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Thread: Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

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    Default Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

    Zen in the Martial ArtsReview by Bob Hubbard

    Cover: See below
    Title: Zen in the Martial Arts
    Author: Joe Hyams
    Publisher & Date : Bantam Books; ; (July 1, 1982)
    Type: Paperback
    ISBN: 0553275593
    Price: $6.99 US

    Was this book useful? Yes
    Would you buy it again? Yes
    Would you buy more books from this author? Yes
    Did you need previous experience? No

    ---------------------
    I had this book recommended to me a while ago and finally picked up a copy. It was a very interesting and pleasant read. Written in 1979, it names a virtual who’s-who in the arts of that era. A few of the ‘names’ mentioned include Bruce Lee, Ed Parker Sr. and Bong Soo Han.

    A few things this book is not:
    This is not a book with ‘Mystical Secrets’. In it you will not find techniques or forms.

    It is not a ‘how to’ guide to finding Zen. It is a simple telling of one mans lessons learned through out several decades of study in the arts.

    This is not a complex read. The writing style is friendly, like chatting with someone over a cup of tea. Easy to read, each chapter is short, focusing on one particular moment in time, and the wisdom gained from it.

    Its not a thick book with complex theory, or formulas for meditation. One could easily work through this book in a week of short 5-minute breaks from the day’s headaches.

    It is a simple book, with the complex lessons left for the reader to find in the simple stories of friends and teachers of his past. Others have criticized this book for its lack of complexity, but that lack is what makes it an excellent introduction and motivational read.

    Through out the book, Mr. Hyams has sprinkled antidotes and quotes from various sources. One of my favorites comes from Lao Tzu, author of the “Tao Te Ting”. It is, Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” It is little nugget of wisdom, sprinkled throughout that truly makes this a joy to read.

    Each chapter contains a simple truth. The story about the ‘empty cup’ is there, as is the application of it in one of the authors’ private lessons with the late Bruce Lee. During one of those private lessons, Bruce Lee also learned something valuable about time from one of the authors’ associates.

    Long time students will easily recognize the names of their old mentors, and smile as they read stories they had forgotten. Young students can also benefit from the rare insights shared so willingly by the top names of the day. Lessons that transcend time and are there for us to see again, and learn from.

    All in all, I found this book to be a welcome addition to my bookshelf. It is a great pick-me-up for the days when I feel down, or start to question both my goals in the arts, and in life itself. It will be read regularly I expect, with new insights appearing each time.

    At under $7 US, this is a definite addition for any martial artists library.

    ===

    Bob Hubbard is an administrator of the popular martial arts sites MartialTalk.com and KenpoTalk.com. He is president of SilverStar WebDesigns inc., a web site design and hosting company specializing in affordable solutions for martial artists. A student of all the arts, he is currently studying Modern Arnis. More of Bob's articles can be found at rustaz.net. Please contact Bob if you would like him to review your martial arts product.

    Originally Printed July 2003 MartialTalk Magazine
    Copyright
    ©2006 Bob Hubbard - Reprinted On KenpoTalk With Permission
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    Default Re: Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

    Bob that was a great review and I would agree with all of it. I have read ZEN and THE MARTIAL ARTS twice now and you are absolutly correct in that it is not a super mystical book about zen. It is an explanation of one man's experience with zen in his everyday life. The reader could very easily look at Mr. Hymas's experiences and apply it to their lives as well.

    Another book that I enjoyed recently is AGAINST ALL ODDS by Chuck Norris. Have you read this book?
    Heart is the differance between those who attempt and those who achieve.


    Train hard.... pain is weakness leaving the body.

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    Default Re: Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

    Not yet. I'll add it to my to check list.
    For ANY and ALL KenpoTalk issues, please use theContact Us link here or at page bottom right. Do NOT PM me for site support.

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    Default Re: Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

    This book did wonders for me, but years later...
    I was a pretty cocky green belt, thought i knew it all
    I was even starting to instruct the new students and
    went into Drill SGT mode I guess its something i got used to
    in the military. When i read this book it taught me alot about
    being modest and what martial arts is intended. It gave great stories, and analogies but i still didn't become humble. It wasnt until i got initimidated
    inside the ring, Then i realized i am not the best lol...i can still strive to be

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    Default Re: Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

    This was a fantastic book. I found it about 10 years ago and I seem to pick it back up every year or so to re-read the text. I think everytime I've learned something new about my training as I matured.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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    Default Re: Book Review: Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams

    One follow-up I was given another book from a friend after this. I also recommend the following if you like the Jow Hyams book:

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    Hardcover: 432 pages
    Publisher: William Morrow (May 1, 1974)
    Language: English
    ISBN: 0688002307
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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