The Shotokan Karate Handbook: Beginner to Black Belt (Fifth Edition) Paperback – 11 Nov 2005
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There have been numerous books written on the subject of Karate, including many that claim to show an easy, step-by-step, way of becoming a black belt by the third chapter. In a martial art such as Karate, it is extremely rare to find a book that can help the student with the physical aspect of Karate to any great degree. However, every now and then a publication appears on the bookstands that can do just that. One such book is this one. The following pages contain a wealth of information on the Kihon, Kata, and Kumite aspects of Traditional Shotokan. Written in an easy to follow manner, and supplemented by an extremely comprehensive set of photographs, this handbook is easily one of the more superior publications available.
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Top Customer Reviews
The photos are clear and easy to follow. The descriptions are fairly concise.
One word of advice, don't try to use this book to teach you Karate, it should only be used in conjunction with Karate lessons, to review katas or techniques you've already learned. Otherwise you might find yourself very confused!
In my opinion this is one reference book that everyone in Shotokan Karate should have on their shelf.
This book covers all the basic points that cover the craft and is easy to read and understand when used in concert with structured training.
The only gripe is that one or two of the photos are a little confusing. E.g. jiyu ippon mae geri 5.
Yes, there are other kata books on the market which may be better pictorially (e.g. Nakayama) but Gursharan's have everything you need as a quick reference guide in just two volumes. The content is very neatly and logically laid out. If you're already practising karate, Gursharan's books will be the perfect handy reference guide for you.
I agree mostly with the other positive reviews here too. As for different moves etc in one review, even though we're all learning Shotokan, you will naturally find slight variations from style to style and association to association. The art is hundreds of years old and has been passed down from a variety of different masters, each of whom have added to or taken away parts of the kata that they favoured or disliked the most.
If you can find an association that follows the traditional line of teaching that focuses more on kata & bunkai, as opposed to sport or competition, then you'll be on the right path. As Supreme Grand Master Funakoshi said - "Karate will take a life time". Karate is more importantly about perfection of character and less about kicking & punching etc.
As for teaching yourself karate from a book, you can't teach yourself just by looking at a few pictures, but if you're already attending classes, Gursharan's book (and videos) will help you revise, keep up or even get ahead of your class mates. The pictures and diagrams are quite adequate.Read more ›
I bought this as a complete beginner (at the age of 45) in 2005. The Kata photographs are good but some sometimes difficult to follow (even with directional arrows) because when Sahota is facing you and steps forward to punch with his right-hand you tend to want to punch with your left hand.
The other problem is that whilst the number of Kata covered is very comprehensive, at neither of the two clubs I've belonged to have the Katas been exactly the same as in this book. My advice would to any beginner would be to join a club first, and then get your Sensei to advise whether a book like this is worth purchasing.
I have found it a great help when returning from training to spend some time working out how a new technique should be performed when there isn't the time to go over it in detail in training. It's also very helpful for remembering all the parts of the kata.
Unfortunately the printing quality is not very good for the photos some of which have poor contrast and it is hard to see exactly what the position should be. The text does explain all techniques clearly though.
Overall it is good value for money at less than the cost of 2 training sessions, and makes a great learning aid. Don't expect to be able to learn karate from this book alone or find much on the philosophy or history of Karate in here and you won't be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written and comprehensive guide to shotokan karate. Some of the photo's not very clear, hence the 4 stars, but overall good value for money.Published 16 days ago by Mr Versatile
This is a great book and has helped me learn my katas. It was in reasonable condition too.Published 2 months ago by Kay
Fantastic next day delivery, good value for a very good book on Shotokan karatePublished 9 months ago by Robz
Fantastic.. Great diagrams and descriptions. Would recommendPublished 13 months ago by Mrs. S. L. Longworth
Quick delivery, good packaging. Books has everything you need to know and is easy for my 9yr old to follow.Published 16 months ago by Fiona Colston
I bought this book originally for my 13 year old son, who's currently a 1st kyu. But I've used it many times myself, as I now do karate. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Karen Peach
Very good book with very helpful and specific guidance through KatasPublished 20 months ago by David Mead