I. LET'S TRY KARATE. 1. Why Try Karate? Do: Connecting Mind and Body. Jutsu--Learn That There Is a Time and a Place for Everything. The Sporting Life.A Thousand Good Reasons, but These Are the Main Ones.Karate Is for Just About Everyone. Kick Fast or Kick Slow. Kick Those Pounds Away! Kick Those Blues Away!2. The Roots and Branches of Karate-Do. The Roots and Branches.From Chinese Court to Rice Paddy. History in a Name.Kick Hard or Kick Soft.Throw Away Your Weapons and Fight!Going to Japan. Coming to America. Spread Throughout the World. Styles, Styles, Styles!3. Karate Fitness Power: The Art of Contrast. Get Ready: Is Your Body Off-Balance?Be Soft and Be Hard. Be Slow and Be Fast. Be Strong and Be Weak. Be Calm and Be Intense.Be Ready: Is Your Mind Off-Balance?Control Your Anger. Control Your Fear. Fear and Anxiety: Control Yourself.The Ki to Success: The Force Is with You.Strength from the Gut. Breathing Is Life, Not Breathing Is ... Focus on This: The "Secret" of Karate.In This Corner, Karate: How It Stacks Up.Anaerobic Aerobics. Throwin', Kickin', and Jumpin'. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch! Lift, Push, and Hold.4. Kick the Cobwebs Out of Your Head. Karate's Code: The Citizen Warrior.Character. Sincerity. Effort. Etiquette. Self-Control.What's All the Shouting About? Karate to the Rescue: Kids at Risk. No Teams, No Cuts, No Limits. Up the Academic Ladder.II. LET'S GET STARTED. 5. Find the Right School. More Than Just Kicks and Punches.Is Karate an Art or a Sport?How Do I Know Which School Is Right for Me?It's All in the Name. Size Really Doesn't Matter. Ask Questions First, Act Later. Getting to the Heart of the School. Money Matters.Watch and Decide. Is She a Good Instructor? How Long Are the Classes? How Much Should It Cost?Should I Sign a Contract?Will I Get Hurt? Who Certifies Whom?.6. Welcome to the Dojo. The Stuff on the Walls. The Written Rules. The Unwritten Rules.Say What, Sensei? When to Talk, When to Listen.Try Your Best. From the Dojo to the Street--Follow the Rules.Be Aware. Giving It Your All.Karate Do's. Karate Don'ts. Scared Stiff: Your First Class.What Happens in Class? Don't Be Late! When to Bow. Hold That Pose! Huh?Mental Notes and Written Quotes. The End.7. Dressed to Kill: The Uniform. Looking the Part.Color Matters.Wrapped and Tied.Tie It Square.Going to and From. What About Size and Style? What, No Colors? Pins and Patches. Cleanliness Is Next to Enlightenment.III. LET'S GET MOVING. 8. How to Practice Karate. Open Eyes and Open Mind. Bowing 101.Standing Bow. Sitting Bow. Up, Down, and Straight Across.My Body Won't Do That! If Your Body Is a Temple Build a Good One! Getting Looser: You Need to Stretch!Some Basic Rules About Stretching.Getting Stronger. Getting Faster. Lasting Longer. It Takes a Spark.Breathe Out Fear, Breathe In Strength. The Eyes Have It.Okay, It's Time to Throw Your Weight Around.Twist It! Snap It! Move It! Lift It! Drop It! Compress It! Swing It!The Main Goal: Putting It All Together.9. Stand Up for Yourself: Stances. Stand and Deliver! Ready for Anything: Shizen Tai, Natural Stances.Be Official: Attention Stance and Open-Leg Stance. Anything Goes: Free Stance.Solid as a Rock: How Low Can You Go?Front Stance: Zenkutsu Dachi. Stepping: Moving from One Stance to Another. Horse Stance: Kiba Dachi. Side-Stepping: Keeping the Same Leg Forward. Back Stance: Kokutsu Dachi. The Sumo Square Stance: Shiko Dachi. Rooted Like a Tree: Rooted Stance, Fudo Dachi.Stick and Move: High and Quick Stances.Light as a Cat: Cat Stance, Neko Ashi Dachi. Got the Time? Hourglass Stance: Sanchin Dachi.10. The Building Blocks of Self-Defense. In Defense of Yourself. Why Do We Block? No, It's Not What You Think. Incoming! Hard Blocks. Oops! Cover Your Head! Hey! Protect Your Body! Ouch! Protect Down There! Smooth and Easy: Soft Blocks. Sweep It Past! Guide It Around! Three Keys. The Right Course. Your Right Position.The Right Angle.Get It Right! Timing: The Fourth Dimension.11. Punching In. The Heart of Karate. A Solid Fist Is a Happy Fist. Straight In.Reverse Punch. Lunge Punch. Short Punch.Go Around. Up Close.12. Striking Out. Striking Forward.Whip It. Stick It.Closed-Hand Strikes.The Back-Fist Strike. The Bottom Fist Is a Hammer.Open-Hand Strikes.The Knife-Hand Strike. The Ridge-Hand Strike.Or Just Smash It: Elbow Strikes.13. Kicking Back. Setting Kicking Straight. Snap It or Lock It?Snap It! Lock It!Let's Kick It Around.To the Front. To the Side. From the Back. All Around. It's Time to Sweep the Floor.Make Them Work: It's the Momentum!IV. LET'S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. 14. Karate's Dynamic Deadly Dances of Death: Kata. What Is a Kata?. Name That Kata. Physical Kata Training. Mental Kata Training. Kata and Kinesthesia. The Elements of Kata.The Terms You Need to Know. Kata's Big Three.Do Kata Techniques Work? Who Makes Up the Kata?A Beginner's Kata: Heain Shodan.15. Sparring: It's Different When You're Face to Face. What Is Sparring?. Start Simple. Step by Step for Self-Defense.Three Steps. Five Steps. One Step. Surprise!Free for All.It's All in Your Head. Have a Plan: Strategy. Everything but the Kitchen Sink.In the Nick of Time: Timing.Better Late Than Never. One for One. The Sooner, the Better.Hey, Just Stand There for a Minute, Will Ya? From Kissing Range to Kicking Range. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.--Find Out What It Means to Me. Safety's Great, but I Gotta Hit Something.The Makiwara: The Heart of Karate. Big Bags and Little Bags. Shields and Moving Targets. Boards and Bricks.16. The Ancient Weapons of Karate: Kobudo. History and Traditions.Weapons from the Fishermen. Weapons from the Farmers.Modern Uses. Ancient Weapons and Modern Laws.17. Samurai Strategy: Defending Yourself. Common Sense First.Samurai Strategy on Your Own. Samurai Strategy in a Crowd.Safety Tips. Defend Your Body, Not Your Ego. Talk Your Way out, but Stay Alert. The Company You Keep--It Isn't Always Strangers. Karate at Home: Domestic Violence. Do What Works. It's the Size of the Fight in the Dog. Law and Order.V. LET'S TEST OURSELVES: BELTS, RANK, AND COMPETITION. 18. All the Colors of the Rainbow. Why Belts?. What the Colors Mean. How Long Until I'm a Black Belt? Why Can That Brown Belt Kick Higher Than That Black Belt? When Can I Test? Who Tests Me? Who Tests Them? The Kyus to Success: Up the Rank Ladder. The First Test. How Much Do I Need to Know? Under the Microscope: Karate's Three Ks Plus the Kun. When Will I Get the Results? What If I Don't Pass? What If I Do Pass? Typical Novice and Middle-Level Tests. Setting Goals in the Novice Ranks. Setting Goals in the Middle Ranks. Brown Belt: The Black Belt's Apprentice.19. The Point of the Pyramid: First-Degree Black Belt. The Real Question: What Is a Black Belt? Not an Expert, but an Expert Beginner. Play the Percentages: Who Stays, Who Goes. Grandmaster Who? The Upside-Down Pyramid: Advanced Dans and Mastery. Advanced Karate-Do Is About Obligation. What the Ranks Mean.Shodan--First-Degree Black Belt. Nidan--Second-Degree Black Belt. Sandan--Third-Degree Black Belt. Yondan--Fourth-Degree Black Belt. Godan--Fifth-Degree Black Belt.Recommended Ranking. Honorary Ranking. School to School and Style to Style.20. Duel in the Sun. Types of Tournaments. Karate Tournaments Are Really Pretty New.The First Tournaments. From Club to Club ... ... To the Big Time. National Pride.It's Not a Free-for-All.Withhold Your Hand or Withhold Your Anger. Razor Rings and Slashing Bracelets. Bulletheads and Bullies.If Your Body Goes Where a Foot or Fist Is.Fight Hard but Play Safe: Gear Up!When Can I Compete? Who Fights Whom?Ladies and Gentlemen of All Ages ... Watch Your Weight. Karate Tots.Going Solo--or One of the Pack. Don't Burn Out: A Tournament a Week? Family Feuds: Karate Politics 101. The Bottom Line on Competition.21. Know the Score--There Are Many Ways to Compete. Sparring: The Basics. Sparring: Scoring Points.How to Win: Make It Perfect. Be on Target. Be Careful: There Are Lots of Ways You Can Lose. Don't Do That Again! Final Point.Pick Your Game: Reading Between the Lines.From "Touch, You Lose"; to "Hey, Get Up and Fight!" Play by the Rules. Parental Discretion Advised.It's Not All Fighting: Competing with Kata.More Than Just a Pretty Face. Cover These Bases. What's the Score? Get It Together.Kobudo Competition.22. Okay, Just Point Me in the Right Direction. How Much Is This Going to Cost? It's Fun to Go with a Group. Aagghh! It's Tournament Day.Can't Sleep. Can't Eat. Where's the Bathroom? Hurry Up and Wait! Opponents Are Easy--It's the Butterflies That Get You! Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself. Keep Cool: This Is No Place for Hotheads.Officials--the Toughest Job. A Short Conclusion.APPENDIXES. A. Associations and Federations. B. Publications and Resources. C. Glossary. D. Elements of Technique Evaluation. E. Novice and Middle-Level Rank Examinations. F. Self-Defense Safety Tips. Index.
Randall G. Hassell, seventh-degree black belt, is a first-generation American to pioneer Shotokan Karate and Chief Instructor of the American Shotokan Karate Alliance. He has written, edited, or contributed to 28 books on karate and more than 100 magazine articles.Edmond Otis, director of martial arts at Riverside and chairman of the American JKA Karate Association (AJKA), is a sixth-degree black belt and one of the permier American karate instructors of his generation.