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Karate for Kids    by Robin Rielly order for
Karate for Kids
by Robin Rielly
Order:  USA  Can
Tuttle, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Robin Rielly introduces karate to kids, explaining its history, its value in self-defense, and how to prepare for martial arts training. Though some specifics in the book (like belt level colors) are based on Shotokan karate, the author is open to other styles, and most of the information in Karate for Kids applies across them.

The basics are covered, from how to tie the belt to etiquette within the karate school, the 'dojo'. 'Training tips' are interspersed throughout, such as the use of hip rotation to gain extra power in techniques. Warming up and cooling down exercises are described, followed by a comprehensive introduction to the basic techniques of karate. Stances, blocks, strikes and kicks are explained in detail (including the Japanese terms for them) and accompanied by illustrations that make the positions and moves very clear.

After this comes a discussion of sparring drills for practice, of free sparring at different speeds, and of 'kata'. The author discusses the requirements for advancement in the martial art, and talks about tournament competition as 'a different way to train.' The book concludes with a summary of the physical and emotional benefits of karate training - in muscular development, flexibility, and building confidence - and Rielly tells his readers 'I have told you everything that I can about the practice and benefits of karate. Now, the rest is up to you.'

Though oriented to kids, the detailed illustrations and explanations in this book make it equally valuable for teens and adults starting to train in the martial art. Karate for Kids is thorough and excellent.

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