View Full Version : Steady Training

Carlos S. Velez II
5th September 2001, 14:44
Last Saturday (9/1/01) in PM I Started reading Steady Training and before I went to bed I had read it all. I couldn't take my eyes
off the book. So well written and interesting it brought back so
many memories. As I read Bustillo's experiences I relived mine. I
really enjoyed the names of some of the personalities he mentio-
ned, like, Chuck Merriman, Glenn R. Premru, Jon Bluming, Toyotaro
Miyazaki and Joko Ninomiya, to name a few. Here in Florida, Gomez, Aguilar, Agon and J. Martinez. These are wonderful Budokas. I believe this book should be part of every Martial
Artist's library. It is true that it wasn't written by an Oriental
GrandMaster that nobody knows where the guy came from. BUT,
it was by a Cuban Budoka, with over 30 years in Budo, who trains
every day (that's the way it should be, right ?), whose passion for Budo and his Bushido are unquestionable. This is the book
you can read several times over, specially when you need a little
push. Definitely, inspirational and motivational. OSU !!

Carlos S. Velez II Martial Arts Writer

26th September 2002, 22:49
I wrote this up for my school and as a customer review on amazon. thought I'd post it here...


With its plain yellow jacket and simple title, "Steady Training" by Antonio Bustillo seemed that it would be a drowsy wandering through a long list of the author's techniques and teachers. My presumption was quickly negated by the third paragraph in the preface - this book is an exciting ride through the different emotions that can drive a man to dedicate his life to training in the martial arts and some of the resultant experiences.

This book start out describing Antonio's early days of "blood and guts" training in Shotokan. The first few chapters are reminiscent of the "Empty Hand" books by Stan Schmidt. The autobiography takes an appealing turn as the author describes some of the dangers that can arise while venturing into a foreign school with the honest goal of joining. He and his brother were intending to train at a local karate school after moving to Venezuela. Antonio made the initial blunder of declaring and asserting his black belt rank at this new school, which incurred the wrath of this self-righteous group. Over his few weeks there, he fought through the different challenges. After an encounter which left one of the group's brown-belts with a broken knee, Antonio was wisely advised by an acquaintance to stop training there. This was a lesson that seemed to have stuck very well, and Antonio gives many examples of similar "new guy" scenarios.

Along similar lines, we are presented with quite a few stories of braggarts with extravagant claims. I felt a satisfying warmth in my belly as he describes how some of these charlatans have their lies exposed, mostly by being trounced. In the opening story Antonio describes a trumpeter he met before a seminar that he was running with a friend at a kung-fu school. The student did not know them by name and so they were treated to a condescending description of the "bad-ass" instructors who would be presenting that day. Additionally, he waxed vauntingly about his own top ranking in the class as well as his innate ability to intimidate people. His superior attitude continued on through the seminar and this student found himself on the receiving end of dojo justice.

Some might be quick to dismiss the author as a belligerent lug-head who is hell-bent on establishing his superiority in the realm of physical combat, but I would beg to differ. Antonio clearly describes that there are many ways of administering discipline within the realms of a martial arts school. In the chapters outlining his time as a police officer, he gives examples which testify to his sensitivity to matching different levels of violence accordingly - as opposed to meeting each affront with ruthless cruelty.

At times, I found myself empathetic towards our author. At others I felt embarrassed, as his stories caused me to look contemplatively at my own thoughts, feelings, and expressions. I feel this book has helped me think more clearly about why I choose to train in the martial arts. If you are a martial artist or are considering venturing down this path, you should read this book.