Shoto Budo Reviews

My First Look at Karate
Review Written by - Bob McCafferty

If you’ll pardon the pun, at ‘first glance’ My First Look at Karate is evidently very reader friendly being targeted at younger people practicing the art for the first time as well as those who are already committed to regular practice. The book provides an informative introduction to Karate and the author uses the right language and humour to stimulate young imaginations. The front cover immediately attracts young readers to open the book which then invites them to explore the origins of Karate and learn about general etiquette, exercise and karate practice.

The book is a useful educational guide that enables parents and other adults to talk to younger people about Karate with the aid of quizzes and word games. The illustrations make for ease of reading with two cartoon characters taking the young reader through each of the sections imploring them to take part by saying “let’s find out” (how karate came about) and ”let’s join in” (the karate practice). The cartoons can also be coloured in thus adding to the fun approach to learning as the young reader progresses through the book’s contents.

Particular learning points are reinforced by the endearing cartoon face that appears on the book’s cover and at the sides of the pages, which provides comments and definitions such as “meditation means lots and lots of deep, deep thinking” whilst prompting “why don’t you try to sit without moving for a few moments” (a sentiment many parents would no doubt share on occasion!)

Although the author has practiced and taught Shoto Budo Martial Arts in particular for a long number of years, he explains that “this book seeks to give younger members of the public a useful guide to some of the elements of Karate, in order that they are not overawed, frightened or misled as to what Karate is”. The book certainly allays any uncertainties, through lack of knowledge, that its young readers and their parents might have and indeed the book will appeal to the widest possible audience interested in knowing more about the art of Karate.

The author, whose family also practice Karate, had a keen interest in producing this book as he found that there was a scarcity of children’s books in this area that would help his own children to talk about the interest in Karate they shared with so many others. The author has achieved his goal as many parents and guardians will now have a clearer understanding about the art of Karate as a form of self defence and athletic training that helps build their children’s character, self confidence and self discipline as they grow and develop.

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