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27 Feb

Karate books - for kids!

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We’ve had a couple of kids in our club (or rather their parents) ask if there were any suitable books that they could read about karate. We were a little stumped at first because we hadn’t really considered that children might actually want to read about karate as well as practice it. We know plenty of good books for adults but not for kids…

Anyway I decided to set about researching what books were available for children of different ages to see what I could come up with. I was amazed – there are actually a lot of books written especially for children on all matters related to the martial arts from story books to technical manuals to history and cultural books and books that help kids adopt the correct mindset/attitude for studying karate. Here’s a synopsis of some of those books (all books available from Amazon, just click on title for direct link)


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

The Karate Class Mystery 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

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?”

Karate Princess

The Karate Princess and the Cut-throat Robbers, by Jeremy Strong.


“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

Karate Angels

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

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

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.”

Karate Workshop for Kids

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:

Little Bubishi

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:

The Double Edged Sword

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!

Martial Arts Masters

Martial Arts Masters: Black Belt Warriors for peace, by Terrence Webster Doyle


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.

The Way of Martial Arts for Kids

The Way of Martial Arts for Kids, by Kris Wilder


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.”

If you know of any other good martial arts books for kids then please leave a comment or e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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