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October 1st, 2015 by | Posted in Karate Books | Comments Off

Dear Karateka,

Have you come across a great book on Karate or related martial arts?

Please let us know and we will read it and share the review on our Karate Books web site.

Karate Books Team

Coming Up – Review of Stan Schmidt Sensei’s ‘The Faceless Enemy’

June 15th, 2014 by | Posted in Karate Books | Comments Off
The Faceless Enemy by Stan Schmidt

The Faceless Enemy by Stan Schmidt Sensei

Mind Power – Secret Strategies for the Martial Arts

November 16th, 2011 by | Posted in Karate Books, Martial Arts Books | Comments Off

by Kazumi Tabata

What fascinated me about this book is that it describes how things happen in slow motion to the experienced Martial Artist in an attack situation.
This is exactly what happened to me when I was attacked once at around 10pm on George St. About 10 young men came along the street looking for trouble.
One of these was actually pushing me once, when I noticed that everything was slowing down. I remember considering using a straight Mae-Geri aiming at his stomach, but then thought that I cannot risk that he gets up again, so I chose a Shuto-Uke to his throat.
After the decision was made I blocked his next attempt to push me around by grabbing his wrists and bending it backwards.
For some reason that was enough to convince him and his friends to back off.

Mind Power

Mind Power

Karate Dictionary

September 19th, 2010 by | Posted in Karate Books | 5 Comments »

Karate Dictionary

This Dictionary focusses on Karate terms and their translation from Japanese into English. It includes Kanjii so that you can recognise the meaning within Japanese Literature. It covers techniques, kata, kihon (basics), stances and more from Beginner (e.g. ‘Heian Shodan’) to Advanced (e.g. ‘Ashikubi Kake Uke’).

It’s compact size makes it an ideal companion on any sort of smart phone/mobile device.
Great value for money!

Karate Kata Applications

September 5th, 2010 by | Posted in Karate Books, Karate Kata Books | 68 Comments »

If you are looking for your first book that introduces you into the applications (Bunkai) and meaning behind the techniques in your (Shotokan) Karate Katas then this is it. But the emphasis lies on ‘introduction’.
It is well described and clearly documented with pictures. The introductory nature come with the basic application scenarios and techniques that are covered. Mostly simple block/counter-attack scenarios.

This is not your book if you are looking for advanced Kata applications, but good if you are on your way to black belt.

Karate Kata Applications

Karate Kata Applications

“BUBISHI” The Bibel of Karate

March 27th, 2010 by | Posted in Karate Books | 116 Comments »

Translation By Patrick McCarthy

Treasured for centuries by karate’s top masters, the Bubishi is a classic Chinese work on philosophy, strategie, medicine, and technique as they relate to the martial arts. Referred to as ” the bible of karate ” by the famous master Chojun Myagi, for hundreds of years the Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa. All of karate’s legendary masters have studied it, or copied messages from it. No other classic work has had as dramatic an impact on the shaping and development of karate as the Bubishi.



Shotokan’s Secret – Shotokan Karate before Gichin Funakoshi

December 3rd, 2009 by | Posted in Karate Books | 1,101 Comments »

Shotokan’s Secret
By Bruce D. Clayton

This is a book that can help closing a number of history gaps that probably many of us have been wondering about.
Most Shotokan karate practitioners are aware , that Gichin Funakoshi is the so called father of modern Karate. On the other hand, there is not very much known about his teachers and what Karate was before it was officially brought to mainland Japan around 1920.
Who were Funakoshi Sensei’s teachers really?
How were thay involved with the martial arts?
The book reveals a number of facts and possible events and scenarios which did / or maybe have helped to make the art become what it is today. Interesting historical facts as much as good ideas help today’s Karateka to understand especially Bunkai better. They are nicely presented in this book. Hope you will enjoy the book as much as we did.

Shotokan Secrets - Karate before Gichin Funakoshi

The Nakayama Best Karate Series

September 20th, 2009 by | Posted in Karate Books | 1,501 Comments »

Here are the missing books (Thanks to Hans for completing the list!) of Nakayama Senseis’ Best Karate series:

Best Karate Vol. 1. “ Introduction “
By Masatoshi Nakayama

This book gives a good overview of Shotokan Karate.
It contains an interesting mix from what Karate is all about, to some basic stands and techniques and a number of technique applications.
It is for sure a good book for beginners to learn some of the basics as much as it can be a guide to help people who start teaching Karate.
Best Karate 1 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate Vol. 2. “ Fundamentals “
By Masatoshi Nakayama

In comparison to Vol. 1. of the Nakayama Karate book series, Vol. 2. is already focusing much more on how to practice stances and techniques. It contains an important range of points to keep an eye on while learning / practicing Karate techniques and also ways of how to easily explain certain things to students such as posture of your body and how to or not to move your body.
Also comparisons are made to other arts and or sports such as Kendo, Dancing, Golf and others. It helps making Karate moves a bit easier to understand in particular for beginners.

Best Karate 2 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate 2 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate Vol. 5. “ Kata1. Heian, Tekki “
By Masatoshi Nakayama

In this book we find the 5 Heian Katas ( forms ) plus Tekki Shodan, Nidan und Sandan.
Every Kata is documented step by step with text and pictures to each technique, front and top view. The most important techniques are pointed out separately at the end of the Kata.
The 5 Heian Katas plus Tekki-Shodan are normally used for colour belt gradings. Tekki-Nidan and Tekki-Sandan are more black belt Katas.

Best Karate 5 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate 5 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate Vol. 6. “ Kata 2. Bassai-Dai, Kanku-Dai “
By Masatoshi Nakayama

In the Vol. 6 Kata 2. book we are moving into more black belt level stage.
Bassai-Dai and Kanku-Dai are essential for black belt gradings.
Like in Vol. 5. both are documented with pictures to each move / technique, front and top view including text.
Now Nakayama – Sensei is adding examples of bunkai ( application).
Best Karate 6 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate 6 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate Vol. 7. “ Kata 3. Jitte, Hangetsu, Empi “
By Masatoshi Nakayama

This book presents the Katas Jitte, Hangetsu, Empi, which are usually learnt around shodan (first black belt) to sandan (third black belt) level.
Again, each move is documented with pictures front and top view as well as text. As this Katas are becoming technically more advanced you will find more pictures of bunkai (application) too.

Best Karate 7 - By Nakayama Sensei

Best Karate 7 - By Nakayama Sensei

Starting Off Your Karate Books Selection

September 20th, 2009 by | Posted in Karate Books | 68 Comments »

Dynamic Karate (Bushido–The Way of the Warrior)
If there is something amongst the selection of all these fine books that we could call the ‘book of books in the world of Karate’ then this is it! This book covers absolutely everything you need to know and keep on remembering, no matter whether you just started or you did your 4th Dan years ago! It covers the basic principles, stances, hip movement and the dynamics in general, kick, punches, kumite forms and much much more! Great overview & great explananations! A real classic in the world of Karate books!
Nakayama Sensei's Dynamic Karate

Level: Beginner up to Advanced

The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate: The Spiritual Legacy of the Master
If you want to understand the essence of Karate – and you will want that if you practice Karate with sincerity – then this is a must.
Directly from the Father of Shotokan-Karate, and yet the principles apply for all styles.

The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate

Level: Beginner up to Advanced

Please check out the books in the other sections on this blog, too!

Karate Kata

Books on Karate Kumite

Philosophy and History of Karate

Books on Martial Arts in General

Karate & Stretching

September 20th, 2009 by | Posted in Karate Books | 175 Comments »

Hi there,

My colleague (who does all sorts of different martial arts and competes at world championships) and I had a quick chat today about stretching. We both agreed that unfortunately quite a few Karate and other Marital Arts instructors don’t really have enough knowledge about the human body in order to conduct and teach a healthy warm-up and stretching routine. And even though he’s not a big fan of books he recommended me this one here: Stretching Scientifically.

I must admit I haven’t read this book yet, but trusting Frank, I am sure this book is a great source to help our muscles to get ready for our Karate / Martial Arts class.

Stretching Scientifically

Stretching Scientifically

Style: All
Level: All

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