Friday, December 7, 2012

Martial Arts Adventures in Japan by Andrew Zerling

 A Kyoto green tea ice cream cone anyone?

I travel through others.  My latest trip I visited major cities/places in Japan with Andrew Zerling. He planned his trip to study martial arts, but to me that was a side step. I enjoyed being a tourist alongside Andrew Zerling as his writing is descriptive, informative, and inviting.

Andrew wrote with a journal in mind, however, it read like a captivating story. When asked to read and review Martial Arts Adventures in Japan, it brought two things to mind. The first was my memory of taking Karate in 1981; the other was my son visiting Japan with his friend in 2001. I was intrigued to revisit Japan through Andrew Zerling’s martial arts adventures.

Interesting facts to me:

I was surprised to learn the martial arts training Andrew received in the U.S. was practically identical to Japan’s training.

As an avid green tea drinker, I now yearn for Kyoto’s green tea ice cream cone.

I have never eaten sushi, but my sons enjoy it every now and then. When I get up enough nerve to accompany them to their next sushi meal, I wonder if I will be the only one who is aware of  the correct way to handle a piece of sushi.

As for Andrew’s journal of Japan’s martial art schools, it is an absolute must read for anyone following in Andrew’s footsteps. He described each school he visited and compared the training experiences. He added numerous invaluable links to everything a student would need to train in Japan.

Although the book is less than 100 pages, you can’t skip anything, because Andrew included tips from preparing for your trip to Japan, including how to learn enough of the Japanese language to survive, how to appropriately present a business card, (yes, these are very important in Japan), riding The Rail, sightseeing, and the bath houses, just to name a few focal points.

For the martial arts student, Andrew highlighted everyone he met in the schools he trained in. He described how the schools operated, he shared clues for the appropriate etiquette to use, including what is legal and illegal, (yes, there are differences in Japan from the U.S.), and he listed numerous links for schools, including phone numbers.

Andrew Zerling has done all the work for anyone wanting to visit Japan as a tourist or a martial arts student in his book, Martial Arts Adventures in Japan.

To quote Andrew - “With great preparation comes great success. I wish you happy traveling.”

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