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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm no longer afraid of fear.
I'd heard about the imminent publication of this book via internet martial arts forums. So, having read Goran Powell's posts and articles, I was already expecting something way above average. I wasn't expecting to put the day on hold and read it in one go.

I have been around MA for many years, studied the mind for the same time, and read a lot of the books...
Published on 11 July 2006 by G. Wendes

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3.0 out of 5 stars Waking Dragons
This book is about a karateka's journey in the martial art world, and how he eventually succeeds in the 30 man kumite.

An interesting read for a dedicated martial artist, but you'll only read it once.
Published 11 months ago by Razboynik


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm no longer afraid of fear., 11 July 2006
By 
G. Wendes "Gojugray" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
I'd heard about the imminent publication of this book via internet martial arts forums. So, having read Goran Powell's posts and articles, I was already expecting something way above average. I wasn't expecting to put the day on hold and read it in one go.

I have been around MA for many years, studied the mind for the same time, and read a lot of the books about "fear" from some of the greats (Geoff Thompson, Iain Abernethy, Jamie Clubb) but this was the first one that took it from opinion, science and personal experience to actually being inside MY head.

For the first time ever, I could believe it isn't only me who feels that way. He takes us through from the denial, the decision, the build up and the event, and even further on to the aftermath, and the lessons gained.

Throughout the book he refers to Tao (Dao), and is neither flippant nor fanatical about it. His own writing is in my opinion Taoist in itself. It's only when going over it the second time you actually taste the philosophical morsel with which he has tempted you. So simple, it's beyond clever.

It is also no exaggeration to say this book came at just the right time for me, for many personal reasons. But that's Tao for you.

Most of all, he says it all in such a simple way with such a great 'confidential' narrative, that I'm convinced at times he was addressing me personally, "you know, just between you and me" and he left me reassured it's ok to doubt myself without the world getting to know.

If you train, or are about to train in any martial art, on any level, may I humbly suggest that you order this book now?

It will shine light into the darkest reaches of your psyche.

Had this book been available when I first started training, it would not have taken me 28 years from first ever grading to first Dan. Never mind, it's put me firmly on a better path, and for that Mr. Powell, I am eternally grateful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and thought-provoking, 16 Aug 2006
This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
Goran Powell combines insight and authority born of years of experience with a down-to-earth and humorous style. I know there have been some reviews of this book by people who have themselves performed the Thirty Man Kumite - this is from the other end of the spectrum, from someone just a couple of years into that journey. The parts of the book I appreciated most were the reflections on how we learn - how periods of struggling with an idea, or drilling something without feeling comfortable with it, are interspersed with moments of enlightenment when it suddenly makes sense - and on the nature of fear.

Goran describes the fear he encountered at various points in his training, and explains how he accepted it and harnessed it as a positive force - with some interesting thoughts on how professional fighters have dealt with the same problem.

The book isn't just about the build-up to the ultimate challenge (after all, for most of his martial arts career he didn't know he would one day do the Thirty Man) but about all the challenges along the way, and that's something anyone can learn from whatever the specific nature of the challenges they face.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An "honest" martial arts book, 19 July 2006
By 
A. OConnor (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
I have been an avid collector of martial art books for many years and there are not too many that I would recommend. However, in my opinion, Goran Powell's work should be in every martial artist's library. This is not a "how-to-do-it" book, but a how to "feel" it one. Mr. Powell has pulled no punches with his honest appraisal of what some martial artists go through. His truthful approach has shown him to possess the martial virtue of humility. Well done!

Albie O'Connor
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a book for Martial Artists, 19 July 2006
By 
S. Jabbar - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
What I really liked about this book was the author's honesty. His journey in the Martial Artists contains universal truths that will be familiar to us all. If you have a faced any kind of adversity in your life (real or imagined) the doubts and fears the author expresses so eloquently in this book will be familiar. His choice to confront these doubts and fears head on is truly inspiring. And it was a choice, he could have just as easily hidden from them (superficially it would have been the easier option) instead he chose to put himself in the `hard path' to self discovery.

One final thing this book is extremely well written, the author is a professional writer and it shows.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beautiful pain, 26 Jan 2007
By 
D. Wood (Northamptonshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
If you're a martial arts purist, you'll love this book. And if you wouldn't recognise one end of a dojo from another, well, you'll love this book too.

Waking Dragons is a hugely accessible read. With a sensitive and enthusiastic writing style, Goran uses his personal odyssey on the karate path to provide an honest, unique and invaluable insight to the warrior's psyche.

And whilst he relays the fight sequences in almost terrifyingly brutal detail, what really hits you is that even for a fully qualified senior black belt with years of experience, the real battles are won and lost in the mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 29 April 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
This brilliant book by Goran Powell (4th Dan), charts his history in martial arts from youngster doing Judo to 3rd Dan Karate expert taking the 30 man Kumite test. For those unfamiliar with the Japanese, Kumite essentially means sparring. Goran had to fight 30 opponents, each for one minute. Not only that, but these were full contact no holes barred fights against progressively tougher opponents.

Goran is a writer by trade so the book is well-written. Although mainly chronological, at certain points Goran jumps forward to record his views on others attempts to take the 30 man kumite test. This is riveting reading, bone-crunching punches and kicks are described in vivid detail, and you are left in no doubt about the difficulty of the test.

The other great moments in the book were when Goran discovered something totally new or different to do with his training, Karate or style. There are 3 or 4 of these revelations throughout the book and the experienced martial artist will probably have experienced the same sort of thing themselves.

For anybody who has studied martial arts this is essential reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating, 13 Jan 2007
This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
One of those rare books that motivates you to want to achieve your potential: this book is an account of the author's lifetime to date in different martial arts - in particular, different styles of karate - leading to his own 30 man kumite. Very interesting and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragons for all, 25 Aug 2006
By 
J. A. Law - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
First off, this book is constructed beautifully. The flash backs are exquisite, tantalising excerpts promising more. And the `more' is delivered. The 30 man kumite chapter is fantastic and easily my favourite. The culmination of the hard work and then the realisation of what the test actually is. Great stuff expertly described.

This book is as Geoff Thompson says in the introduction about us all. So many scenes we can empathise with or relate to. So many to laugh at. Or more precisely laugh along with, because the writing style is so open and honest we are taken into these scenes and live them.

I'm sure this book will sell extremely well. It is inspirational and confirmatory in equal measure. This is one to reread over time and can almost be used as a reference checklist. From first grading nerves through black belt achievement to teaching, it charts one mans karate progression but will appeal equally to those starting out or further along the journey. The journey, which these events chart along the karate path which shape and nurture us as human beings, is presented so well. Goran achieves this by providing the reader with candid insights into not only his karate life but also his private life. I could go on but will stop before this post gets too creepy. It's a great book, read it or better still buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different book on Karate, 22 Aug 2006
By 
S. Kluth "sk33529" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
I found this to be an engaging read indeed.Many books on the Martial Arts serve more to massage the ego of author than inspire the reader.This book i found to be very different it is a frank and personel account of someone's life in the Martial Arts and his ultimate challenge.It manages to show good humour without losing sight of the serious nature of the 30 man fight accounted at the end.

I recomend this book to anyone interested in the Martial Arts or simply looking for an entertaining read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected way to Wisdom, 13 Aug 2006
By 
J. Edgar "Ed" (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test (Paperback)
Not having known anything about Martial Arts until I opened this book I could not lay it down until I finished reading it.

Goran Powell's style and the sheer informality and simplicity of presentation contributed to the nobility of the subject.

The book quietly celebrates reaching the satisfaction through perserverance, struggle against all odds, discipline and concentration.

Well done and I thoroughly recommend it.
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Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test
Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test by Goran Powell (Paperback - 3 July 2006)
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