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on 10 August 2013
Truth be told I wasn't sure about this book going into it and how practical it would be, but it is! Very practical, albeit the "softer" aspect of the martial arts. If you don't mind reading a book written by somebody raised on the martial arts in the 70s/80s (the pre-MMA "Bruce Lee" era), then I definitely recommend adding this book to your martial arts library... and reading it and reflecting on the advices within!! Here's some quotes from the book which stuck out for me:

"A dojo [pracice hall] is a miniature cosmos where we make contact with ourselves - our fears, anxieties, reactions, and habits. It is an arena of confined conflict where we confront an opponent who is not an opponent but rather a partner engaged in helping us understand ourselves more fully."

"A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action." (Samurai Maxim)

"You must learn to allow patience and stillness to take over from anxiety and frantic activity for the sake of doing something."

"Controlled breathing restores calm, confidence, and strength."

"Control your emotion or it will control you." (Chinese Adage)
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on 22 September 2016
A classic. I give this book occasionally to friends and relatives who are facing personal challenges. Hyams has an approachable style and although the pics and text is a little dated (written in the early 80's I believe), as a used book it is a little gem. No martial arts experience necessary here, but it helps the analogies along if you have had some exposure to these concepts before.
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on 18 October 2012
Being a student of a martial art that incorporates zen into regular training, I was intrigued as to what this might offer.

I found a collection of gentle, illustrative and entertaining stories, each only a couple of pages, that each convey worthy lessons of how a student of the martial arts might experience zen - both by study and accident.

This isn't prescriptive, but is intending to be illuminating. It puts the lessons within the reach and experience of almost any student of the martial arts (or indeed other disciplines, and his tennis game and business experience are also used as examples!).

I've recommended this to a few of my senior students. They have been pleased to find that their own experiences are similar to the author's and realise that zen is already a part of their study and development.
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on 8 March 2008
'Zen In Martial Arts' is a short but insightful book that looks at the lessons one may learn from martial arts and how to apply them to everyday life. Even if you're not a martial artist there is much to learn and benefit from in this book. Hyams writing style is very easy to read and accessible and the short chapters make this perfect to dip into or to read in one sitting as I did. This also has some nice photography at the start of each chapter. One of the better books i've read that links martial arts to the deeper message behind them, well worth a read.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 31 March 2015
Superb series of short essays on a range of martial disiplines.Well worth the money. A fabulous dip into book on related themes; some philosophical but all applicable.Situations, ideas and approaches that will be usefull regardless of what disipline you engage in.
A stand out book- whos only and admittably tiny down side for me is the photo/ illustration that accompanies each chapter.
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on 10 June 2013
This book plots the journey and life a martial artist that comes to many answers and conclusions late in his training. I am not sure that these answers provide any shortcuts for any serious martial artist making their own path and journey through life, but there is certainly wisdom and knowledge being freely given in this book.

I enjoyed the book and found it a great resource for my own training and journey, but the reading is a little hard at times as it is written in a very dry first person perspective. However if you can persevere through to the end I am sure you too will be blessed with many answers to questions you may have asked or been asked on your own personal journey.
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on 8 May 2014
I've only just started karate, but have been interested in zen for a few years now. I knew that there was certainly an element of zen in karate, but the book does a really good job (so far - i'm about half way through) of illustrating this. It's told more as a series of encounters with various people and disciplines of the martial arts, and how the zen mindset informs them.
A great book.
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on 21 January 2014
I read this book almost every year. The stories are short and self contained all with a particular lesson we can all use in day to day life. Joe gives us great inspiration to focus on our strengths, manage what tasks we can and find the inner peace and self confidence we often lack. I've read a great deal of eastern philosophy, martial arts and religion; it's the practical and down to earth feel of this book keeps it close to hand. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to realise their potential.
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on 27 October 2015
Zen in the Martial Arts, like many other good philosophy books, does not set out to revolutionise your way of thinking, but rather encourage you to take a step back,a deep breath, and live the moment rather than go through the motions.
Anybody can benefit from this book, though the lessons will resonate more with martial artists in particular.
An enjoyable read.
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on 20 July 2016
Arrived in time and a great book to read and quality is good.
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