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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-05-07
  • Publisher: Ymaa Pubns

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FINALIST – Autobiography / Memoirs, 2016 Best Books Award

"A British “karateka” offers a bone-crushing, lip-splitting, and often elegant memoir of a tough guy searching for higher meaning through the study of martial arts." —Kirkus Reviews
"In this memoir describing how karate turned his life around, Clarke displays passion and grit in spades." —Foreword Reviews

Michael Clarke was an angry, vicious kid, a street fighter. He grew up in the late sixties and early seventies in Manchester, England, in a tough neighborhood where, he writes, “Prostitutes worked the pavement opposite my home, illegal bookmakers took bets in back alley cellars, and street brawls were commonplace.”

He left school at fifteenand began his education as a pugilist on the streets. He fought in bars andclubs, at football matches, in parks, and in bus stations—and he was good. He reveledin the victories and the admiration they brought.
It was a life of knucklesand teeth, of broken bones and torn flesh—and the arrests that followed. Clarkewas seventeen when a judge sentenced him to two years in Strangeways Prison, aninfamous place also known as “psychopath central.”
In prison he resolved tochange his life and stay out of trouble, but trouble was everywhere. Hediscovered a world of violent gangs, abusive guards, and inmates engaged in anendless struggle for dominance. Strangeways was a place where a person couldget stabbed to death for taking the bigger piece of toast.
In time Clarke was released,but the transition was difficult and he almost fought his way back to prison. Thenone night he entered a karate dojo and his life changed forever. He began alifetime pursuit of budo, the martial way. He sought knowledge, studied withmasters, and traveled to Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.
Redemption: A Street Fighter's Path toPeace is a true account of youthwasted and life reclaimed. Michael Clarke reminds us that martial arts are notsimply about punching and kicking. They forge the spirit, temper the will, and revealour true nature.

Author Biography

Michael Clarke, Kyoshi eighthdan, Okinawan Goju-ryu, has practiced karate since 1974. He has written overfive hundred articles for international martial arts magazines and authoredfive books. A young street fighter in England who became a disciplined studentof budo in Okinawa, Clarke continues to pursue the tranquility that comes from“the ecstasy of sweat” associated with the practice of karate. Michael Clarke resides in Tasmania, Australia.

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