A step-by-step approach to applying the Japanese warrior's mind set to martial training and daily life.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: very motivating Comment: I've read this book 3 times and I learn something every time. It motivates me to do my best. Customer Rating: Summary: Bad Scholarship, Misinformation, and Bias = Terrible!! Comment: This book is one of the poorest books on Martial Arts that I have ever read. Having been a long time Martial Arts practitioner with Black Belts in several styles, as well as a practicing Buddhist for over 10 years, I was truly disgusted with this book.
First of all, the author spends a great deal of his time denigrating and insulting various styles and the competitive aspect of the martial arts. He goes to great lengths to try to re-write oriental history in order to make it fit his ideas. In doing so he offers no evidence and only includes "examples" that support his false ideas, completely ignoring evidence that does not fit his worldview.
Next, his section on Eastern Religion and Philosophy goes well beyond merely incorrect and into the realm of outright lies. He makes claims about Buddhism and Shinto that are culturally biased and completely incorrect, and then attempts to pass this information off as scholarship, when there is, in fact, no real source material in his appendices to validate his claims. He relies solely on secondary and tertiary sources for what citations he does give; there is not a primary source included in the entire book.
His obsessive focus on the so-called "traditional" martial-arts and his constant criticism of anything that is not "traditional" or "classical" shows his ignorance of the larger world of the martial arts as a whole. Modern systems such as Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, Parker System American Kenpo, the phenomena of Vale Tudo events and modern "Mixed" Martial Arts are dismissed out of hand in an insulting manner. Further, he then tries to completely separate the Martial Arts from their spiritual roots by making blanket claims that the "traditional" martial arts had nothing to do with spirituality even though they were taught in monasteries. This completely ignores, misrepresents, and tries to change the history of such arts as Chuan-Fa (the original Kenpo), Tai-Chi, Baghua-Zang, and many forms of Shaolin Chaan Gung-Fu.
This book is propaganda and misinformation written by an author with both a stylistic and cultural bias, and is not recommended. Customer Rating: Summary: Excellent book for martial artists Comment: This is by far the best book on the martial arts that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
It does not explain how the martial artist should throw a punch or execute a technique, it leaves those technicalities in the hands of your own personal instructor. Rather, it explains how a modern warrior should think, which is unfortunately overlooked in many martial systems these days.
One of the things this book does quite well is to define the concept of "honor" and how it relates to warriorship. It also explains how many things done in the name of honor are actually perversions of the concept.
This book delves into how a warrior should train. It will help you create your own martial strategies and tactics, and it provides fascinating history into the martial arts. It even touches on nutrition and fitness for warriors (although it was written in the early 90's and this section could be considered outdated).
Overall, I think this is a book that everyone should read and anyone who is serious about practicing the martial arts will find it particularly valuable. Customer Rating: Summary: A true Warrior's book Comment: This book is easily one of the greatest books on how to live an honorable warrior's lifestyle in a modern world. The book is like a guide as to how to not only be the best warrior possible, but the best human being you can be.
The only thing I have to say is that this book is NOT FOR EVERYONE. You should only consider reading this book if you plan on taking it quite seriously, as Forrest E Morgan is (as he says himself) rather obsessive with parts of the book. A good example is when Morgan tells us that we should spend the majority of our life in training; train more than you sleep. I'm in no way saying that the book tells us to do anything impossible or to dedicate every waking moment of our time training, he's just telling us the truth: it takes a dedicated life to become a true warrior.
And this book will tell you how.
I also want to say that there is definatly some worth in the book for the casual reader, but the majority of the book involves a life-long commitment, and all of it requires some perseverance.
What I mean is, you won't finish this book and instantly become a better person.
Rather, you will better know HOW to make yourself a better person. For those looking for a lifestyle change, something to complement their martial arts training, or simply a purpose to dedicate yourself to, I can think of no book better than this. Customer Rating: Summary: Worth reading! Comment: My teacher told me to read this book and not without a reason. Soon I'll be tested for a black belt and he felt I needed another perspective or way of thinking on martial arts and why we practise.
This book is interesting for every martial artist to bring the art into daily life. It's a 'must read' for any practitioner of a 'DO', a traditional way (like Aikido, Hapkido, Karate-do, Judo, T'ai Chi, Daito Ryu, JKD), despite your level.
Some parts I don't agree with, for I'm an martial artist and not a warrior or soldier (like mr. Morgan). I'll make up my own mind on how I 'should think' (but maybe this is more my recalcitrant behaviour). It made me think about things.
Forrest E. Morgan puts things into the right perspective and everyone (including the none martial artist) can learn form this book. Most interesting are the chapters on religion, nutrition and the warriors mind set.