Product Reviews - Karate Books


--- Simply the best book on sparring. By Martial Arts Book Reviewer on December 13, 2013

The best book I found in sparring. Other books shows you how to kick and punch but this book shows you also when to kick and when to punch to win in a sparring match. If you want to win in sparring, this book will help.

--- Great book By Tom Dekeyser on April 27, 2013

If you like sparring buy this book. It is filled with useful sparring combinations. Any karate fighter who takes kumite seriously should buy it.


--- By Martin Wagner on January 9th, 2014

In this book, the 5 Heian (Pinan also) Katas and Kata Tekki Shodan (Naihanchi) be interpreted from the perspective of self-defense. One of the principles that are used here is that techniques must be simple so that they are also available. The practical part of the book (p.36 - 246) is structured as follows:

All katas are treated for itself: Only the end of the Kata is represented with numerous stills. For Heian Shodan / Pinan Nidan here 60 photos are used. The Katas are displayed in a Korean version, but which, in the form of execution the Shotokan style. On a literal description of the process is omitted. It should be noted that the objective of the book is not in learning the kata, but in their interpretation with a view to self-defense, because despite the many illustrations, learning the Kata bunkai likely without foreknowledge difficult.

Then basic techniques of kata and their possible interpretation are listed, also explained by subsequent screens, this time with a little text. In Heian Shodan / Pinan Nidan that would be the techniques: Gedan Barai, Age Uke, OiZuki, Shuto Uke. The author himself does not use the word technology.

Summarizing he says this, as much as: "It is not the technique is the important thing, but the movement that results from the technique. The term technique reduces motion to a blocking or attacking execution. In every movement but does both. "

This view he shows already in the interpretation of these techniques. After that are derived from the fundamental Kata handles and counter punches. After all 5 HEian / Pinan katas were worked through in this way, follow summarize what throwing and blocking techniques may be included in the Kata and a chapter with contact drills.

For Kata Tekki Shodan / Naihanchi the procedure repeated. I find the book great. It broadened my own horizons, at the same time the exercises are really held so that I can use the book as a quarry to incorporate small pieces over and over again in our training.

What I really liked about the book was that Dan Anderson describes how he came about to deal with Kata and its application. For over 30 years Kata was just a "dance" without practical relevance.

From me the book gets 5 stars. It is clear to me on the same lines as "bunkai Jutsu" by Iain Abernethy. (In the imaging I think it's even better.)

--- By April Wallis on 11 Jan. 2014

I liked this a lot, sensei outlines his approach to kata analysis through the study of the motion applied, I agree, in the past there has been too much emphasis on the start position and the end position and not enough on the obvious 'how you got there', and too much emphasis on supposed labels and not enough on analysis of the real meaning of the moves in kata, - sensei Dan Anderson goes a long way to undoing some of the misleading 'labels' of the techniques in karate.

He uses a pragmatic, common sense approach to analysing the various movements in kata and how you might use these in a real situation (correct distancing and common acts of violence - not just athletic karate ones!). I like the way the book is organised, first you go through the heian/pinan kata looking at how you might use the moves to strike at an opponent, next you move on to throws and finally locks.

The book ends with a look at the naihanchi kata as a close quarter, joint locking drill. Stuffed full of instructional photo's (2 person sequences to show the possible applications) with some description of each move, my copy is of a large A4 format which makes for a good size to look at the pictures. Dan Anderson writes from the perspective of someone who has studied a variety of martial arts styles and uses his experience to explain and inform his kata analysis. He knows his stuff, categorising and naming the various throws and locks etc that karate people may not be so familiar with. Whilst he is not a Shotokan stylist, this book would be of value to anyone who wants to explore practical bunkai of the heian kata and naihanchi, or indeed anyone studying, Pinans, or Tekki kata by any other name.


--- By Airsports Photography on February 10, 2015

Dan Anderson has written in clear language what I knew to be true but could not easily articulate, and he has clearly explained aspects of kata that I hadn't even thought of. As a martial artist with over 35 years of experience, it is gratifying to read and UNDERSTAND a book that clearly explains the several connections between kata practice and kumite (free-fighting). I got my copy and read it in one day. It's a great read and entertaining as well as informative. Thanks Dan!

--- A Clear Answer to "What do Forms have to do with Fighting??" By M. Castaneda, DC, CFT on February 18, 2015

Master "Super Dan" Anderson brings clarity and conciseness to the field of Martial Sport / Art yet again - writing a WORK BOOK on how to relate your Kata (Forms) practice to your Kumite (Free Fighting) based on ATTRIBUTE DEVELOPMENT which has been long overdue. If you've ever been curious as to what you should be getting from your Forms practice (aside from "hidden" combat applications - which Master Dan has also written extensively on) - this should prove a very VALUABLE text. Incidentally, do not let "Kata" in the title misguide you, this work's concepts apply to any Martial Sport / Art with forms / Kata / Poomse / Hyung or other (programmed) "shadow" work.

--- Another excellent book by Prof Dan Anderson By Jessica Schulte on March 2, 2015

Prof Dan is one of my favorite instructors when it comes to learning via media (book and DVD ). Dan is a good communicator, what do I mean by that. Dan takes apart information and reorganizes it well so you can look at and understand the pieces better.

I knew Prof Dan's book would be good and I knew it would be different, what I wondered was how would it be different from other kata bunkai and kata sparring applications books.

Kata & Free Fighting is different it is a how to book but it is also a "why" book. It is not just a kata to kumite book, it's a kumite to kata book. Form to function, function to form. Kata to Kumite and back again.


--- By Loren W. Christensen on February 24, 2011

This is a memoir of a martial arts champion, a man who at various times during the `70s, '80 and `90s was THE competitor to beat in point karate competition. At least twice he was the top-ranked fighter in the United States during a rough and tumble period of competition that at times was all about bloodletting and knockouts.

Dan takes the reader from his very first lesson at 14 years of age all the way to his 50s when he won a national title in the seniors division. Along this journey we see a man, a self-described martial arts fanatic who even lived in a karate school for a couple of years, progress to be a martial arts competition genius, who was admired by as many competitors and fans as those who despised him. But no matter what side you were on, you could not ignore his explosive skill and his ability to bring a tournament crowd to their collect feet.

This is the story of a man who over the years reached the top step in the subculture of martial arts point competition and in so doing became humble. While taking the reader on his extraordinary climb to the top, he never lets us forget that point competition was a game, a violent one, but nonetheless a game.

This is an incredible story that every martial artist should read.

--- By Iain Abernethy on March 14, 2011

We sometimes forget that the martial arts do not exist without martial artists. It is martial artists who make the martial arts and it for that reason I love reading about the personalities who have shaped the arts we practise. It's also easy to forget that the history of the martial arts is still being written. The highly skilled practitioners of today will one day be talked about in the same hushed tones as the masters of the past. It's therefore always great to read about the martial artists of our time from those martial artists themselves!

Dan Anderson has been a hugely influential martial artist and this book is a great read about his own journey through the martial arts. We find many tales about Dan's illustrious competitive career, his fights, his training with Remy Presas, his books, his travels, his experiences and his views on a whole host of subjects. Anyone who has met Dan knows that he is an entertaining and engaging story teller and that talent exists every bit as much in print as it does in person. It's a warm and engaging read with great tales and interesting photographs throughout. He's a genuine and nice guy and the book really captures that. A most enjoyable read!

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Dan Anderson Martial Arts Media