|About the Book|
If you’re expecting a story about honor, respect, discipline, commitment and all the other nonsense that Hollywood and the storefront family karate schools tell you is synonymous with martial arts- you’re going to be disappointed.If you’re expectingMoreIf you’re expecting a story about honor, respect, discipline, commitment and all the other nonsense that Hollywood and the storefront family karate schools tell you is synonymous with martial arts- you’re going to be disappointed.If you’re expecting a story that paints the martial arts community as a group of humble, deadly-yet-insightful warriors, who shape lost, wayward youths into confident and productive members of society- you are going to be similarly disappointed.If you’re expecting a chronicle of kicking-ass-and-taking-names- once again, sorry.That is for the tourists, the rubes, the blissfully ignorant suburban middle-class couple that cheerfully forks over their hard-earned cash to watch some barely-qualified instructor wrap a piece of black electrical tape around their child’s belt every three months so they can look forward to how wonderful it will be when their pride and joy has earned the rank of Master before his balls drop. They don’t know what really goes on behind the scenes in world of martial arts, and they don’t want to know.If that sounds like you, it’s probably best that you stop reading now.The truth is this is a world filled with liars, child-molesters, petty criminals, egomaniacs and hustlers, all of which will be discussed in-depth. This is a world where the deadliest instructors are usually guys you’ve never heard of, who often can’t hold on to students because, whether it’s motivated by deep-seeded psychological issues, drug addiction, arrogance or just plain run-of-the-mill cruelty, they like to dance on the line between ‘hard training’ and ‘physical abuse’.This is a world where the most respected and influential people are often the shadiest of the bunch. A world where brainwashing children into believing you’re a superhuman, unstoppable, magic killing machine is just part of doing business- if you can get their parents to buy into it, so much the better.This is a world where politics rule, where alliances are forged, backroom deals are made, and friends and mentors are betrayed. This is a world where rank (and therefore respect) is a largely for sale, a commodity to by bought and sold. At the highest levels titles and rank are often awarded through running in the right circles, paying dues to the right people, and kissing the right asses. Of course, if that seems distasteful to you, you can always just award yourself the rank – it happens a lot.There are some talented, well-meaning, honest, wise, ass-kicking people in this field. Unfortunately, as you will see, they are the exception to the rule.Though this is, in large part, an exposé on the lessor-known elements of the martial arts world, it is also a very personal story about author’s first twenty-nine years of his journey in the martial arts.It’s the story of how the martial arts, despite the harsh realities that will be discussed, allowed him to overcome paralyzing low self-esteem and life-threatening depression through the tools that his training gave him. This is the story of how a depressed, introverted youth endured two-and-a-half decades of lies, corruption, and abuse to learn the skills needed to be a success in life.Finally it’s the story of Libre Fighting, the knife fighting system he created, and the brave new world in which Libre Fighting now thrives. A world free of the lies, abuse, and manipulation he endured coming up through the ranks.