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In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets Paperback – 2 Sep 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S.; 2nd Revised edition edition (2 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556434251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556434259
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,438,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on 29 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
Richard Strozzi Heckler grapples with the dichotomies we all face in life: how to be strong, yet sensitive enough to our own weaknesses; how to be disciplined in body and spirit, yet not overburdened by convention. The green berets that Heckler taught and got to know harbor the same challenge that many warriors face: that Man ultimately craves peace for himself, yet violence exists in us all (even those who abhor the military and its values), so how do we control it? Today's modern warriors crave peace as much as we all do; such highly-trained individuals as the green berets must also wonder, 'how would I truly face a battle situation?' Written in journal form (Heckler's writing ranks among some of the better essayists). Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Response to "Oh Why the Marines" 15 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In rubuttal to this writer, his information is false. I was one of the Marines in the platoon involved in this training. His comment that the Marines called Dr. Heckler a "fruitloop" is absolutely false. In fact, many of the Marines involved labelled the 6 weeks of training some of the most influential and most "warrior-like" that they had received since they joined the Corps. Also, the writer makes another false statement when he says that hardly any of this training made it into the current program. Many aspects of the training are in MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program). The types of strikes, body hardening excercises, visualization, were all part of the pilot program and are in the current MCMAP program. I am not here to plug the book (though I do feel it has it merits). I am here, as a member of the Marine platoon who participated in this training, to offer a rebuttal to this writer who clearly offers false information.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Know your enemy, know yourself.... 8 Mar. 2003
By Jason Cullinane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am an officer in the United States Army, Special Operations Command. I am a 4 time NCAA All American in Track & Field (3000m steeplechase). I have competed in the 3000m Steeplechase at the Olympic Trials. I also practice Aikido. I mention these things to tell you my point of view.
This book was loaned to me by a friend at my dojo who knew that I was in the military and was preparing to head overseas. The book touches on aspects of everything I have ever done. The mental training needed to be a good runner, the discipline required to be a soldier and the compassion necessary for Aikido. I read this book and immediatly felt that I was Richard Heckler, or that he was me. It is a thought provoking book that shows the better face of the modern warrior. Not a "Kill-bot", but a human being.
It is important to note what is implied here, which is that we must see with better eyes. To understand someone, to know why they do what they do. This is to see with their eyes. This book is simply a chronology of events that took place, but between the lines it is a revelation about being a warrior for everyone involved....even the reader.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An extremely important work 8 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First, let me counter a couple of criticisms by some of the other reviewers.
To the person who said the work was too self absorbed - I have no idea what you are thinking. The book is this mans journal - of course it is very personal. It is supposed to give us insight into his own inner conflicts. Personally I do not trust people for whom everything is so simple that they have no inner conflicts. That is fundamentalism and a distorted and shallow way to view the complexity of experience.
Second to the right wing nut who went off calling this guy a fruitloop for his work with the Marines etc. I have no idea what you are all about - or if you even read this book.
I will say that this book confirms for me the difference between a soldier and a warrior. A warrior is a pioneer of thought and last to pick up the sword. A soldier is essentially an automoton trained to take orders without question or thought. Both are necessary cogs in the US Military, despite their contradictory nature.
Green Berets in particular have missions that go beyond mindlessly fulfilling orders. As with many special operators they are required to think creatively, communicate with lead and inspire natives, and overcome obstacles. It's not just about what you see in Rambo movies.
This book is important for soldiers, and martial artists of all types. It gives us the sense that peace and conflict are like yin and yang- and cannot ever be totally separated. For hundreds of years the samurai (Japan's professional warriors) were expected to participate in writing poetry and flower arranging.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trendy term authentically defined: The Warrior paradox 13 Feb. 2006
By Paul Seaman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I serendipitously discovered this book at a local book store, I knew it was going to have an impact. When I began reading the first few pages I was immediately thrilled and deeply moved by how this book grappled with some of the same core issues of spirituality and the practical realities of the world that I have dealt with all my life. (I'm 48 years old.) I eagerly looked forward to reading this book every night for the next couple of weeks, both for the fascinating information it provides, the dilemmas it explores, and because it put me in a profound and thoughtful space, feeling my own warrior energy and intentions.

I read the Amazon reviews before starting this book so I was watching for examples of some of their critical points--which are nonexistant. I wanted to write a rave review of this book right away, but felt as a matter of integrity I should read the whole thing first, and having done so to the very end, I am even more puzzled by the erroneous statements some "reviewers" made (which have been addressed by other customer comments). It's too bad that "reviews" by a couple of deadbeats with an obvious chip on their shoulder has brought down the customer average for this book, which rightfully should be AT LEAST in the four-and-a-half star range.

Anyone who actually reads this book knows that the Trojan Warrior Project (the subject of this book) was a complete success on all accounts. The author is honest all along about his own fears and doubts--and failures--giving the book an inspiring authenticity and making the successes all the more impressive. Strozzi-Heckler is quite forthright near the end of the book in stating (from the after-project report and evaluations) that one-third of the participants did not find the program valuable. Anecdotal evidence over the next several years seems to counterbalance this partial "failure" with many of the participants later appreciating the long-term benefits of the program to all aspects of their lives. And of course the fact that a version of this program has now (as of 2000) been incorporated into an ONGOING aspect of Marine training is the ultimate proof of its success.

I could quible about some of the little things that keep this book from being a perfect masterpiece (epics always seem to be judged more harshly by film critics than little movies). The author's character descriptions are sometimes corny in reaching for either colorful metaphor or character by analogy to movie cliches. The epilogue section goes on too long: Although the follow-up information is certainly valuable and fascinating, Strozzi-Heckler could have used a more assertive editor (for both editions). The lengthy afterword section wanders a bit and keeps the book from closing on a tight note. The biggest problem from a literary POV is that it's hard to keep all the characters straight, which makes it difficult to get a cumulative sense of the different participants (i.e., on the Special Forces teams), so it was hard for me as a reader to share the author's developing relationships with these men. But these are quibbles.

"In Search of the Warrior Spirit" is one of the most thought-provoking and enjoyable books I have ever read. Strozzi-Heckler's skill as a writer lets him get away with writing in a daily journal style that could easily have come off as contrived. Here, the reader is engaged with both the events and the idealogical information and struggles that are presented. About half way through reading this book I got on-line, looked up the nearest Aikido center in my town, and started taking lessons the next day. And still am.

I've subsequently ordered about fifteen other books on Aikido and on warrior virtues. Like the nature of Aikido moves, this book has propelled my life in a direction it was already going, more than I realized. I'm charged. And grateful.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WARRIOR SPIRIT - A UNIVERSAL QUEST FOR SELF 6 Jun. 2000
By Phillip K. Rhyne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What a unexpectedly wonderful find! Kudos to Dr. Richard Strozzi Heckler for challenging us to look at our beliefs and our use of our most precious asset, our lives. There is so much more to his book "In Search of the Warrior Spirit" than just the narrative chronicles of a military experiment. Over the years, with each reading and rereading of this saga, I find myself moved by the stories of the paticipants, in awe of the accomplishments of the brief Project Trojan Warrior and amazed at the apparently inappropriate post-project use of the paticipants and the results of the project by the conventional military "leadership" (and I use that word guardedly). As one peels back the petals of this literary rose, one is confronted with the inescapable fact that all of us - male or female, civilian or military, religious or someone who disavows religon - are on an eternal quest to discover more of the self that is our own personal Warrior Spirit. Each day is the journey and this book demonstrates that some of the best and brightest (the instructors and students in project) struggle when forced to focus on this quest. If people of of such caliber find that their attempts at personal improvement are not without labor and doubt, then perhaps we can feel not so alone as we go through our journey of self-growth. As a former soldier and as a medical doctor, I can strongly recommend "In Search of the Warrior Spirit" reading for military personnel in combat jobs (especially those in the so-called special operations type units), military historians, martial artists, and folks looking for insight into the common human condition that is espressed in so many individual ways. In short, this book can benefit anyone with an open mind and the desire to become the best person that they can be.
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