Let it be known that I am a biased reviewer. I am a student of Chito-ryu Karate-do and Dometrich Hanshi is my Karate grandfather (he is my teacher's teacher) and I have had the privilege of training under him for over 25 years.
Like many students of the martial arts, I have read many martial arts books, including numerous biographies and autobiographies. I base my review on both personal relationship as well as literary scholarship.
I can say without a doubt this is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read and a must for any student or would be student of martial arts. Particularly those interested in the history of the propagation of martial arts in the Americas. The reason it is so great is that it is so real and so immediate. He is not a writer, he is a story teller, and the material he has to work with is so good.
Dometrich Hanshi is widely recognized as one of the leading pioneers of traditional Karate in the US and this is his personal account of the unlikely events of his incredible life. From a young boy in Clarksville WV to the training halls of southern Japan to becoming a bastion of true Karate-do in the United States. He has been a soldier, a cop, a buddhist monk, and the founder (along with his wife Barbara) of the United States Chito-ryu Karate Federation. It is a Hollywood-worthy story full of excitement, intrigue and heartbreak. It is an easy read made more enjoyable in his own voice.
Dometrich Hanshi will be the first to tell you is is just a guy that was given a job to do and he has done the best he can. In doing so, his influence on the landscape of Karate in the United States over the past 50 years has been profound.
The title "The Endless Quest" underscores his mantra of Shoshin (Beginners mind) : he has seen and learned a lot, but he continues on the path of learning. He has been unflinchingly loyal to his teacher, Chito-ryu Founder Dr. Tsyuoshi Chitose, for over 50 years. A lesson for all of us, but one that is so often lost in this day and age.
Both in the States and abroad, real recognizes real and any "true" karate senior will tell you, Dometrich Hanshi is the real deal, and his life story is an inspiration to us all.
He is true "old school".
It is with great humility that I am the first reviewer of this important contribution to the legacy of Karate-do. It is a great event that this book is now easily accessible to a wider audience.
Recommended without reservation.
Cyna Khalily, MD
United States Chito-ryu Karate-do Federation
Yoseikan Taka no ko Dojo