Pages Navigation Menu


Martial Arts in Chapel Hill. Community-Minded, Family-Oriented, Behavior Based.

Ligo Ink : Books by Nathan Ligo


In 1994, Nathan Ligo published his first piece of writing in Black Belt Magazine. Mas Oyama supported the article.

If Ligo Dojo were considered the instructional wing of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Society for the Betterment of the Human Condition through the Training, Instruction and Propagation of Budo Karate, Ligo Ink would be its publishing wing. Our founder, Sensei Ligo, has been practicing karate for 30 years, but he has also been writing for 20 with an equal fervor. Miyamoto Musashi wrote that “the way of the warrior is the twofold way of pen and sword, and he must have a taste for both ways,” and ever since Sensei Ligo was a child and his first teacher, Master Choi, emphasized the importance of academic success (and made Nathan read Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi), Sensei Ligo has been driven to pursue both arts.

In 1993, with Mas Oyama’s permission, Nathan Ligo, still in college, wrote a magazine article about his teacher that became his first publication. Click here to Read a Black Belt Magazine Article about Mas Oyama by Nathan Ligo

Sensei Ligo would tell you with a smile that while he might have a 5th degree black belt in karate, he only just has something like a 1st degree black belt in writing, yet he is sure that just as he will be practicing karate for the rest of his life, so too will he be writing. Just like karate, if you practice (writing), you will improve. There are more parallels, in fact, between the pursuit of karate and the pursuit of writing than there are differences if for no other reason than the pursuit of mastery is parallel from art to art. In both cases, one has to work tirelessly, exercise discipline, and take chances to propel the process forward. Click here to read a Book Review of Nathan Ligo’s Book, Mightier than the Sword. The review starts on page 9.


The Budo Karate West Blog


Sensei Ligo’s most recent writing endeavor is Budo Karate West, a blog that he’s launched to discuss issues concerning Kyokushin-Kan and Ligo Dojo. Having recently completed two new books (which are currently with the editors), Sensei Ligo took advantage of a period of ebbing creative energy and launched this page that all Ligo Dojo students and Kyokushin-Kan members should follow. It is earmarked as the Kyokukushin-Kan in the Western Hemisphere Blog. Budo Karate West is an online publication of Ligo Ink. 


Books By Nathan Ligo


It should therefore be noted that Sensei Ligo pursues the mastery of writing, just as he does mastery of  karate, emphasizing of course that it’s the quality of the pursuit that’s important, not the actual attainment of the goal. There isn’t an art, he would tell you, that benefits from being pursued with only a partial effort. Accordingly, Sensei Ligo’s writing is NOT written specifically with success in his karate endeavors, or his nonprofit endeavors, in mind in the short term. An instructional manual would be one thing, but why, if he were merely about promoting his dojo, would Sensei Ligo also be writing poetry?  

Click here to Buy Nathan Ligo’s books on (These two books, pictured below, are not intended for children.)


Books in Print by Nathan Ligo.

Sensei Ligo’s nonfiction writing is brutally honest. One reviewer noted that Sensei Ligo tells some episodes from his youth in his coming of age memoir that most people wouldn’t want the world to know. Sensei Ligo, however, knows that there is no path to success in writing (i.e. of memoir) without honesty. He is excited, recently, to have a new book coming out, A Kyokushin Beginners Guide : Replicating Mas Oyama’s Budo Karate in the Western Dojo, because this is a book, finally, that he will stock in the dojo, and ask all of his students to purchase and read. The two books currently in print, the memoir Mightier than the Sword, and the novel Hungarian Rhapsody, are not intended for children. The novel, a thriller involving Eastern European karate fighters in an international intrigue, is fairly violent and contains some choice language, and the memoir contains adult themes. Both books DO further an understanding of authentic Budo karate, and authentic Kyokushin. Both expose a Western readership to a reality of karate’s pursuit that is in many cases lost across the cultural (and spacial) divide. 

The reader, however, might expect a moment of wonder, in the case of both books, how exactly it is that Sensei Ligo’s current nonprofit endeavors fall in line with the current content of his writing. Once the Beginner’s Guide comes out (by Summer 2013), the reader will have no doubt, but in the case of these two first-time-in-print books, the reader might wonder. But, in response to any raised eyebrows, Sensei Ligo would smile again. Both the memoir and the novel are but blips in a lifetime of writing. The memoir describes a two-year period that is but a moment in the scheme of an entire life. The reviews of the memoir that have been written laud Sensei Ligo for his honesty, but also wonders at the risk he takes. Sensei Ligo, however, smiles, and cautions his readers that he has a clear picture of where he’s going in life, both in terms of his karate, and in terms of his writing. “Just wait and see,” he would tell you, “once the complete picture begins to reveal itself, readers will see exactly how the current books, as well, fit exactly into the long term goal of advancing karate in America, participating in the advancement of writing as an art, while also, at the same time, advancing the nonprofit’s mission.”

Books coming soon by Nathan Ligo: 



Coming Soon by Nathan Ligo.



Coming Sometime After That . . . by Nathan Ligo.


Click here to Buy Nathan Ligo’s books on These two books not intended for children.

Click here to read a Book Review of Nathan Ligo’s Book, Mightier than the Sword. 
The review starts on page 9.