably one of the better ones. Maybe I expect too much but there you are.
Beginners to karate may be bewildered by the Japanese terms and the movements required in the katas, this book offers an easy and invaluable reference to most of what is needed up to purple/white belt. It is NOT perfect, but certainly when I returned from my dojo I found it helpful to go through my katas with the book and am now onto his next book. Certainly trying to remember the katas/moves without a reference is difficult enough and I haven't found a book that does it better.
Karate is not about beating people senseless, it's giving yourself a better chance. The idiot who wrote that JvW would not stand a chance against the average pub "Joe", is typical of why some of us choose to study karate. I know whose side I'd rather be on.
It's a pity he didn't manage to get around to finishing Volumes 2 & 3 of his Advanced Kata books, I can't remember the reason he gave me when I wrote to him as to why.
His senior student Sahota however has done a wonderful job in taking over where John left off in his two seminal works on the subject.
DON'T FORGET, John was the first to display the kata in such a way with such clarity through its pictures and description - EVER! The fact that it's still so popular on the high street shop bookshelves only goes to prove its success.
Even though it only goes up to 4th kyu, it's PACKED full of basic (Kihon) information & sparring (Kumite) that fills the void many other so-called karate books leave.
In the last sections you have suggested syllabuses', large self-defence techniques (for men & women), glossaries & terminology.
Despite its initial shortfall, it's still a MASSIVE & highly successful book written by a longstanding professional on the subject, who is still highly respected by all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great reference book for beginners to advanced Karateka.
Excellent quality pictures & explanations.
The leading book in it's field.
its the best site for buying goods on and it delivers when it says it will i shall continue to use it because it is dependablePublished on 1 Jun. 2014 by gerry long
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... Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2014 by Rob McCartney
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... Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2011 by Amazon Customer
This book has already been such a help to me. At 47 years of age it's sometimes difficult to learn something so alien, yet John Van Weenan makes it all seem so easy when combined... Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 2011 by Jon Harper
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. Read morePublished on 7 April 2010 by BritFuFan