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On the Warrior's Path, Second Edition: Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology

On the Warrior's Path, Second Edition: Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology [Kindle Edition]

Daniele Bolelli
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The urge to forge one’s character by fighting, in daily life as well as on the mat, appeals to something deep within us. More than a collection of fighting techniques, martial arts constitute a path to developing body, spirit, and awareness. On the Warrior’s Path connects the martial arts with this larger perspective, merging subtle philosophies with no-holds-barred competition, Nietzsche with Bruce Lee, radical Taoism and Buddhism with the Star Wars Trilogy, traditional martial arts with basketball and American Indian culture. At the center of all these phenomena is the warrior. Though this archetype seems to manifest contradictory values, author Daniele Bolelli describes the heart of this tension: how the training of martial technique leads to a renunciation of violence, and how overcoming fear leads to a unique freedom. Aimed at students at any level or tradition of martial arts but also accessible to the armchair warrior, On the Warrior’s Path brings fresh insights to why martial arts remains an enduring and widespread art and discipline. Two new chapters in this second edition focus on spirituality in the martial arts and the author’s personal journey in the field.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 355 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 158394219X
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 2 edition (18 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003K15IEO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 18 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it and any of his other titles - both to martial artists and those interested in philosophy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 10 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book - inspirational writing from Bolelli, who is as full as life as the topics he covers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting-edge wit and down-to-earth style. A true gem. 11 Mar 2009
By Paul Seaman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because of one passage I read while browsing in a bookstore. (Yes, I later BOUGHT the book--through Amazon...) "To be truly walking on the warrior's path, we have to bring our minds back to the time when we were not ashamed of our dreams; when reality had not yet frustrated our ambitions; when our desire was still too strong to be repressed, and our spirit refused to surrender in resignation; when we were not yet doctors, businessmen, or lawyers, but still wanted to be heroes, leaders, bodhisattvas. The first step on the way to being warriors is to get back in touch with our dreams." (p. 104)

Need I say more? The rest of the book is almost as good, written with obvious personal passion, knowledge of the subject (Asian martial arts, esp. Chinese kung fu), and a refreshing sense of humor. He has the unusual gift of being able to write philosophically without sounding pretentious or putting you to sleep. It's the kind of book that now has highlighting marks on almost every page. And as a curious aside, this guy was born in Italy, apparently not a native English speaker, though he writes better than most Americans, and he wrote this book in his early twenties!

A final cue: How can you not be impressed with a guy who quotes from both Frederich Nietzsche and Pearl Jam in the same subhead? And who counts Richard Strossi-Heckler among his close friends? Strossi is an aikido master and psychologist, and the author of "In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Discipines to the Green Berets"--one of my all-time favorite books.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "On the warrior's path". The best martial arts book ever! 18 Nov 2010
By Gian - Published on
Not that I got them all, but among the multitude of martial arts books that have been written and published out there, there is one for me that stands out of the lot and that deserves a very special spotlight.

The book is called "On the warrior's path" and the author is Daniele Bolelli, an italian writer, martial artist and professor who lives and teaches in Los Angeles. The book was actually introduced to me by Rick Tucci at the end of a Jeet Kune Do seminar I attended in Brussels, back in 2004 (and here I'd like to express my appreciation for an instructor that, in addition to teach fighting techniques at seminars, takes the time to share other valuable insights, even discussing books).

I ordered a copy of the book at an english bookstore in Brussels, and once in my hands I didn't really know what to expect from it. I mean, you scan the titles of the chapters from the index and you obviously anticipate what each chapter is going to be about, and for some reasons, right then, I didn't believe that the reading would be any ecstatic, maybe because the book seemed to cover a little bit of everything, but nothing really in particular.

Well, let me tell you that right after reading a few chapters away, I was proved wrong: the book was TOTALLY ecstatic!

Bolelli writes about martial arts in an exquisite way, adding the right dose of humor and, there and then, of sarcasm, which makes the reading kind of friendly and easy-going.

Chapter after chapter, Bolelli takes us into a fascinating journey in the vast land of martial arts by visiting many of its territories. The focus shifts from the more philosophical and symbolic side on the subject - in chapters such as "The Body As A Temple", "More Than Martial, More Than Art", "The Princess And The Warrior, The Yin And The Yang" - to some analysis of historical nature, like in the "Six Warriors Archetypes" chapter.

One thing that really blows me away about the book is that with such a wide spectrum of potential topics to pick from, Bolelli chooses to approach the deepest and the most intense portion of the whole matter. "The Warrior As Bodhisatva", for example, is to me one of the most touching and passionate text ever written about the integration of martial arts in life itself, and I love the way it shakes me every time I read it (I got this habit of underlining with a pencil my favorite bits when I read books, and this chapter ended up being underlined from the first sentence to the last).

But in addition to feed us with deep, philosophical insights, in his book Bolelli also provides a few writings about some hot topics that use to arise big discussions in the martial arts world. "Finding The Buddha In A Cage", for example, reviews the Mixed Martial Arts phenomenon , but even in this occation the topic is approached from angles that are quiet unusual, and which are accessible only to a man of acute visions and solid knowledge like the author.

Last but surely not least, the book ends up with a chapter dedicated to Jeet Kune Do, called "Epistemological Anarchism - The Philosophy Of Jeet Kune Do." Again, I have to admit that when I read the words "Jeet Kune Do", I couldn't help myself thinking "Ok, this is where I'll get disappointed", maybe because too much shallow fuzz is made on the subject and because unfortunately it is a subject contaminated by misconceptions of all kinds. But than again, Bolelli proved me wrong. And again, he approached the very equivocal topic of Jeet Kune Do from fresh, interesting perspectives. I can now say that this chapter is a joy for the heart, because it draws a very wide picture of Bruce Lee's mind and spirit, and lays out the possible connections of his art and philosophy with other sources.

Well, in the end "On the warrior's path" is a small collection of essays about various aspects of the fascinating world of martial arts, but it is surely a beautiful piece of work that every martial artist should own. And like many great things in life, it could only have been produced by a man who is an unique mixture of different ingredients (in his case, intellectuality, history knowledge, wisdom, humor, and martial arts mastery).

Because this book has been, and is, so precious and meaningful to me, with this article I want to thank Daniele Bolelli for putting together this compilation of joyful readings, and I cannot wrap this up without saying that it would be a pleasure and a honor for me to meet him in person one day (maybe in my next, planned-but-not-yet-done, martial arts trip to California).

So, there you have it, my personal review of "On the warrior's path". I hope you enjoy the book, and if you've already read it, let me know what you think of it in the comments. Good reading.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended to those martial artists looking to take their training to a higher philosophical level 7 Feb 2012
By Alain B. Burrese - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"On the Warrior's Path: Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology" by Daniele Bolelli made me think about my own journey with martial arts and military combatives over the years, and for making me ponder my own warrior's path, I thank Bolelli. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and found myself engrossed with some of the essays contained within the just over 200 page text. It's a book I'd recommend to any martial artist wanting to explore more than just techniques found within martial systems.

Bolelli writes with an elegant prose that pulls you in and makes you think about things you may not have thought about before. You can compare it with the subtle finesse of an accomplished master of internal martial arts who overcomes you without you really even realizing what has been done, rather than a young MMA stud who just knocks your head off like Brer Bear in an Uncle Remus tale. Bolelli wrestles with the urge to forge one's character by fighting, a somewhat contradiction, but one that makes sense when reading this book. (One that makes sense to most of us who practice martial arts for any length of time.)

The book is more like a collection of essays, and I found I connected with some of these more than others. However, as a whole these chapters connect the dots and form a comprehensive look at what the title says it will: philosophy, fighting, and martial arts mythology. Topics such as the body as a temple, ancient warriors such as the samurai and Chinese poet warriors are addressed, warrior rites and archetypes are looked at, and various arts and styles from traditional to the modern MMA are examined. There is also a chapter devoted to the philosophy of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do that those who are interested in this martial art icon should find most interesting when wanting to learn more about what shaped Lee's philosophy. Plus so much more.

This is one of those books that will be different for each reader. While Bolelli shares parts of his journey, or path, the real importance of this work is how it stimulates the reader to look within and discover their own reasons, their own philosophy, and their own path. This is what the book did for me, and if you read it with an open mind, ready for self-introspection, you may find it does the same for you. Highly recommended to those martial artists looking to take their training to a higher philosophical level.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of the "Lock On Joint Locking Essentials" DVDs and others.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the First Edition 18 Sep 2008
By Frank H. - Published on
This second edition of this modern classic on philosophy and martial arts is even better than the original, for it contains two great extra chapters in addition to all the old material. In an on-line interview, the author himself has stated that one of the new chapters (the last one) is his favorite among anything he has ever written.
One of the extra chapters is about the relationship between combat sports and traditional martial arts, and about the need to combine philosophy with action. As Bolelli puts it, "more sweat and less talk". This is a very enjoyable chapter, but it pales in comparison to the last one: an unlikely but beautiful essay about friendship, loneliness, the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, and the deeper emotional urges driving us toward martial arts. Here we can see Bolelli at his best. If you own the original edition, either get this or check it out at the library because the new material is worth it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book every martial artist should have 13 May 2014
By Jaredd Wilson - Published on
Originally posted on [...]

I am an avid reader of martial arts books, much to the detriment of my wallet, my bookshelf, and my wife. I break the books I read into two categories: Classics and Modern. Classics include The Book of Five Rings, The Art of War, Hagakure, and other such ancient and complex writings. Modern covers all the books written by people trying very hard to show martial arts in a modern light: what they are, why they are, and what use they are to modern man. However, even among the modern books are a few important tomes that I label as modern classics. These are books that describe the process of becoming a martial artist or use martial arts philosophy in a way that make the esoteric ideas readily accessible to modern students. Living the Marital Way by Forrest E. Morgan and Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hymas are the two that immediately come to mind. I would like to add another to my list of modern classics, On the Warrior’s Path by Daniele Bolelli.
It is an honest, humorous, and extremely human way to look at martial arts. Mr. Bolelli does an amazing job of describing the path of a modern warrior, what is a warrior (in his interpretation), and what that warrior should do. He uses quotes from everyone from Fredrick Nietzsche to Pearl Jam to explain the very personal philosophy of the warrior. He talks about the guilty pleasures of all martial artists, the UFC and martial arts cinema. Specifically, he describes martial arts movies in terms of warriors, by classifying the warriors as one of six archetypes based on motivation. There are many sections in various chapters devoted to how Bruce Lee changed aspects of martial arts movies and how some movies are more than just flashy wire works and actually exemplify warrior philosophy. The last two chapters are devoted to how to apply the lessons learned through martial arts to other aspects of life. He also describes the Taoist teaching of how martial arts should not be a separate part of your life, how one shouldn’t compartmentalize your life. There should simply be life.
His writing style is a wonderful mimicry of his personal hero, Nietzsche, constantly voicing the presumed questions and opinions raised by the reader. Doing this creates a very open atmosphere throughout the book, including maybe the most unorthodox paragraph in the English language where he compares the UFC to going down on a woman (but he does it in the beautiful, artistic, deeply Italian way… uh, the comparison, not the cunilingus.) It feels more like you’re having a beer in a pub with him, rather than listening to a college professor lecture on martial arts philosophy. You also get the feeling that the questions he is raising are ones he has encountered on his journey and that these are his answers – not everyone’s – but if they help you, have at it. He alternates between the humorous and the serious seamlessly; and in fact, in the last chapter, he discusses why this should be done in all aspects of life. My one small critique is I think you have to be an experienced martial artist to fully understand a lot of his discussions. This book is not written for a beginning martial arts student, but for a reader that can share in some of the examples that he presents.
Overall, however, if you are looking for a good martial arts philosophy book, I would highly recommend this book to everyone regardless of martial arts style. I cannot give this book enough high praise and compliment.
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