Karate Clever: Searching for a New Way

By Scott Langley

Mason Press

 

Scott Langley always punched above his weight in karate, being possessed of a singular combination of talent and dedication. A black belt in six years, captain of the British karate team and 1997 European and world champion, he moved to Japan with the specific ambition of becoming only the fifth foreigner to complete the gruelling Japanese instructors’ course. His book, Karate Stupid, followed – and promptly earned him bile by the bucketload from his masters in Japan and expulsion from their rarefied circles. Karate Clever is his account of how his British and Irish karate organisation, by the release of the first book already a roaring success, managed to chart a course to survival and continued growth. This was despite the personal opprobrium suffered by Langley as a result of the earlier “lies” about and “misrepresentations” of Japan. Given the hoops he had to jump through to keep body, soul and foundation together, it was to prove just as well that Langley was closely acquainted with the concepts of self-sacrifice and persistence. Perhaps the lesson here is that honour doesn’t extend far beyond karate’s floor mats and that bitchy politics isn’t confined to the fetid corridors of power.