Saturday, 10 August 2013

Zen in the Martial Arts, by Joe Hyams

Hmm, my third Blog post in succession reviewing a martial arts book! I assure you it's not all that I've been reading these past few months. Just pure chance that I've found yet another good, very good, martial arts books worthy of a Blog post! Truth be told I wasn't sure about this book going into it and how practical it would be, but it is! Very practical, albeit the "softer" aspect of the martial arts. If you don't mind reading a book written by somebody raised on the martial arts in the 70s/80s (the pre-MMA "Bruce Lee" era), then I definitely recommend adding this book to your martial arts library... and reading it and reflecting on the advices within!! Here's some quotes from the book which stuck out for me:

"A dojo [pracice hall] is a miniature cosmos where we make contact with ourselves - our fears, anxieties, reactions, and habits. It is an arena of confined conflict where we confront an opponent who is not an opponent but rather a partner engaged in helping us understand ourselves more fully."

"A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action." (Samurai Maxim)

"You must learn to allow patience and stillness to take over from anxiety and frantic activity for the sake of doing something."

"Controlled breathing restores calm, confidence, and strength."

"Control your emotion or it will control you." (Chinese Adage)

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