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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Shotokan Karate International Kata Vol 1 &Vol 2
H. Kanazawa

These books cover all of the Shotokan Karate Kata, and are all performed by H. Kanazawa himself. Each Kata comes with a brief history and applications. The photographs are up close, to provide the minute details of the kata, although there’s no text. This makes the understanding of the Kata that little bit more difficult, but the books remains a fantastic resource.

What makes these books so great is the key on how to breathe per technique, and the type of tension you should be incorporating in your body. This makes the books an invaluable aid, and this type of information in a kata book is quite rare.

However, for all those non- SKIF students, if you’re using these books as an aid to your Karate research, or preparation for a grading then you should be aware of the subtle and sometimes blatant differences between the ways JKA do kata and the way Kanazawa does kata.

This book, for non-SKIF Karate-Ka, is more important for the more advanced student or instructor, for this book will shed light on different, or alternative ways of doing a simple technique in a Kata. Using this book as a beginner will only confuse you and cause you more problems.

Since all the katas are crammed into just two books the photographs are not quite as broken down as the Best Karate series, but you will be able to learn a great deal from these books.

What’s so fantastic about this book is the fact you can watch an actual living legend perform these kata’s and you can read while being in awe of his amazing ability.

This book will help to provide alternative ways of thinking for the more advanced student, but non-SKIF beginners may find it a hindrance to their long-term training.

Stuart Tiller

Date: 22/02/06