Book Review: No Pouting in the Dojo, A memoir by Cathy Chapaty

No Pouting in the Dojo – The Imperfect Journey of Teaching Children Character through Martial Arts

A memoir by Cathy Chapaty

This book may seem a little out of the usual genre of what I review.  The book has nothing to do with nutrition or fitness.  I didn’t even buy expecting to review it.  I bought it because this really nice lady who lives on my street wrote a book and I wanted to be supportive. Since I knew she taught kids I figured there would be some cute stories.   Then I read the book.  This book is about people and their journeys.   Its about Cathy’s journey, and her students’ journeys.  That seemed to fit right in with my blog which is about my journey, albeit a different path.

Early in the book Cathy explains how she began teaching and explains the 10 “rules” of Tae Kwon Do, which have nothing to do with the way you kick or breaking boards , or wax on / wax off.   These are 10 rules to live by.    All of these rules will enhance your quality of life if you never step on a mat.  These are rules about managing personal relationships and difficult situations.  Rules about managing your life.  These are Cathy’s stories about teaching these rules to the children under her instruction, and learning these rules from the same children she taught.  This is about her journey to live these rules as she dealt difficulties in her own life. Some of the struggles were about some very adult issues such as managing addiction and dealing with addicts in the family that do not seek help. Some of the stories were just do darn cute.  I loved the little girl who was disappointed that there would be no trips to the ER.  She wanted a field trip, doggoneit.

My Journey and Why I Needed this Book

I’ve been on a journey for over 2 years to reach a place in my life when I am not my own worst enemy at the dinner table.  I want to reach a place where when the going gets tough, Elizabeth doesn’t reach for a bag of chocolate chips or a quadrupel aged belgian ale.  (The belgian ale has more calories than the bag of chocolate chips and enough sugar to put you in a serious insulin haze.)  I have time periods where I have set quite the example, and then there has been the last 5 months.  I had no idea when I packed Cathy’s book to read on the plane that this book was what I needed. You’d think that someone who has fallen off the fitness / nutrition wagon would find inspiration from the wellness / fitness world, but that wasn’t working for me this time.  Logically I know and have personally experienced the transformations that come from a physically fit and healthy lifestyle in the kitchen.   What I have been lacking was the spiritual side of the journey that addresses the reasons that I emotionally eat and knowingly make self defeating choices. (I’ll just watch one more episode of TV rather than that run I promised myself.  I can run tomorrow.)

How this book  has helped me on my journey and how it may help you

Reading about Cathy’s “Imperfect Journey” reminded me, that its not going to be a perfect step 1, step 2 process.  Life is going to happen and I really need to start focusing one day at a time and let the weeks and years take care of themselves.  I need to learn to practice control and that practice is one event at a time.  Even after I start seeing successes, I’ll still have some failures, and that is okay.   This is just the flying side kick to the seat of the pants that I need.

Thank you, Cathy

Check out the books’s facebook page –

Or buy it on Amazon today


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