Review: The 87 Fold Path To Being The Best Martial Artist

No matter what stage of your martial arts journey you’re in, you should get The 87 Fold Path To Being The Best Martial Artist by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder.

The 87 Fold Path To Being The Best Martial ArtistThis book is 330+ pages, but it’s an easy read because it’s divided into (you guessed it) 87 chapters. Each chapter reads like a blog post, so the book essentially is a collection of blog posts.

I dog-eared about a dozen chapters that I want to further consider for my martial arts training and my life.

In fact, it helped me make a couple of important decisions already about my training.

I’d imagine that whenever I re-read this book, I’ll mark different chapters because I’ll be at a different stage.

Three main thoughts stick out to me after reading Kane and Wilder’s latest book…

Broad vs. Deep

The authors advocate deep knowledge instead of broad knowledge. As I read this book, I was also reading Positioning For Professionals by Tim Williams. Williams urges companies to use positioning to differentiate themselves from their competitors. I couldn’t help but notice the parallel between martial arts and business in this instance.

Be Brutal In Your Approach

Wilder and Kane say you should try to break what has been taught to you. Find ways a technique doesn’t work so that you can find a way it does work. And get new information to fold back into your martial art. With this approach, you can find what your art really means.

Find Where The Path Appears

The authors talk about finding the point in your journey “where the target fell away and the path appeared.” I thought I would share my story about that here.

For three years, my target was black belt. Once I achieved it, I set a goal for my 2nd degree. Since then, I took a detour and found some new martial arts and an additional instructor. I learned that karate wasn’t the only martial art out there, and that other martial arts are just as – if not more than – effective as karate. I recognized similar movements and techniques, allowing me to pick up the old Yang-style form more quickly than others who started with me that didn’t have martial arts experience. My instructor has exposed me to new people and new places. In the past five years, this experience has led me to better understand what Kane and Wilder talk about in their previous works.

Thanks to Kris Wilder for sending me a copy!

By Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is a B2B marketing professional, a black belt martial arts instructor, DDP Yoga instructor, and a personal trainer.