Roundtable Discussion 005: Books
“What is your favorite (martial art / inspirational) book that you own, and why?”
Sensei Brandon Vaughn: “I don’t have one particular book that I read more than others but the one I find most interesting is one I actually saw and bought out of the Century catalog last November. It’s called The Way of the Warrior by Chris Crudelli and examines various styles from around the world, briefly going into their history, country of origin and common weapons used if applicable. Not only does this book delve into commonly know, traditional styles it also covers the more exotic and unknown arts as well as the more modern styles of self defense. I love learning about the meaning and history of just about any topic, martial arts related or not and this book speaks to the geek in me.”
Coach Johnny Kuo: “My favorite inspirational book that I own is “Peace Is Every Step” by Thich Nhat Hanh. Martials arts continue to be a personal passion not so much for the martial aspects, but more for the personal development. Sure, I enjoy learning the art of using the body to attack and defend. What keeps me training though is the expansion of the mind’s awareness and inner peace achieved from the training process. Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings mirror that inner development that I seek from my own martial training.”
Sifu Freddie Lee: “Tao Te Ching. I’ve read it many times in many different translations. I own a few copies. It was the book that ultimately awakened me. A timeless book that is written so simple but yet with profound wisdom. Another great sage, Eckhart Tolle that I have been inspired by also gives great acknowlegement to the ‘Tao Te Ching.’ It dramatically changed my life from negative to positive and from darkness to light.”
Sensei Robert Lara: “My favorite martial art book is Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido by O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba. I love this book. It is a must read for any Aikido student. This is a very old book that O’Sensei wrote. Over so many years of reading it and training only now am I starting to understand some of the finer points from this text. This is a true treasure of Budo. I would love to see others from other arts read it as well. We are all one family and we need to learn from each other.”
Coach Michael Joyce: “Al Chungliang Huang is a truly remarkable teacher. For a young westerner trying desperately to understand the inner teachings of Taiji, this book got me to see what Dr. Yang and Master Jou Tsung Hwa could not show me. It was not because Master Huang is a good teacher and the others are bad; nor is it because their book(s) are bad and Master Huang’s are good – this is not what I’m saying at all! Embrace Tiger and Return To Mountain is a book that tells of a personal journey (one that I could easily relate too), a journey filled with mistakes, with questions, but always with lessons. There still exists, a lot of confusion to what Taiji [Tai Chi] is. This book managed to, in my opinion, give us the best ‘observation point’ for both internal & external progress in the art as far back as 1973 (when it was first published). I’ve read it at least five times (it’s only 188 pages), because I love to remember Master Huang’s simple messages – messages that speak to the heart.”
What’s YOUR favorite book (that YOU own) and why?