Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
both a dark and illuminating insight to intense karate training in Japan
on 27 February 2014
I really enjoyed this book - in fact I devoured it within 24 hours - but I enjoyed it in a different way to other books of westerner's experiences of martial arts in Japan, e.g. Moving Zen, Angry White Pyjamas, Year of the Chicken etc. Scott Langley writes with a brutal honesty about his experiences, although I suspect he has omitted some of the nastier events he encountered - maybe book 2 will be even franker - I hope he writes it. There is a dark theme that runs throughout this book, which all who seek to fulfil their dream of travelling to Japan and being accepted as an equal in Japanese Martial Arts, should take note of. The almost catastrophic mental deterioration due to the intense physical demands of the JKS Instructors Course and the cultural shock of living in Japan is palpable. However, that is not to say that the book is depressing or sad - far from it! Scott Langley interjects some grand, ironical humour in the recounting of his experiences, and taken in context, I think these are a real testament to the integral toughness of the guy. Probably the least romanticised, most compelling book of its type I have read. Well done that man.