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Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox: Freeing the Mind, Focussing Chi and Mastering the Self [Paperback]

Pascal Fauliot
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

14 Sep 2000
A collection of parables and teaching stories from the martial arts traditions of Japan and China that emphasises their spiritual foundation. True martial arts should never be confused with simple combat techniques. Rather martial arts are a way that an individual after a long and difficult apprenticeship can gain a profound understanding of the true nature of reality and one's place in it. Over time the apprentice discovers the laws governing the subtle forces of life and realises that their mastery is only possible after one has mastered oneself. He who has mastered the Art doesn't use his sword: he compels his adversary to kill himself. This quote from renowned sword master Tajima no Kami perfectly expresses the paradoxical nature of martial arts teachings in China and Japan. Most of the stories in this book are based on actual events in the lives of martial arts teachers who have achieved legendary status. Master of the Art of Archery Kenzo Awa could hit the centre of a target even when shooting in total darkness. Assailants of Tai Chi master Yang Lu Chan found their blows did more damage to themselves than to their would-be victim. The almost superhuman abilities of some of the masters described here are evidence of the secret powers that can be wielded by those whose martial arts training is not simply the learning of physical techniques but involves the mastering of the subtle energies of the mind and body.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 117 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company; 1st U.S. Ed edition (14 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892818824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892818822
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Even though it is now cliché to say that learning a martial art is as much about learning to conquer oneself as it is about learning to conquer the enemy, most martial arts books are still about the latter. Pascal Fauliot lends a refreshing voice to the field by excavating some of the great educative tales from the martial arts traditions of China and Japan. Not exactly moral tales, these stories exemplify the ideals of excellence in the martial arts, not to mention that they are as entertaining as a feature film. Some of the scenarios you might expect, like the master who is bushwhacked but comes out unscathed or the master who sets his student to mundane tasks rather than fighting techniques. Others will surprise, like the story of the master who shatters an enormous piece of bamboo without touching it, or the one about the bully who thrashed a little old man only to find himself bedridden the next day. Purportedly all true, these are inspirational stories about learning persistence, self-mastery, flexibility, concentration and harnessing the invisible power of chi. They are also light-hearted and retold with an expert touch that the master of any art would appreciate. --Brian Bruya

Review

All readers should find the stories and simple commentary in this little book entertaining, instructive, or inspiring. -- Robert Ellwood, the quest, September - October 2001

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A great little book full of ancient but useful stories & anecdotes explaining success in the Martial Arts giving you a taste of the inner meaning of Martial Arts.

Many of these old [true] stories (not myths or fables) remind me of the way Mr Miyagi taught Daniel in the film The Karate Kid.... "Polish On, Polish Off.

This small book leaves me begging for more. It relates tales teaching the inner meaning of the martial arts.

It is divided into the following sections;-
1. The message of the stories.
2. on the threshold of the mystery.
3. Confronting the mountain.
4. The snare of appearances.
5. The great test.
6. Lessons of the Zen masters.
7. Winning without fighting.
8. The ultimate secret.

For those who are interested in the martial arts as a path for self development and realisation rather than just as a 'grab em' and bash em' exercise in futility, this book will be a treasure for you. The martial arts have traditionally passed on its ethos and morality through tales such as these.

Many of these tales were already familiar to me but it only has one major drawback, there isn't enough of it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taste of the inner meaning of martial arts 24 Sep 2000
By I. Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This small book leaves me begging for more. It relates tales teaching the inner meaning of the martial arts. It is divided into the following sections. 1. The message of the stories. 2. On the threshold of the mystery. 3. Confronting the mountain. 4. The snare of appearences. 5. The great test. 6. Lessons of the Zen masters. 7. Winning without fighting. 8. The ultimate secret. For those who are interested in the martial arts as a path for self development and realisation rather than just as a 'grab em and bash em' exercise in futility, this book will be a treasure for you. The martial arts have traditionally passed on its ethos and morality through tales such as these.
Many of these tales were already familiar to me as our Sensei recounts some at each training session, more or less. The book only has one major drawback, there isnt enough of it. It left me wanting more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inward Journey 12 April 2013
By Mantis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sometimes a book shows up at a crucial moment, the missing piece of the puzzle. This is that book. For those of you that were attracted to the martial arts because of the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings behind them, this book is for you. This is Taoism and Zen through the lens of martial arts.

This is not a collection of morality tales. This is a deep plunge into sobering reality based on real events. The short stories take place in China and Japan. Reminiscent of the book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones Classic Edition: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings, it can serve as a guidebook on the inward journey. Some of the stories are humorous, others are quite sobering. Many are tales about Samurai. Three stories use an animal as a substitute for the actual student, such as a very talented ape, a fighting rooster and a cat.

It is amazing how the writer, Pascal Fauliot, can take so complex a subject and make it easy to understand. He can write of great mysteries, exposing the bare elements. The narrative is simple and straight forward. In "Confronting the Mountain", the opening pages of this chapter speak eloquently of the human condition. This book is a gem, translated from the French by Jon Graham.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat book, compelling and thoughtful 29 Oct 2004
By L. A. Kane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This set of vignettes is not only fun to read but it really does make you think. Fast paced, clear writing in a style that is reminiscent of Dave Lowry. You don't have to be a martial artist to enjoy it though you will probably get more out of it if you are.

Lawrence Kane
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable source of inspiration 17 April 2014
By B. J. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While Fauliot makes a few minor errors in his writing about martial arts and these ancient stories the tales themselves are powerful and fun to read. This book would be valuable for martial artists, lovers of Asian cultures, connoisseurs of weaponry, and those who like myth and legend.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Martial Arts Stories 28 Jan 2014
By Jimmy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book had nice short stories. Some of them are easy to relate to. I hope they expand and add more martial arts teachign and tales.
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