Volume 5 of the Best Karate series is the first volume in which master Nakayama introduces the student to Kata. Kata is a series of moves the karate student performs by him or herself in order to learn various techniques. Kata in itself can range in technique and difficulty from simple to extremely difficult.
In this volume Master introduces us to 8 simple katas that all karate students learn. There are 5 heian katas and 3 tekki katas. Master Nakayama teaches the student in the Japanese Shotokan style of karate. This is an important note because the student may notice there are minor differences in the kata from the style he or she is learning.
Also the names of the kata are different than what they are called in Okinawan shorinryu karate. For instance Heian kata is called Pinan kata in Okinawa. Also Tekki is called Nihanchi Kata in Okinawa. The numbering of the kata may also be different than in the style you are learning. For instance Master Nakayama’s display of Heian one, is referred to as Pinan Nidan (Nidan being number 2) in Okinawan. Now that has most likely totally confused you, the book is extremely useful in learning these katas, no matter what style you are mastering.
Master Nakayama goes through each kata with extreme precision. The Best Karate series differs from other Karate books in that Master Nakayama displays the katas being performed from different angles on the same page and does not display snapshots of finished moves. He displays multiple images of the moves as they are being performed so the reader can view and understand the body movements.
At the end of the section on Kata, Master Nakayama displays and discusses key moves that the students should learn and perform correctly. This volume is different than in other Best Karate kata series in that Master Nakayama does not discuss bunki (the practical application of key moves in defense).
I highly recommend Master Nakayama’s Best Karate series for anyone who wants to learn karate. The series was published in 1977 and is timeless. There have been many karate books written since then, but in my opinion, few come close to the completeness of Best Karate.