Whether you’re a brand-new martial arts student or seeking promotion to any level, Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder’s The Way to Black Belt: A Comprehensive Guide to Rapid, Rock-Solid Results is a great resource.
The authors include a wealth of information, including quotes from other martial arts instructors and students, for students who are looking to begin their martial arts training. As instructors, they know what students are interested in. They have undoubtedly seen fantastic instructors, and ones that leave something to be desired. From setting your goals to picking an instructor to continuing on the path toward and following through with achieving a black belt, Kane and Wilder provide you with smart, measurable ways with which you can tie that belt around your waist.
This book is not written for children, though, as some of the contents of this book may go above their heads (not to mention it’s more than 250 pages long). Instead, parents who would like to get their children involved in the martial arts should read this book to see what it takes to earn a black belt and what they should be looking for when deciding on a training facility and instructor.
The book’s title – The Way to Black Belt – may imply that it is only for martial artists who have not yet received a black belt in their particular style. However, Kane and Wilder provide plenty of things to think about that beyond the black belt level. The resources that are included could help an instructor build a fantastic library of information. I know I’ll be referring to this book often to remind myself about a particular aspect of the martial arts, or to seek out other leaders for their ideas and philosophies.
Additionally, instructors who are running their own schools (or who are interested in doing so) will be able to glean information from this book regarding student interests and items to think about incorporating into their program.
The only part of this book I wasn’t much of a fan of was the pictures. I did not feel that they added much to the message of the book as they were not in color, and most are crammed four to a page. These would be better served for a website, or at least larger, color pictures.
Despite the pictures, I am a big fan of this book. The Way to Black Belt should go on any serious martial artist’s bookshelf.
(Full disclosure: YMAA Publishing Center sent me a copy of this book in order to review it.)