Foreword Review — July / Aug 2002
“It is better to spend three years searching for the best
instructor than to train for ten years under an ineffective one.” With this wisdom gleaned from a Chinese text on Kung Fu, the author summarizes one of the most important aspects of beginning a study in the martial arts.
After all, there are many styles of martial arts—Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, Tai Chi and Aikido, to name just a few—and the task of selecting one to learn can be daunting. Even more difficult can be the selection of an instructor, who will have the biggest impact on whether the training is as enjoyable and productive as it should be.
The author introduces the novice to the martial arts by overviewing the major systems of learning, and providing insight into choosing a style that might best suit the reader. She then offers practical advice on how to go about selecting an instructor and how to get the most out of a workout regimen for both adults and children.
The author holds a Black Belt in Shito-Ryu, has obtained a Master’s degree in English, and has been published in over a dozen countries on five continents. She writes with a fine, concise style and has produced an excellent handbook, explaining the different martial arts styles and the tenets composing each of them.
Becoming committed to learning a martial art will change the practitioner’s life in many ways, both overt and subtle. Courtesy and respect to others, self-discipline, a sense of well being and strengthened confidence go hand-in-hand with the training. All the different schools and styles of martial arts have a common, fundamental goal: to impart the practitioner with the tools to balance body, mind, and spirit for a better life.
This book should serve as a primer for anyone interested in beginning the study of the martial arts. The advice on selecting an instructor alone is well worth the price.