Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Beginner to black belt - not quite
on 20 January 2004
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.