Anxious Black Belt by Les Bubka
Blurb: Strong and caring people are the pillars of society, and Karate helps to cultivate them.”This is the maxim that Les has developed through his life journey.The Anxious Black Belt details the transformation of a happy child into a troubled teenager who discovered the benefits of the Japanese art of Karate, and his fight to overcome his anxiety.This is a light, fun and easy to read book that touches on the subject of mental health and how it has impacted the life of a young man who is trying to make sense of his feelings.
Iain's Review: I love this book! As a fellow sufferer of anxiety and depression, and a fellow karate practitioner, there is so much in Les’s book that I can relate to. There is often a cultural pressure upon men to appear “strong” and, for reasons I don’t fully understand, any signs of mental health issues are incorrectly deemed to be signs of weakness. Not so! If people have a physical injury, ailment or illness then there is no stigma. Why is it not the same for mental health issues? It should be! When men deny these issues, to themselves and others, it compounds the problem and makes things much worse as a result. We need an open and honest dialogue if things are to improve. Les’s superb book is sure to play a very helpful role in this regard. I know Les. He’s a skilled martial artist. The guy can fight. He’s friendly, warm and caring too. He’s a good man. A strong man. He’s living proof that even the strongest among us can suffer from these issues. This is a powerful work that is sure to help a lot of men. Battling with mental health issues is hardcore. It takes a massive amount of strength to face one’s own internal demons. It’s not weak. Indeed, it’s just about the bravest thing anyone can do. It can be a long, drawn out, dirty battle where we may well pick up a few scars along the way. It’s a battle worth fighting because being more at ease with ourselves, even if it’s just a little bit, is so glorious a prize. Les knows the terrain. He knows the enemy we are facing. You could not ask for a better brother-in-arms for this fight. There’s so much that can be learnt from this book.