Have you read American Shaolin yet? It's about a kid who moved to China for a while to study Kung Fu in its country of origin. Quite an interesting/fun read, though it details events from a few years back. Also, since you're going to stop into Japan, there's another book titled Angry White Pajamas about an Englishman who studied Akido in Japan and some of his adventures. He was a little scrawny guy, I guess the other author was too, but they're both worth the read.
Good luck on your endeavors!