Paperback - 273 pages (May 2001) Unknown; ISBN: 059517986X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.76 x 9.04 x 6.02
A young karate student and his training with top instructors. Adventures as a police officer. Practical, realistic martial arts training. Accounts of actual street fights.
Steady Training describes the journey of one man through
30 years of martial arts training. From the first karate class with a newly
arrived Japanese instructor in 1971, he goes on to study with eminent martial
artist of today. Among them are, Toyotaro Miyazaki, the nationally rated
competitor of the 60s and 70s described by Chuck Norris as one of his toughest
opponents, and Ken Ogawa one of the toughest fighters to come out of Morio
Higaonna's Yoyogi dojo. The other instructors are Kiyoshi Yamazaki, trainer
choreographer for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Conan movies and Joko Ninomiya, All Japan Kyokushin Champion and creator of the Sabaki Challenge tournament. Memorable moments depict meetings at the AAU Nationals with notables as Billy Blanks, Mr. Tae Bo, and Chuck Merriman. As a young student
in the traditional Shotokan system, this narrative chronicles the transition to the eclectic modern training methods. This evolution was the result of hard-earned lessons in real life encounters while working as a Miami police officer on the mid-night shift.
Reviewer: Stanley Booth from St. Simons Island, GA United States
Antonio Bustillo is like a character in an Elmore Leonard book. Leonard is perhaps the finest living practitioner of the crime novel, that pedestrian form brought to celestial heights by Leonard and his predecessors Chandler, Cain, and Hammett. Among precious few others.
Bustillo's like a Leonard protagonist because he's ornery, honest to a fault, a modest but proud man whose girlfriend's seat in a bar he will not allow a rude person to usurp; in a word, a stand-up guy. One key to Bustillo's character, he's not really American (he was naturalized), he's Cuban. His grandfather was a beloved pharmacist in Guantanamo. His parents fled Castro's totalitarian regime when Antonio was five. At twelve, slight of stature and going to junior high school in Miami, he kept a lead pipe wrapped with newspaper in his locker. At thirteen, he started studying karate. It was his enormous good fortune that two students of the great Kenkojuku sensei Tomasaburo Okano, Koji Sugimoto and Takashi Akusawa, were teaching in Miami during the years of his early training. (He made black belt at sixteen in the days when rank wasn't given lightly.)
In this day when Chuck Norris poses in catalogs in a stars-and-stripes karate outfit, it's thrilling to read Bustillo's account of what it was like for him, as a teenager, to train with the incomparable Akusawa (or Akazawa), whom Bustillo calls "to date the best karate man I have seen," adding, "Akazawa would hit everyone 99.9% of the time."
This is only the beginning! This book is like "Huckleberry Finn," if Huck, not Mark Twain, were doing the actual writing -- don't look for smooth flawless style -- and if Huck were a serious martial artist exiled from the nearest Communist satellite. There's a movie in this book. Bustillo becomes a Miami police officer! Thrills, chills, and spills! And the most amazing thing about it is that Bustillo, whose thinking has altered greatly since he endured the many thousands of drills as a teenager -- has written this book not in praise of himself (well, maybe a bit, but never directly, and only when it's due) -- but in praise of the worthiness of the martial arts when properly viewed by one whose vision is that of service rather than self-promotion.
Martial artists will devour it; so will anybody who wants to read about some true-life adventures among the toughest of the tough.
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