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on 8 December 2016
Good book. Gives you a real insight into what training in Japan would be like at such a high level and Scott's experiences are invaluable. At the same time, I would have thought anybody with an iota of sense wouldn't have written so candidly (possibly biased) about the experiences one would face training in such circumstances, and then expect things to be dandy with the Japanese he trained with. I think his expulsion was totally expected given what he has written. I would have thought given the time he spent there, he may have picked up on some of the cultural nuances which are essential to survival and let's be honest, if you're going to a foreign country, you have got to play ball according to their rules. I'm not saying I agree with all of Japanese society and culture, but part of training out there entails a lot of grief and eating s**t as a junior.
All in all, an entertaining and enjoyable read for anybody who practices Karate, Shotokan specifically. However, part of me thinks that a bigger business plan was being cooked up in its inception. And so begins Karate politics, which an entire anthology could be written about!
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on 5 August 2017
Excellent book, I chose this as a near 30 year practicioner of Shotokan. The brutal training which is recounted reminded me of the early training I went through at University which whilst not at the same level of brutality was of the same philosophy. Its a fascinating insight into what makes these people so special. It is also a very personal and honest account of what Scott went through and his experience of living in Japan for 5 years.
This is compelling for any martial artist but also fascinating for anyone who has an intnterest in what drives people to improve themselves or is interested in Japan and its culture.
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on 7 August 2014
As others have commented, this book is unputdownable, read it in two sessions I was completely engrossed. Made me want to go do it too. Am I a masochist?
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on 4 January 2015
Well written and a page turner. I finished the book in 3 days. I'm not sure that full contact is the best way to learn, or whether you're just injured all the time and more likely to drop out.
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on 30 July 2016
A truly fantastic story. Written superbly well, it makes you feel that you were actually there with Scott as he went through his challenges. This book has the perfect combination of humour and seriousness.
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on 22 August 2017
Excellent book, a must read for those interested in karate training in Japan! The story keeps you hooked, I couldn't put it down!
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on 15 February 2017
A gift he was very pleased with it
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on 31 March 2014
we are in front of a great book!
It reads lightly, it is always cheerful, even when it is dealing with the most delicate and painful moments of Scott's experience. It is an amazing insight into Japanese culture and Karate world.
A great book, sensei.
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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.
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on 13 February 2014
I just have to agree with all the rest of the reviews. It's just a funny and brilliant book. Has to be read by all karate-ka. I finished it in two days because i just couldn't put it down. It really does open your eyes as to how hard and strict the training must be in Japan. It honestly shocked me reading this book. It is a must read.
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