From: Curt McCauley, Chief Instructor, Channel Town Soo Bahk Do

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for “Always”. Now I will have to go out and find your other writings.

Keep up the good work.

It’s very cool to get email from an ex-police officer/woodworker/martial arts teacher who thinks I got some of it right. Thank you. The way I work is based on a little research and a lot of imagination. It’s such a relief when readers tell me I haven’t screwed up totally.

When I start to imagine things–such as Norway, or being police, or facing marriage in the seventh century–I can tell when it starts to feel right. It’s a bit like doing that martial arts multiple attacker thing, where you stand in a circle of ‘attackers’ and turn off the frontal cortex, just became a fluid instant-reaction organism–it sounds impossibly zen, and it must look like a ridiculous scene from Star Wars with Luke trying to feel the force–but I can tell when I drop into the zone. I feel very, very calm, but also as though I want to bubble with laughter, and my blood feels super-oxygenated.

But just because it feels right doesn’t mean it is. So it’s extremely reassuring to hear from you.

I know that martial arts don’t necessarily have much to do with self-defense, but if you’re involved in teaching/thinking about self-defense there’s a new website,, that you might find interesting. (It’s brand new to me–they contacted me yesterday, after they read my Huffington Post rant about tasers–so I’m not necessarily recommending it, just pointing it out.)

So, thank you once again, and I hope you enjoy the other books.