Saturday, July 19, 2014

USA-NKF National Karate Championships

The last leg of the Sonny Leads volume 1 US book tour was the USA-NKF National Karate Championships & US Team Trials held in Reno, Nevada. We received an amazingly warm welcome to our promotion tour and the number of athletes, coaches, officials and spectators who became new readers and embraced the book was fantastic!

At the Peppermill Casino.
Getting support from US Team Coach, Tokey Hill.

The competition was really well organised.

Warming up one athlete from American Sports Karate.
Lots of new readers! Don't worry, volume 2 is in the works!

The Karate Kid movie 30 year anniversary!

While traveling through Encino, LA California a few weeks back on the way to the USA-NKF National Karate Championships in Reno, we stopped at a huge mural for the Karate Kid movie. The timing was perfect not just because of our book publication, but also it is the 30th anniversary of the movie's release.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book tour arrives at LA's Anime Expo!

We had a great time promoting the book as the tour caught up with our publisher, Glenn Kardy of Manga University, at the massive Anime Expo in LA from July 4-6.

What I realised most in terms of how people react positively to the comic book is that this story is really about the human interactions Sonny has with those people directly involved in his life, from his coach and friends to in Japan dealing with the different sensei, his home stay family, his co-workers and his new friends. The vehicle of the story may be about fascinating karate, but the human element of how both in funny and serious ways Sonny deals with one life moment to the next is the most touch element of the book.

So at Anime Expo, when describing the book the potential readers, the karate angle may have caught their eye at first, the story of Sonny's journey through real Japan most intrigued them.

100,000 of cos-players at this event! Wow.

While not a karate sporting event, the reaction from the anime/manga fans to the comic book was actually really great though.

Lots of people had actually done martial arts and many are interested in going to Japan one day.

And it was lots of fun speaking to people passionate about good artwork.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

AAU Nat'ls: old friends meet!

Great to see long-time friend John Fonseca at the AAU Nat'ls today! John has medaled at many national and world championships & we go way back to the late '90's when I was working on a karate documentary about John at the Pan-Am Games.

Thanks for the support helping to promote the comic!

Officials & coaches at a kata clinic.

Very nice AAU T-shirt.

AAU Karate Nationals!

Today and tomorrow I'm at the AAU Karate Nationals promoting the comic book, meeting old friends and hoping to making new friends too.

If you see me walking in the hallway & you are wondering if I have a few copies of the book left in my bag (as the kids are asking me now) the answer is yes, so just come and say hi and I will sign a copy for you.

Thanks to everyone for the great support and good luck to all the athletes, officials & volunteers, I hope you all have a memorable event!


to reach me, my email is richard at )

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Naples, Florida: The comic book tour has started!

The first stop of my book tour in Naples, Florida has gone really well! Everyone seems to really like the comic book, both the beautiful cover, the perfect size, the directory on Japan and of course the story!

Initial comments about the book have been very positive! People really like its beautiful cover, its perfect size and its directory on today's Japanese karate, plus the best part is that both kids and adults have been enjoying the story.

When I ran out of books at a few events some people were so disappointed they found me the next day at the next event to the point I was selling them like hotcakes from the back of the car!

Big thanks goes out to Eric Masino at American Sports Karate for hosting me and helping to get the word out about the book now being for sale!

Another big thanks to George Kotaka, WKF World Champion, visiting from Hawaii to give a seminar at Kurokawa Martial Arts in Fort Myers. I also appreciate everyone there who have offered to help promote the book.

In Naples they asked me to teach classes in their 2 (!) dojo, but also on the beach under the hot, perfect Florida sun.

Here's Eric Sensei (grey shirt) and I putting the students through their paces.

The students were focused, but still fun in the classes! Thanks again everyone! I look forward to being back soon!

The next stages of the comic book tour are:

AAU Karate Championships, Fort Lauderdale, FL, July 2-3

Anime Expo, LA, July 4-6

LA July 7-9 NKF

Nationals, Reno, NV, July 9-13