MartialArtsLab continues their review series by looking at a fitness guide from a remarkable Taekwondo 9th Dan Black Belt Grandmaster who has decades of experience and trained hundreds of students.

Black Belt Fitness For Life: A 7-Week Plan to Achieve Lifelong Wellness by Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang from Tuttle Publishing

Black belt martial artsWith knowledge built up through years of hands on experience within the industry of fitness and martial arts Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang (9th Dan) drives home the mantra and importance of a healthy lifestyle through his book Black Belt Fitness For Life.

The clear, direct and effective 7 week fitness routine set out in this book, complimented with personal anecdotes and a practical wisdom earns this Black Belt Fitness an 8/10 from Martial Arts Lab.

The book starts in the usual way of a fitness guide, by earning the reader’s trust and faith in them as an expert. Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang does this wonderfully, not unfairly boasting about skills or claiming experience he doesn’t have. Instead he talks about his tough upbringing from Korea after the war and his forced entry into instructing for his farther, along with his intrinsic love of the sport he does.

The emphasis of this book is obviously to create a change in the reader’s lifestyle. Yes Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang wants you to be healthier and help you lose weight, but he is very clear about  that will yo-yo you back to fat.

Black Belt Fitness gets a lot of credit because of its very detailed diagrams and descriptions to accompany each exercise described. The nutritional advice that accompanies the exercises and muscle builders is also top notch. It doesn’t demand too much from people, it doesn’t describe tricky high protein diets or no carb fads, instead Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang talks using practicality and details a 3-2-1 program designating that breakfast should be the largest meal of the day and dinner the smallest as you no longer need to calories. Practical advice that makes sense to those of us who aren’t full-time athletes and can’t afford to eat 6 smaller meals a day as the experts would have.

Another factor that earns this book a lot of credit is Kang‘s focus on a fully rounded fitness or “Lifelong Wellness”; the need for flexibility, strength that will last, and a proper diet. The areas that lose the Black Belt Fitness it’s 2 points are my disagreements to some nutritional advice – such as taking non-fat alternatives, which are normally very high in sugar to help replicate the taste meaning I would not recommend them as alternatives for a healthy lifestyle – however I can see the logic as for most a calorific deficit is the main focus rather than all round nutritional improvement.

“We can be good role models or bad ones”

Dappled with history, a passion for Taekwondo, great fitness exercises and nutritional knowledge Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang shapes Black Belt Fitness into an effective, light-hearted guide to getting fit by making time for sport and exercise into your life. The ideals are based around lifestyle changes, not fad diets, and although perhaps too much emphasis is on Taekwondo based exercises, that can hardly be criticised considering the book’s title.

However my favourite part of the book is how it makes getting fitter seem so reachable and realistic for everyone out there through making simple changes. This inspiration is needed in any fitness guide, as starting is always the hardest part. A great and easy read, full of very useful  advice for a life style change that will no doubt make you into a fitness Black belt.

If interested in the book and losing some weight through a martial arts based exercise routine (the best type there is..!) then you can purchase Black Belt Fitness by Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang from Tuttle Publishing’s website here.

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A Philosophy graduate with a passion for martial arts, travel and technology. Having done martial arts for over a decade ago I’m still just as obsessed as I was years ago. On Twitter @Colin1224

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