Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Beginners Guide to Shotokan Karate

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: UK: Paul Hooley 1983 (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002BEKHSS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,619,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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 kata!
Excellent reading and learning.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
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 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.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As a mature begginer to Shotokan Karate, along with my 10yr old son, I found the book is invaluable in showing the techniques and Kata one requires to advance in this discipline. Eveything is clearly photographed and easy to follow. As a complete beginner it is sometimes difficult to remember the Japanese Terms used in Karate and this book should be standard essential reading for all beginners and parents of young exponents of this art. I found that it helps to reinforce everything I had been taught in the two, two hour period of instruction I had each week and have shown and recommended the book to other members of my club, who are equally impressed with the content. A Must Buy!
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 3 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
I disagree with some other reviewers as they have missed the point of karate.It is essentially a way of life, which has as part of it aspects of self-discipline (missing in the UK at present as far as I can see), humility (definitely missing) but with a resolute and steely resolve to defend oneself. This book covers all aspects of basic karate and I think John Van Weenen is to be congratulated.
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.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
An excellent explicitly photographed guide to karate, from beginner to black belt. The accompanying explanations are precise and easy to understand. A very useful guide. To be used in conjunction with a proper structured training course and not to replace one.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I first read this book almost 15 years ago and I still find that it has not been surpassed. The clarity of the photos clearly demonstrate technniques in a very accessible manner. I have bought many copies of this book, as friends, who visit, and also train in the shotokan style, borrow my copies and never seem willing to return them! A must for beginners and advanced students alike-now followed up by the great Sensei's 'Advanced' guide.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
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.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"Beginner to Black belt" (well up to 4th kyu anyway) by John was my first ever book on karate & when I look back now over the years and compare it with the "Hundreds" of other books I have about karate, martial arts & Shotokan in particular, I have to admit he was the leader in this type of book.

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.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback