Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Kids Karate Library...

I've recently started up a small martial arts library for the kids in our club. It's in its infancy at present having only 12 books in it! 

The idea was prompted by a request from one of the parents for some reading material for his son who is an avid reader. We were a little stumped to start with because we hadn't really thought too much about getting the kids to read about karate as well as practice it. So I had a look on Amazon and was amazed to find so many books aimed at children about the martial arts. I selected and ordered a few and set about reading them! 

When I first discussed the idea of a library with the kids they didn't seem terribly enthusiastic - not a single child brought the letter with tear off slip back that I had prepared for their parents.The next week I took the books in to show them and Hey Presto! they swarmed round me like bees to a honey pot! 

Six of the books were loaned out so the library has begun. Here are the books we currently have, some are fiction and some non-fiction:

Story books for our youngest children (Ages 6 – 9):

 The Karate Class Mystery, by Elizabeth Levy.
"The Karate Class Mystery is a book about friends who work together even when their friendship is threatened. The karate stuff is fun and the vocabulary is explained really well. If you like mysteries and karate you should read this one”.

 The Karate Mouse, by Geronimo Stilton.

 “Mouldy mozzarella! When my friend Bruce Hyena and his super-sporty cousin, Shorty Tao, entered me in the Karate World Championship, I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t in shape, and I didn’t know a single karate move. Plus, I only had one week to train! How on earth was I going to become a champion karate mouse in just seven days?”

“The story of Belinda, the youngest and plainest of 16 beautiful princesses, who is ignored by her father and left in the hands of a Japanese tutor. Her education at the hands of this karate expert makes her into a real princess. She must then save her father's kingdom from the wicked princess.”

There are several books in the Karate Princess series by Jeremy Strong – see Amazon

 Angels Don’t Know Karate, by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones.

“Angela Michaels is new in town and she always seems to turn up when people need help. Whether she’s working as a crossing guard or teaching karate, she has a special way of appearing at just the right moment and making wishes come true. Could Miss Michaels really be a guardian angel?”

Story books (10-teens):

 Karate Kick, by Matt Christopher

“Cole Richards has been training in karate for four years. He's on the brink of advancing to his next belt level. But as he prepares for his test, new challenges come his way. First, his dojo announces a "create-your-own kata" contest to take place the same day as his belt test. Now he's torn between practicing for the test and making up a series of moves that will knock his senseis socks off. But before he even begins with either challenge, he lands in trouble with a group of local teens - and then with his best friends, too! How will Cole handle the mounting pressure?

 Sanchin, by KA van Wyk
“Tristan Steyn has two dreams. To represent his country in international competition, and to grade as the youngest nidan in the history of his karate club. 

When be becomes involved in a violent encounter with the brother of a fellow karateka, he fully expects to be dropped from the National Team selections. But Tristan is stunned when his mentor, Shihan Dean Stander, exacts a much harsher punishment. 

Hurt and angry, Tristan goes from being bright and hard working to sullen and difficult almost overnight. But, as friends and family begin to give up on him, tragedy strikes and Tristan is forced to re-evaluate his life and show a strength of character he didn't know he possessed. 

But is it too late to redeem himself in the eyes of his mentor?

Technical karate books:

 Karate for Kids, by Robin L. Rielly

“This is a fun introduction to studying karate designed specifically with the interests and capabilities of young martial artists in mind. Karate for Kids will help prepare them to start learning about karate and help them practise at home. This book includes thorough introductions to the history and philosophy of the techniques, what to expect in the first few classes, how to warm up and practise, and advice on setting goals. The colourful illustrations will help you practice your techniques until you’re ready to advance to higher rankings.”

 The Kids’ Karate Workbook – A Take-home training guide for young martial artists, by Didi Goodman.

“The Kids’ Karate Workbook is an engaging workbook meant to be used at home by young people who want to supplement their regular Karate or Taekwondo training. Drawing on the author’s more than 20 years of experience teaching martial arts to children, the book offers a step-by-step curriculum that traces a typical journey from first-day beginner to intermediate-level student.

Along the way, kids learn about uniforms and etiquette; practice the most frequently used strikes, kicks, blocks, and forms; and unlock the basics of martial arts physics. The curriculum is highly interactive, inviting readers to answer questions and solve puzzles. It also highlights common mistakes to avoid, answers frequently asked questions, and points the way to a deeper understanding of martial arts. The easy-to-follow text is accompanied by 150 illustrations depicting the author’s own students—real kids who are also serious martial artists. While written for youngsters, the book is equally useful for parents who want to assist in practicing at home, as well as instructors who teach children.”

Karate history:

 The Little Bubishi – a history of Karate for Children, by Andrew O’Brien.

The Little Bubishi tells the story of karate and the amazing tales of its legendary masters in an enjoyable way that is intended for children. But the story is enjoyable for readers of all ages. The legends of Karate-Do are brought to life in its beautifully descriptive stories that tell of the heroics and steely determination that embody karate history. The peaceful philosophies behind this multi-layered martial art are too often overlooked, while its graphic fighting forms more often take centre stage. Karate is explained simply, so children may gain a greater understanding of the true meaning and nature of Karate-Do. The Little Bubishi: A History of Karate for Children is essential reading for all young karate enthusiasts.

Books that teach karate values:

 Facing the Double-Edged Sword – The Art of Karate for young people, by Terrence Webster-Doyle.
From the author:
Martial Arts can be a way to peace!
I wrote this book to help young people understand the psychological or mental side of the martial arts to complement the physical training in self-defense. I feel that it is vitally important to create a mental framework for resolving conflict peacefully without the unnecessary use of physical force. I think that giving young people nonviolent alternatives to conflict gives them creative and healthy options to avoid potential harm. Giving children only physical self-defense skills gives them the false impression that they can resolve conflict peacefully. What I call "Mental Self-Defense" needs to be taught so that children can cope with conflict before they have to revert to the use of physical skills. This is very important in today's world where there is so much violence, especially considering the recent school violence. I have been in the martial arts for 36 years and know that what I have written really works! 

This book will help teach young people such important values as courtesy, kindness, honesty, order, respect, and responsibility. It can also help parents, teachers, counsellors, and school administrators who are looking for effective ways to help young people resolve conflict peacefully.

A reader’s review:
“Written in a personable, engaging style that will appeal to kids and adults alike, this collection of short vignettes touch upon a variety of experiences one might have as a student of the martial arts. It illustrates the many opportunities for learning and growth, not only on the dojo floor but in school and at home. Many of the stories offer simple actions for kids to try out so they can put what they read to the test in real life.”

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Charles James said...

Hi, Sue: It is not necessarily a book of martial arts but it is about the Tao, "The Tao of Pooh." Even if it does not fit the kids library you may find it a great intro to the tao-te-ching :-)

Sue C said...

Thanks Charles, I'll check it out...

The Strongest Karate said...

I've seen many of those books during my last trip to the local B&N. My niece is 3 and I'm thiiiiiis close to sizing her for a gi already. And once she's old enough to read on her own, I am sure I'll be purchasing many of these stories for her.

The only thing that gets me (and this is just me being a grown up) is that most MA fiction is so...."crouching tiger" that I dont feel that it gives real MA a fair shake. Then again, I have this complaint for nearly all MA fiction (movies, TV, and books) and should probably cut a these books a little slack since theyre written for children.

What about your library for adults? Any favorites you've read?

Sue C said...

Hi Brett, you know some of the kids karate fiction isn't as 'crouching tiger' as the adults. They tend to be stories about friendship, loyalty, courage etc. My favourite is The Karate Mouse. Another book that I think is great is The Little Bubishi, it gives the history of karate with all the great masters but told in a story style.

Books for adults? I could give you a very long list of these! Perhaps I'll do a post on book recommendations....

SenseiMattKlein said...

Fantastic idea Sue, hope you don't mind if I borrow it!

Sue C said...

Hi Matt, not at all - anything to get kids reading....

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