Karate: the Art of "Empty Hand" Fighting by Hidetaka Nishiyama and Richard C. Brown is the perfect starter book for any one wishing to learn Shotokan Karate. It describes all the stances, punches, strikes, blocks, and kicks. An explanation of the application of Karate techniques in self-defense situations is given. Briefly outlined is the history and principles of the art but what is indispensable in the book are the recommended schedules for the different training situations which make this book a perfect guide for the student and helpful manual for the instructor. After learning what is in this book I would suggest moving on to one of the books by Robin L. Rielly; either Complete Shotokan Karate, ISBN 0-8048-2108-9, or The Secrets of Shotokan Karate, ISBN 0-8048-3229-3. My only wish is that the chapters on Kumite and Kata would be expanded but that is why I recommend the two books above as well.