How I Started Writing My First Book and Why I Decided To Write It

by Shawn Kovacich - Date: 2007-01-19 - Word Count: 1049 Share This!

I am often asked why I started writing my first series of books, and although the answer is actually fairly simple, it spans a period of about 12 years.

Ever since I started my martial arts training back in the early 80's, I bought any and every book that I could get my hands on concerning every martial art that I could find. Even if it had nothing to do with the ones I had actually started studying. I had books of all kinds from Aikido to Zen and everything in between. Some of those books I still have to this day.

Several of the books that I bought were ones devoted to the art of kicking. Now it didn't matter to me how good these books were, because at the time I had no idea if they were good or not. I just bought them because they were on the martial arts and because someone had written them. So they had to be good, didn't they? Which brings up a topic for another article, can you learn from a book? Well, if it is accurate and written well, then yes you can. If it is inaccurate and written poorly then your ability to learn from it is sorely limited.

A quote that I have at the beginning of all of my books on kicking is from the late Bruce Lee, and it goes something like this.

"When I first started training in the martial arts, a kick was just a kick and a punch was just a punch. As I started to learn the martial arts, I realized that a kick was no longer just a kick, and a punch was no longer just a punch. After I had learned the martial arts, I realized that a kick was just a kick and a punch was just a punch."

As I progressed in my own training, I began to realize that all of the books, and I mean ALL of the books that I owned on kicking, were lacking in two major areas. First was the lack of detail in explaining all of the finer points of each kick, and the second was the attempt at putting too many different kicks in one book and spending too little time on each one. This seemed to be a common occurrence in a lot of books devoted to the martial arts, and not just the ones devoted to kicking.

Eventually, after going through my collection of about 2,000 martial arts books, I whittled it down to about 200 that I felt were truly worth owning. Although I had gotten rid of a lot of these books, there were still a lot of books that were very good, but were on martial arts that I had little or no knowledge of.

Several years later, I actually sat down and decided to start writing a series of books on kicking after engaging in a discussion with my instructor concerning an article that I had read in one of the many martial arts magazines back in the early 90's entitled, "The No Look Back Kick." The basic premise of the article was the authors attempt to teach you that you could execute a back kick effectively without looking at where you were kicking. I remember wondering at the time if the author had ever heard the expression, "Look before you leap."

I remember telling my instructor that I was more than just a little bit annoyed at the context of this article. I even remember lecturing my students about the absurdity of such a thing and admonished them to never even attempt such a foolish stunt. As a matter of fact, I would compare the act of kicking while intentionally not looking about as intelligent as letting Stevie Wonder behind the wheel of a fully functional and moving automobile.

My instructor listed patiently to my tirade and when I had finished, he gave me this advise, "If you don't do something about it, you've got no right to complain." Wow! Talk about words of wisdom. And this time I listened.

I began writing the rough draft of my first manuscript on an old non-electric typewriter and erasable typing paper. Talk about a chore compared to today's modern computers and writing and photography programs such as Adobe PageMaker(r) and Adobe Photoshop(r). I had been doing this for a couple of years when an associate of mine at the time convinced me to buy a computer and do my book writing on that instead of the typewriter. At first I was skeptical until I actually typed one page and then hit spell-check. After that I was hooked and as they say, the rest is history.

After I had finished the first draft of my first manuscript, which was to be, and is, entitled, "Achieving Kicking Excellence; Vol. #1: Back Kick, I contacted four different publishers who primarily published books pertaining to the martial arts. Now I will not mention who those publishers were, but I will tell you their responses. One publishing company agreed to publish my books, but wanted me to combine them into two large hard back volumes, rather than the current ten volumes. Another publisher liked my book ideas, but didn't want to publish them because I didn't have enough students to justify publishing them. Because in her words, "Who is going to buy your books except for your students." My response to this was that my books were universal in nature and were of great value to anyone who wanted to learn how to kick properly. The other two publishers never even bothered to return my correspondence.

So to summarize, here are the reasons why I decided to write this series of books.

1. To provide the reader with quality information on the subject of kicking.
2. To reach a larger audience with the aforementioned information.
3. To create a higher standard of writing in the martial arts field.

As you read this article, my first two books have already been published and are in print, and have received outstanding reviews from various professionals throughout the martial arts community. The remaining eight books in the first series are written and will be returned from the printer in early 2007. One final thought I would like to leave with you, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I did!

Related Tags: writing, book, back, first, karate, tae, kwon, do, excellence, achieving, shawn, kovacich, kicking

Shawn Kovacich has been practicing the martial arts for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of 4th degree (Yodan) black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Shawn has also competed in such prestigious full-contact bare knuckle karate competitions as the Shidokan Open and the Sabaki Challenge, among others. In addition to his many accomplishments, Shawn is also a two time world record holder for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Shawn is the author of the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence™ series and can be reached via his web site at:

Marc can be reached via his web site at: Kyokushin Karate

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