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Home > Sports Book Review

Karate: The Students Guide to Surviving a Traditional Dojo

How fathers and children can make the most out of their martial arts experience.

karate boy
© Tracy Martinez - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

Do you take your sons or daughters to karate every week? You're not alone. In fact, more and more parents are doing so in order to teach their children self defense, respect, discipline, and physical fitness. Unfortunately the dojo is a much more complex place than your average gymnasium. Recently author Matthew Apsokardu created a free ebook entitled "The Student's Guide to Surviving a Traditional Dojo" in order to address the most prevalent issues that arise when dealing with the martial arts.

The ebook, available here, is set up in pdf format for immediate download. The chapters are broken up into clickable sections so that readers can either go through the whole book, or select a particular topic they are curious about.

The ebook is written to be accessible and valuable to both the students in the karate school and parents watching from the sideline. According to the website, the chapters focus on the following topics, amongst others:

  • Achieving a beginner’s mindset
  • Learning the martial arts uniform and belt
  • Taking care of yourself and avoiding pitfalls
  • Stretching and effective practice
  • Handling problems with teachers and other students
  • Fighting and self defense
  • Dealing with rank and hierarchy
  • Shuhari and lessons in being advanced

The goal of the book is to take a beginner student who just walked through the door and guide them through the many pitfalls and problems that they'll encounter on their way to black belt and beyond.

Many of the topics included are must reads for parents. When dealing with karate, taekwondo, etc. there is a distinct possibility that the parent will notice issues with other students, teachers, and lessons taught. For example, would you know the implications of bowing inside the dojo and the significance of a shinza? These are questions that can sometimes cause religious or ethical unease in parents that stems mostly from a lack of understanding.

Many martial art resources available on the bookshelves are filled with jargon and complex explanations - "The Student's Guide" pares that away and explains things in a very concise way. The structure and writing are light and designed for online reading.

Whatever it is you want your child to get out of karate or taekwondo, it'll help if you improve your personal understanding of the martial arts. What better way to do that than with a free resource designed to answer your questions?

The Student’s Guide to Surviving a Traditional Dojo

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