• Author: Joe Hyams
  • Size PDF ver: 1119 kb
  • Size ePUB ver: 1798 kb
  • Size Fb2 ver: 1960 kb
  • ISBN: 0553260782
  • ISBN13: 978-0553260786
  • Other formats: txt lrf mbr lrf
  • Category: Self-Help
  • Subcat: Stress Management
  • Language: English
  • Rating: 4.9 of 5
  • Votes: 416
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 1, 1982)
  • Hardcover: Here

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Title: Zen in the Martial Arts Binding: Mass Market Paperback Author: JoeHyams Publisher: Bantam

Reviews num: (7)

I picked up this book back in the 80's during my College days ... When I was searching for my "own way" in the Martial Arts. I got to a point where all the physical stuff I learnt was starting to look alike and many practitioners were boasting that they studied the superior or pure style. Zen reminds one that there are no superior styles, only superior Fighters. I was also at an age where I became interested in taking my Martial Arts lessons and applying them to life. Again Zen reminds one that everything you learn in life can be applied to life. In the beginning, I don't think it really matters where you get your Zen lessons from, as long as you get them. Since reading Zen in the Martial Arts in College, I have become a Teacher and Trainer and I have recommended this book (among others) for reading to my Students and my Fighters.

As for people who criticize Joe Hyams style of writing the book ... Well, they just don't get it. If all you can find wrong with the book is the so-called name dropping then you've missed the point completely. Most history books and older text are full of so-called name dropping. What has that got to do with getting your lesson from the book? Right, nothing. You read and learn from the experiences and events. Besides, Joe was simply privileged to have trained with this line-up of Teachers. What was he supposed to do, write a book on Zen and not include those who inspired him to write the book in the first place? That said, if you want a starter book on Zen via the Martial Arts, American style, pick up this one.
This book was game changer on my view of life when I was in my 20's . I had a 15 or 16 year gap when I lost the book in a move.There was no amazon in those days to replace it. So here we are at 40 and the lessons in this book has been the creed in which I make my choices in life by. I bought multiple copies of this book for friends that are down on their luck and hope it transforms their view as it did mine.Everybody should read this book and read a chapter a day if you can .Read it from start to finish and then start over again and continue in this fashion until you don't need to anymore.Put it away and visit it when you need sound advice again at another crossroad in your life.
Zen in the Martial Arts is one of the top quintessential books on martial arts ever written. Simple yet profoundly deep, this book is less than 150 pages and some of the chapters are only 1 page in length. Although this book was written by a Caucasian man, it does not mean that this book is lacking in quality or first-hand knowledge of the martial arts. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The author, Joe Hyams, is proficient in 8 different martial arts and was trained by the legend Bruce Lee. If you're serious about becoming a "true martial artist" and claim to be able to defeat any opponent, you must humble yourself and read this book. Otherwise, you are not a martial artist.
I have been studying and practicing Martial Arts for the past 11 years, the book contains not only lessons for the martial artists, but also lessons for, ultimately, our lives.

The book is an easy read, with each chapter even though short, but they are powerful and direct. Here are my notes from each chapter which everyone should try to apply in the lives:

1. Empty Your Cup: Like a cup of coffee being overflowed, we are all overflowed with opinions and habits. In order to take on new knowledge and experiences, we first need to empty our cups, and consider what's hold to be true.

2. Process Not Product: This was a very interesting chapter, we set goals or deadlines for ourselves which is fine, but ultimately we need to focus on the process of something, not the completion. You can still "Begin with the end in mind" (See Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), but it's a process we must focus on, which helps eliminate stress.

3. Seize The Moment: Live in the present, not the past or predicting some unwanted future. Complete concentration and discipline must be in the present moment, don't worry about what's going to happen in even 5 minutes time, just focus your mind on now.

4. Conquer Haste: Be patient in the trivial things in life, have some self control, and one will you will have the same mastery in great and important things.

5. Know Your Limits: Study and improve the strong points of yourself that outweigh your weaknesses. Capabilities exceed limitations. Use what you are already capable of and master it, such as martial arts; kicks do not have to be head high, great kicks at waist level and below cause as much damage. Use what your capable of to your advantage.

6. Even The Masters Have Masters: Everyone has a master, to learn from, to grow. The other lesson here is that we need to accept that learning goes by plateau; we make a big jump up, then we go down again, we have the inspiration, then we go down again, and we don't see any change for a while - but this is a normal part of learning, and fighting through plateau times will result in ultimate awards.

7. Lengthen Your Line: In Sparring, don't try to cut off people with tricky and fancy moves, focus on improving your own kill and knowledge you already have acquired.

9. Do Not Disturb: Time is the most precious commodity we have, we either spend it or waste it. Look at how your using you're 168 hours in a week.

10. Active Inactivity: Doing nothing can sometimes be more important than doing something, we need to pause in our lives and have time out to just THINK.

11. Inactive Activity: Don't try to fight with or deny problems, accept and acknowledge then. Be patient and controlled, then find the best visible solution you can.

12. Extend Your Ki: This is the invisible force or energy which cannot be seen. We all have a inner strength, where the mind and the body can be coordinated as one - This involves having a superior state of mind. Such as under extreme and emergency circumstances: The man who lifts a car off the wife's legs, the man who breaks down a door in a burning building with loved ones trapped inside - this inner strength comes in.

13. Zen Breathing: This is controlled breathing, it restores: calmness, confidence and strength, and reduces anxiety and stress. Breathing in through your nose, with your stomach expanding, and out through your mouth, with your stomach going down naturally, is the process to be followed. 4 Seconds inhale, 4 Seconds exhale. In addition, This breathing pattern can also strengthen your intercostal muscles.

14. Go With The Current: Don't try to go against one's strength, such as in sparring, redirect it, and this will also cause your opponents mind to not be angry. Control things by going along with them.

15. Anger Without Action: How can you expect to control some one else, if you cannot even control yourself? When you lose your anger, you lose yourself - on the mat, as well as real life.

16. Recognize A True threat: To avoid being initiated, think more and react less. If you extend your leg right out in front of you, and if some one is more than your extended leg length away, i'ts the "safety zone" - punches and kicks cannot make contact. You just remain calm and composed, you don't have to react unless they come in your punches or kicks zone (even here, you just be prepared).

17. Kime: This means tightening your mind. In life and on the mat, an unfocused or loose mind wastes energy. Focus on ONE thing in the present.

18. MUSHIN: Let your mind flow, things do become automatic, with both mental and physical practice.

19. Instinctive Action: Always trust your instinct - utilize your sixth sense.

20. Un-thinking Pain: This is mind over matter, if your in pain, focus on something else, then you will realize your frontal lobe (The CEO of your brain), cools of unimportant things, and that pain doesn't seem so bad... and even does not exist.

21. Effortless Effort: Relaxation and concentration go hand in hand. Don't strain your muscles, such as in sparring, just relax and let things go. Train moves to be unconscious action.

22. Make A Friend Of Fear: Face fears until your no longer afraid. Visualize yourself doing it.

23. Confident Seeing: Visualization is VERY powerful, and thus the mind is also. Athletes visualize, you can heal yourself with visualization, and also visualize success.

24. The Power Of Focus: Relax your self such as in sparring, gather all your strength, then make a move.

25. Multiple Options: Have the state of mind of tranquility - a mind as still as water. Consider the third alternative before you take action.

26. Martial Arts Without Zen: You can learn zen without karate, and martial arts with out zen. But Zen and martial together frees one from: concern, tension, anxiety, and winning and loosing.

27. Karate Without Weapons: You don't have to fight at all, which leads to the last point...

28. Winning by Loosing: Defuse a compromising situation by cooperation. If some one starts a road rage, surrender immediately. The true martial artists will allow the other person a way out.

I hope these points help at least someone reading this review.
ZEN IN THE MARTIAL ARTS is one of the more seminal "Zen in the Art of..."-type titles. Karateka Joe Hyams (FKA Mr. Elke Sommer) is a martial arts generalist who studied under, among many others, Bruce Lee.

Within the covers of this slim volume, Hyams' approach to Zen seems a bit haphazard and informal. Although epigrams from various Zen masters pepper the pages, Hyams seems to have only the most limited grasp of structured Zen practice, such as koans and shikantaza.

Hyams' exposure to Zen seems to have occurred less in the zendo than in the dojo, a fact which does not detract from the pragmatic lessons he illustrates but does give the reader a foreshortened view of Zen as a way of life. But Hyams does provide a path to understanding Zen as the critical underpinning of the serious study of any martial art.

Hyams shows us that Zen imbues the martial arts with a deeper philosophical meaning, so that what would otherwise be just a way to war becomes a just warrior's way.
one of the best books I've read. teaches by the stories it tells which are short and easy to read.

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