Do I need to Know Martial Arts to Enjoy Sanchin?

Today I was asked if you need to know anything about martial arts to enjoy reading Sanchin. No, you don’t!

In fact, if I’m completely honest, you’ll probably enjoy it more if you don’t know anything about martial arts. Here’s why:

Sanchin is a story about a young martial artist. It’s not, nor was it meant to be, a story about martial arts. It’s also fiction and, yes, there is a certain amount of artistic licence in there.

I am fully aware that some of the things that happen in Sanchin probably would not, or should not, happen in a real-life dojo.

But, as the old newsroom adage goes, why let the facts get in the way of a good story? And that’s just what this is. It’s a story, not a book of martial arts facts.

Martial artists can be a cliquey bunch. The “My style is better than your style” crew will have a field day ripping the book apart. For this reason I deliberately avoided mentioning an actual style in the book. (Though practitioners will certainly recognise the one it’s based on.)

‘Father-in-law Sensei’ has raised an eyebrow at a couple of the scenes but, as I said, it’s a novel. It’s just a story about a young boy having to grow up a little faster than he may have liked, who happens to practice karate.

Martial arts is just the vehicle I used to illustrate Tristan’s jouney to maturity.

So, if you know nothing about martial arts, you can still enjoy the book. If you do know martial arts, you may have to suspend reality in a couple of places, but you could still enjoy it.

I hope you will.