Thursday, December 27, 2012

Against All Odds by Chuck Norris

My wife recently gave me a book for Christmas by one of my childhood hero's, Chuck Norris.  This is Chucks story.  All about Chuck, as told by Chuck. Or, should I say Carlos?  That's right.  The man the world knows as a larger than life action hero, and six time undefeated World Karate Champion is not in fact Chuck Norris.  His real name is Carlos. That's the name on his birth certificate as he tells in this unusual, and inspirational book about the legends life. Chuck is a nickname given to him by his pals in the U.S. Air Force. And, the name stuck. Chuck came from humble beginnings growing up poor with two brothers with his mom who instilled in them a Christian faith. Faith was often all they had as kids. His dad was a drunkard that couldn't hold a job.  Dad got drafted to fight the Nazis, and ended up missing in action only to return home with an even worse drinking problem that came with the added pleasure of violent behavior. They moved constantly, existing on handouts, and the generosity of family.  They had no toys. They played with clothes pins, and spent every weekend they could watching westerns in the theaters for a dime.  A shy kid that couldn't speak in front of a class he was chased by a bully everyday from school at one point.  Until a gas station attendant stopped him, and made him turn around to fight the bully.  Chuck won and the bully never chased him again.  He went to Korea in the Air Force.  But, because he wasn't much of an athlete, or academically inclined he learned Judo.  Then he convinced a local villager to train him in Tang Soo Do which is one of the many martial arts forms later incorporated  into Tae Kwon Do. Chuck came back to the states a black belt, taught classes on the side for extra money, opened a school, then two, then struggled financially loosing everything, and starting all over again. It just goes on and on with moments in time that mark pivotal points in his life where he had to make decisions to negotiate obstacles to move forward.  Always drawing on his perseverance from training in Korea, and his faith in GOD.  The story details meetings and friendships with the biggest names in Hollywood, politics, and the martial arts world.  The struggles with his marriage, and how he got into acting. Do you think you know Chuck Norris? You don't know Chuck Norris until you've read this book.  Oh, his family and closest friends call him Carlos.  It is after all his real name.