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Jacket Description/Back: The
legendary courage of the Shaolin (Chan/Zen) order was not developed
by fighting with enemies, but by not fighting! The Shaolin teaching
was designed to free us from fear, the only true enemy. Barefoot
Zen, a brave new approach to the martial arts, clearly demonstrates
that the traditional movements of both Kung Fu and Karate, contained
in the solo choreographed sequences of movements known as forms (or
kata), grew out of the spiritual practices of the Shaolin order of
Buddhist monks and nuns. Nathan Johnson explains that this mystical
and non-violent teaching is a profound and beautiful expression of
Chan (Zen) Buddhism and its pursuit of wisdom, peace, and
enlightenment. Contrary to popular assumption, he contends that it
was never intended to be a means of self-defense.
Barefoot Zen bridges the gap between Kung Fu and Karate, and
reveals their common origin through the disclosure of vital research
material on three of the world's most important Karate kata. We
learn that the original "empty hand art" was used as a method of
kinetic meditation between pairs, and was designed as a practical
tool to help practitioners transcend the fear and insecurity of
everyday living. Barefoot Zen makes the legacy of the Shaolin way
accessible to all, releasing the art from the clutches of popular
images and painful concerns about self-defense.
Publisher Marketing: "Herding The Ox"
uses the ancient Ten Oxherding Pictures of Zen as a springboard to
discuss the spiritual and ethical dimensions of the martial arts. By
combining historical vignettes about Japan's greatest warriors with
thought provoking analysis, it illuminates the relationship between
Zen concepts and real-life experiences in the martial arts.
Contributor Bio: John
J Donohue: Donohue is an anthropologist specializing in the
study of Japanese culture, history, and language.
“This brilliant book reveals how a worrier can become a warrior. A unique, refreshing, no-holds-barred expression of the spirit underlying true martial arts training. I read Martial Arts and Philosophy with increasing interest and a widening smile on my face. It’s a most intriguing and uplifting read—with intellect, humor, and good spirit enlightening the reader.”
“If anyone doubts that the business of two people kicking each other in the teeth can be an art sustained by a philosophy, they should make sure that they read this extremely thought-provoking book.”
“Philosophical undercurrents of martial arts training and competition are often noted but rarely scrutinized so thoughtfully as in this book. Priest and Young have assembled a sturdy battle squad of authors whose perspectives on combat arts not only inspire readers, but encourage them to consider why it is they do what they do on the tatami, in the ring, or in the cage.”
“If you’re a martial artist, you need to think carefully: about how to treat your opponent, when to use your skills outside the ring, and your own ego. Martial Arts and Philosophy explores these issues, and more. Recommended reading for all thinking martial artists.”
“My first judo teacher was fond of saying ‘It’s only pain’ each time somebody got hurt. It seemed to help. With this eclectic and wide-ranging collection of essays the philosophical tag-team of Priest and Young encourage us to overcome the pain of thinking about ‘no-mindedness’ and to wrestle with the relationships between combat and Kant.”
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