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The Shotokan Karate Handbook: Beginner to Black Belt (Fifth Edition) Paperback – 11 Nov 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Gursharan Sahota; Fifth edition (11 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0952463806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0952463801
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 19.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

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.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book to be incredibly helpful in learning the basics of Karate.
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!
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Format: Paperback
Bought this book in 1999 and never looked back. This book (in conjunction with regular classes, and the instructional video's that go hand in hand with the book) helped me achieve my black belt (Shodan) in Shotokan Karate.

In my opinion this is one reference book that everyone in Shotokan Karate should have on their shelf.

-Ken
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Format: Paperback
This book is most probably the most complete book on Shotokan Karate I have seen to date.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I've been carrying Gursharan's books around in my bag now for the last ten years and swear by them. Of all the hundreds of book that I have about Shotokan karate, I always fall back and end up using Gursharan's two books for simplicity and ease of use.

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.
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By A Customer on 23 April 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was writen by the 6th dan cheif instructor of TISKA senseiGursharan Sahota. It is an excellent book and invaluable training aid. Itshould only be used as a guide and not a replacement of a regular sensei.It features all kata needed to get to green belt including bassai dai,wankan and bunkai for all kata. It also has a guide to about 10 differentblock, lots of kicks including Mae Tobi Geri (front jumping kick) and YokoTobi Geri (Flying Kick). It includes all grading syallabi belt ranks andwarm up exercises as well as a chapter dedicated to self defence. Itsglossary means you can look up prenounciations of all japaneese words usedin the book. For more information try searching TISKA on a search engine
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By S J Buck TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book that covers virtually all the basics and Kata you will need to go from beginner to black belt. Like previous reviewers have said though, don't buy this thinking you can teach yourself Karate. You need to go to classes as well.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for all those learning Shotokan Karate - in conjunction with training sessions with a Sensei.

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.
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