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Goran Powell (London)
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Diary of a Desperate Mother: Battling Eczema & Allergies
Diary of a Desperate Mother: Battling Eczema & Allergies
by Fredericka Charles
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring personal account, 5 Aug. 2014
This is a moving personal account of a mother doing her best for her child that will inspire any parent suffering similar conditions. The book is written from the heart in a very open and engaging way and I found myself feeling the highs and lows along with Fredericka and her son, Jayden. As well as specific advice on eczema and allergies, there are wider lessons to be gained. These include the limitations of the medical profession (and indeed, a cautionary tale about alternative medicine!) and how, finally, through knowledge, trial, error and experience, we can all eventually find our own way. This is what Fredericka and Jayden did and Jayden's success as a young actor shows that where there is a will, there is no limit to what can be achieved!!


Sensei Mentor Teacher Coach: Powerful Leadership for Leaderless Times
Sensei Mentor Teacher Coach: Powerful Leadership for Leaderless Times
by Kris Wilder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leading reference for the would-be Sensei or coach, 16 April 2014
From my own years of experience in the martial arts, I know that the transition from student to teacher is one of the most challenging of all. Kane and Wilder have made the process that much easier and less painful. Their years of experience in the dojo and in business are collected in one easy-to-read volume filled with inspiring ideas and anecdotes. This book will help you to bring out the leader in you, build teamwork and 'esprit de corps' and, in the final analysis, enable those you lead to bring out the best in themselves. Highly recommended.


The Arrow Catcher
The Arrow Catcher
Price: £5.28

4.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn set in post war Japan, 11 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Arrow Catcher (Kindle Edition)
An engaging story of a young American thrown into a strange and alien culture in post war Japan. The story is at its strongest when he is undergoing his martial arts training and The Arrow Catcher offers some interesting insights into Japanese Budo training and culture. This is a book that would best suit a young adult readership, however anyone who fancies a ripping yarn about an American learning Japanese martial arts should give it a try.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible detail, 30 Nov. 2013
A fascinating insight into life in China during the Golden Age of the Tang dynasty, with incredible detail about everything from food and medicine to animals, materials, gems and men, including slaves and prisoners of war. One of the most detailed accounts of the period available, though written as a reference book with a list of entries rather than a typical history book.


The Flower & The Bee
The Flower & The Bee
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Little story, big impact, 11 Nov. 2013
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I've known Stuart Williams for a few years now and whenever we meet, I'm always amazed and delighted to find someone with the same unconventional interests as my own! We can happily spend hours talking about martial arts, the mind, spirituality, the meaning of life, the universe and everything - usually long after the time I should be heading home! Stuart has, over the years, also spent time with many other martial artists and writers whom I admire, and top motivational speakers from other walks of life, and the results of these interviews can be found on his fascinating blog: stuart-williams.com. So it's hardly surprising that when he finally put pen to paper, something special, and quite unexpected, emerged.

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking The Flower and the Bee is a children's story. In one sense, of course, it is. However before you sit down and read it to your little one, be prepared for a story that doesn't deliver the requisite happy ending but rather a profound, stark and poignant lesson in life. And like all the best children's stories, the lessons reach through into adult life. In fact, this is where the Flower and the Bee really delivers, like all the best fables and parables, offering so many ideas about life and relationships in so few words that it really is quite an achievement. Congratulations to Stuart on a great little story with big impact.

Goran Powell, Author of Matryoshka


Self Defense Tips Everyone Should Know (Better Self Defense Series Book 1)
Self Defense Tips Everyone Should Know (Better Self Defense Series Book 1)
Price: £6.27

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable insight into self protection, 2 July 2013
Self protection is something we should all take seriously, but it's hard to know which expert to believe. Neal Martin's credentials measure up nicely: he is a member of the respected British Combat Association and he has years of experience on the door. In his work, he references other leading self protection instructors widely - including Geoff Thompson and Rory Miller among others - while writing with a tone and style all of his own. The book is a collection of blog entries compiled into a single volume and occasionally it reads that way, however this doesn't affect it adversely. Neal offers sound advice at every level, from verbal de-escalation to all-out assaults, based on his own experiences in security work. Neal's writing is open and engaging. He serves up plenty of personal anecodtes in an amusing no-nonsense style that's serious without taking himself too seriously. This is a valuable addition to the body of work available on self protection, from one of the new generation of self protection instructors, and well worth a read.


The Way of Knockdown
The Way of Knockdown
Price: £3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A KNOCKOUT READ, 21 May 2013
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I was itching to read this book as soon as I heard about it, and looking forward to the memories it would evoke of my own time in Kyokushinkai in the 80s. I had plenty of other books scheduled to read before it, but couldn't resist glancing at the first chapter and before I knew it I was hooked. I didn't stop until well after midnight when the book was finished.

Sure enough, Gary's writing delivered those memories. It was great to read about the big names from the Kyokushinkai scene like Brian Fitkin, whom Gary trained with on more than one occasion, plus Howard Collins, Steve Arneil and others.

Gary's writing style is open, straightforward and pulls few punches. He is not afraid to share his own doubts and fears, nor sugarcoat difficult memories from his past. Nor does he idolise his instructors or his peers, but instead paints a real and somehow even more engaging portrait of the characters of Kyokushinkai in those days.

At times I found myself wishing for more details. Gary trained and fought with many of the big names, and at the highest levels, but he skims over the action rather than feeding our appetite for every kick and punch. However this is understandable when you consider the real point of his book. In the telling of his journey in Kyokushinkai, Gary shows how a young man is transformed through the rigours of hard training, overcoming adversity and, in the end, taking control of his own destiny. In this, he succeeds perfectly in illustrating the mental/spiritual strength derived from a tough fighting art like Kyokushinkai.

Short, intense and highly engaging... The Way of Knockdown is a must for anyone seeking the underlying purpose of the martial arts.


When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts
When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts
by Jeffrey K. Mann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts through delusion perfectly, 11 Jan. 2013
While I liked the book's title and cover, I was a little apprehensive it might be just another retelling and glorification of the ever-popular samurai code. It didn't take long to put my fears to rest. This is far, far more.

With a concise and informative introduction to Buddhism and Zen, Jeffrey Mann offers a clear and balanced insight into the origins of the Zen and its delicate relationship the martial arts. Drawing widely on expert sources and his own experience in karate and Zazen, he presents a vivid picture of Zanchin (awareness) and a deep understanding of Mushin - the tricky concept of `no-mind'.

He also shows where other spiritual and philosophical disciplines like Taoism and Confucianism influence the martial arts, and explores the whole question of how strong the link between Zen and martial arts is in reality. He even ventures into the difficult territory of Zen and Japanese war crimes and offers a well balanced view on this difficult subject. Best of all, as a theology professor, he is in a unique position to comment on the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western spirituality, and does so with great authority.

If you are in any way interested in the spiritual aspect of your art, and in particular how and why Zen links to it, buy this book. It is the latest and in my opinion the best on the subject to date and a vital addition to the thinking martial artist's library.


Fighting the Storm (Cageside Chronicles: Tommy Knuckles Trilogy 1)
Fighting the Storm (Cageside Chronicles: Tommy Knuckles Trilogy 1)
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Cage-fiction has come of age, 29 Nov. 2012
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A cool start to a series on a boxer turned cagefighter, with likeable characters, well-observed training and combat scenes and an assured style that doesn't try too hard, it just picks you up effortlessly and takes you along for a ride. The books are quite short but they form a trilogy so I guess the answer is to keep reading. I know i will. Recommended!


The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom
The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom
by Bill Porter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, 14 Mar. 2012
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The Diamond Sutra is a tricky one to grasp even on an intellectual level (which I know is not the underlying purpose, but even so...!) beautiful, repetitive, endlessly contradictory, and yet as the name suggests, it is the ultimate teaching that cuts through the other teachings to deliver the Buddha's final message. I have read several versions and I have to say that Bill Porter's translation is first rate. It has a sense of poetry about it and parts are so beautiful that i found them quite moving.

Having said that, it is really his interpretation of the meaning that makes this book stand out. Each chapter builds on the last, showing how the Buddha's most senior disciple (the likeable Subhuti) grasped some but not all of the teaching, and how the Buddha helped him to make the final leap in understanding. Bill Porter makes sense of the repetitions and contradictions and left at least one reader feeling a little more enlightened by the end.

If you share my fascination for the early works of Chinese Zen then I would recommend all of Bill Porter's (Red Pine's) work on the subject.


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