Kenneth Mark Hoover Writer Biography

Kenneth Mark Hoover

Kenneth Mark Hoover


Kenneth Mark Hoover has sold over sixty short stories and articles. His fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and many other magazines and anthologies. His first novel, a dystopian SF called Fevreblau, was published by Five Star Press in 2005. He is a member of SFWA and HWA. His interests include Shotokan karate and Nordic Wicca. He also likes beagles and pecan coffee.

His latest novel, Haxan, is a violent dark western published by CZP/HarperCollins in 2014. You can find out more about Mr. Hoover and his work from his blog (you’re reading it now!) or his website


Shotokan Self-Defense Demonstration by Hirokazu Kanazawa (Man, he is good!)

Absolutely wanted to share this video of a self-defense demonstration by Sensei Kanazawa. Of course, this is only a demonstration of Shotokan Karate, and therefore choreographed. But, yes, the moves are genuine and it gives you an insight into the spirit and control of martial arts.

I love this video and how it showcases Kanazawa’s form and control. The self-defense move at the 1:00 minute mark is stunning. Enjoy!



Shotokan Karate in the Old Takudai Dojo – 1946 Part II

Here is Part II of Kanazawa, Nakayama, Enoeda and many other karateka practicing in a rebuilt dojo after the original was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid.

Great historical stuff here. Part I was posted yesterday if you are interested in seeing that.






Shotokan Karate in the Old Takudai Dojo – 1946 Part I

Old, historical footage of Nakayama, Kanazawa, Enoeda and others practicing Shotokan in the old Japanese dojo and training outside. This is not the original Shotokan Dojo. The original was destroyed during the war in a bombing raid. But it gives you a definite flavor of what the training was like along with the intensity.

This is Part I. I’ll post the second part tomorrow.


The Source of Shotokan Karate

This is an excellent video which showcases many historical elements of Shotokan along with some very old footage.

As an old karate guy myself I can watch this kind of thing all day long. A lot of little snippets here which should give you a flavor of what karate is about, and martial arts in general.

Don’t worry, this is still primarily a writing blog, but martial arts have been a part of my life since I was in my early twenties, so it’s only right I share things like this when I find videos that might reach a broader audience. Speaking for myself I can watch old Shotokan videos of guys doing techniques all day long, but I know when I bring something like this to the blog I probably need to be a little more general.

Hope you like it!


My Search for a Martial Art Might have Narrowed to…Shaolin Kung Fu?

Today I put on my gi and worked out. After some careful stretching I did all the basic Shotokan stances, strikes, kicks, and blocks. I ended up doing the first kata.

I joked on Twitter I was about to die, but I have to say I got through it pretty well. It was a good workout and I followed it with a hot bath.

As readers of this blog know I have toying with the idea of finding a martial art to keep me busy this summer. I was a big Shotokan guy for a long time but there’s not a dojo around within a decent driving distance. There’s one in Arlington, but that’s 50 minutes away. That’s too far. So I looked at some other classical karate around and there’s Wado Ryu which isn’t too bad. But if I’m going to stay in karate I don’t know about learning a whole new style.

What I mean is, if I am going to learn a whole new style…why not learn a whole new style?

I did some homework and found a Shaolin Five Animals/Northern Long Fist not far from me at all. I checked it out last night and liked what I saw. Did a little digging in their background (which you have to do with every training hall because some are shady) and they seem legit. Even better, the classes are unlimited, I can go anytime during the day to practice (yay!) and they have yoga for martial artists (yay, because I’m an old man!) and Tai Chi classes. That’s a lot to bring to the table.

So this is the direction I might be going. I’m an old karate guy: linear, straight-line, external. Kung fu? For me?

Maybe so. Stay tuned. 🙂

My Life as a Karateka

Came across old footage of Masters Nakayama, Nishiyama,  and Kanazawa practicing Shotokan self-defense. I love this kind of thing, and love the historicity of it all. We are watching men who helped shaped Shotokan into the martial art it is today.

I’ve always been a big fan of Kanazawa. He’s the man defending himself at the beginning of the video. I love his work at the table; good stuff.

This may bore some of you, but I used to be pretty heavily involved in martial arts. I started off in Isshin-ryu but college got into the way. Late nights studying multidimensional calculus and modern physics cut into my free time. Imagine that!

Later I went into Shotokan karate. Shotokan is known as a hard, linear style. I took to it in a big way. I was one test away from getting my brown belt.  I even trained a little in kung fu, but not a lot to speak of. Shotokan was my main focus. I participated in a few tournaments and got a couple of trophies, but trophies were never my main interest.

I didn’t care about competing against others. I only cared about competing against myself. I got pretty good at it.

Recently I have thought about getting back into Shotokan. There is a dojo in Arlington but that’s about 50 minutes away. That’s a little too far to drive several times a week. But I don’t know. There’s a Wado-Ryu place nearer, and at least that is traditional Okinawan karate, but I’m not sure I want to relearn a whole new style.

It’s been long enough, if I do get back into Shotokan it would be a relearning process anyway. The only other style that interests me is Krav Maga, and there are a couple of places I could go to study that. Well, one in particular, because this is a style that is often taught by some rather shady people who took a course and then were “proficient” enough to teach. So you always have to do your homework before you start training in any style within your area.

I would love to jump into judo, but there are no judo places around here. (It’s Texas, folks.) Anything else, like taekwondo, MMA, kung fu styles, and others don’t interest me much. Maybe kung fu. Wing chun. I don’t know. Maybe I am too invested in my years of Shotokan. Maybe it’s time to shift to another style.

Of course, I’m getting pretty old. I don’t expect to do much in any style other than get myself toned up and stretched. I’m not out to prove anything. I know my limitations.

So I have been thinking about this and I believe I will drag out my old gi and books and start going through the Shotokan basics like kihon and kata myself. Start off by doing the stretching and strength exercises, of course. Until a Shotokan dojo opens up closer to me, that’s about my only option.*

Meanwhile, I can always watch these historic videos! 🙂

*I’ve also thought about getting back into golf. But that’s another blog post for another day.

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