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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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The Beginner’s Guide To Shotokan Karate
J. Van Weenan

Student of Kanazawa Sensei, John Van Weenan has created a very useful textbook that will most certainly prove practically helpful to many beginning karate.

Van Weenan takes most of the karate techniques, the Heian kata, and a little kumite, and provides a commentary to accompany. The text is useful, however, his technique is not quite as perfect as you may want to see. Most techniques are good, but the camera angles on some of the kicking techniques do not necessarily show the effectiveness of his karate.

These books however do show that even tall men can do Karate.

Again, his books in general are based primarily along the teachings of Kanazawa Sensei, so if you’re hoping to use the books as a reference while not being a member of SKIF, this may be hazardous to your training particularly if you’re using the reference as a grading aid.

I would say the text aspect of this book is more impressive than the pictures, but in general, this is a valuable book that can be useful if you, if you recognise the technical differences between Kanazawa and JKA Kata.

Jeanette Pearse

Date: 17/07/06