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Zen in the Martial Arts

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  2,301 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
"A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action."--Samurai Maximum.

Under the guidance of such celebrated masters as Ed Parker and the immortal Bruce Lee, Joe Hyams vividly recounts his more than 25 years of experience in the martial arts. In his illuminating story, Hyams reveals to you how the daily application of Zen principles not only developed
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ebook, 144 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Bantam (first published 1979)
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Debbie Zapata
Mar 09, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
This little book shares the insights Joe Hyams experienced while studying karate over the years with such masters as Bruce Lee, Bong Soo Han, Ed Parker, and others. Hyams did not enter the study of karate as a way of spiritual enlightenment; he began classes in 1952 to lose weight and work off hostility. It was not until after a few years of lessons that he began to appreciate the deeper meaning of the martial arts. Twenty years later he arranged what he learned into short chapters which show th ...more
Jake Danishevsky
We have all heard the saying 'Good things come in small packages'. Well, this book is an epitome of that saying. When I first picked up this book, I figured, I would read it in a day. It is only 144 small pages and a very easy to read text, but I was wrong.

Joe Hyams started out as a journalist and a writer. He had no idea what martial arts or Zen is all about, until he started his first martial arts training about 25 years ago. He has studied under Ed Parks and the legend himself Bruce Lee. Joe
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Devon Toland
Jun 17, 2013 Devon Toland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams is truly inspirational, and I can say it has changed my life. Considering the kind of person I am, who doesn't enjoy reading, I've read this book five times. The book follows the life of Joe Hyams, who is very relatable, and he is a nice guy. He takes an interest in the martial arts, and studies with all kinds of famous martial artists. Joe Hyams shares his experiences and lessons with the reader, and they can be applied to everyday life. This book is great f ...more
Goran Powell
This is a short book written from the personal perspective of the author, Joe Hymas, who trained under such noted masters as Bruce Lee and Ed Parker.

Written in 1979, he recounts more than 25 years of experience in the martial arts, writing how Zen principles gave him the mental discipline to cope with issues of self-image, work pressure and competition, and how, through mastering the spiritual goals in martial arts, you can dramatically alter the quality of your life, enriching your relationshi
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Bernadette
Nov 13, 2012 Bernadette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Bernadette by: Master Chris Berlow
The first time I read this book, I wasn't "ready" to read it. The second time I read this book, I wasn't ready to "accept" it. The third time I read this book, I wasn't ready to stop reading it. I've decided this will be a book I carry around with me.
Payam
Feb 06, 2013 Payam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many self-help books out there that want to transform you to a "better" you. This book is no different. This book, presents the same concepts and same "laws" mentioned in other popular books meant to "transform" you. So, if it is not a unique book, why the 5 star rating?

The stories in this book intrigue you and hold you due to their human touch. They are unique in that no other book has ever ventured into providing life lessons via Martial Arts examples. The fusion of a physical practi
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Amanda
May 10, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A close friend loaned me this book from his personal library, and it was a much enjoyed and appreciated read (bought my own copy from half price books) it tells you not only practical applications of zen in the martial arts, but many very practical lessons we all could use in day to day life. (we all fly through life in anticipation of this or that, but rarely take the time to savor the moment when we reach our goal, kind of like the dog who begs for the steak and swallows it without so much as ...more
Stephen
Jan 29, 2013 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Stephen by: My Sensei and other martial arts instructors at my Dojo
This book is an excellent and easy read. It's delivered by the author in a primarily anecdotal form. It took me a little bit to get used to the way the author lead to the "lesson" in each with a story, but found that I really enjoyed the style. It felt very much to me like having a conversation with the author about the lessons he learned.

I will caution anyone expecting a treatise on martial arts history or a "step-by-step" book about martial arts or even how to apply Zen to a martial art. This
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Richard Garcia
Dec 30, 2013 Richard Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true classic on Zen and martial arts

A classic book on Zen and how the martial arts can be a pathway to learning it. I highly recommend this book to both martial artist as well as anyone who is looking for an introductory book on Zen.
James
Oct 30, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read it several times over the past many years and it has always encourage me to pursue peace, pleasure, health, the non violent use of martial arts and to mentally prepare for violent confrontational engagements.
Seawood
A great read, and something I'll come back to many times. If you've new to practice and want to make it deeper than rote learning or "just combat", definitely give this a go. I felt very much more aware of the extra dimension in my class today, and it showed.
Juadde The
Dec 09, 2014 Juadde The rated it it was amazing
It's the first book of my life that lead me in the sacred way of martial arts. I hope everyone who interest in this way. Don't hesitate to read it for your first step on the way of wisdom and courage. Open up the world inside your heart.
Maria
Aug 18, 2013 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy read but awesome! I am understanding Zen more than ever. The author is so clear in his writing and experiences and also explaining how to apply zen principles in everyday life.
Ed
Oct 06, 2013 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martial-arts
A very valuable book for those who wish to develop the inner skills of a martial artist. Particularly valuable to practitioners of the arts who are older or who have physical limitations.
Stephen Helmlinger
Can't say enough good things about this book!
Roberto
Mar 26, 2015 Roberto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great if you are interested in zen, martial arts, or both (my specific case). The author tells a series of stories that happened through his life, and how they taught him a zen principle. Even if you are not interested at all in the martial arts, you should read it because of its easy-to-understand way of introducing complex zen concepts.

Among my favorite excerpts are the following:
- Martial arts are essentially avenues through which the artists can reach spiritual serenity, mental
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Zohar Abramovitz
If I could give this book 31/2 stars, that's about where I'd rate it. It's an interesting read, but it's sort of like watching a 30 year old sci-fi movie after watching all the movies that it laid the groundwork for. Given that this is the book the kind of spawned the "Zen in the Art of" - one could almost call it a genre unto itself - I was expecting a little bit more from it. Being one of the first books written about zen theory by and for westerners, it was innovative for its time and is defi ...more
Terry
Jul 16, 2012 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
The martial arts are full of examples of how perfecting small parts of a form can teach applicable lessons in many other parts of life. Correct breathing while fighting can be instructive for breathing while playing tennis or recovering from surgery. This book shows how lessons the author learned while studying martial arts can be applied in everyday situations. It is short and well written. It talks about patience and other aspects of learning as well as aspects of accomplishment.
Belal Khan
May 02, 2013 Belal Khan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great set of lifestyle principles toward the development of personal character derived from one man's journey in training with Bruce Lee.
Anisey
Jan 08, 2014 Anisey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this book. Essential book for martial artists, but a must have for the regular average joe.
Alyce
Jun 30, 2012 Alyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely changed who I was as a martial artist. It made me put everything into perspective.
Jeanne Kondash
Mar 03, 2013 Jeanne Kondash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Concise, thoughtful and full of truths. Applies to life lessons overall. And I found its messages totally enlightening.
Quentin
Jul 22, 2013 Quentin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some life lessons in here! Good, valuable things to keep in mind in everyday life. From Bruce Lee, Masutatsu Oyama, and other Karate/martial art virtuosos.
Steve Scott
Sep 18, 2013 Steve Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martial-arts
I've read this twice, and I heartily recommend it to martial artists. It's a slim little volume, and quick to get through.
Dan
Jul 25, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
highly recommended to anyone interested in zen or martial arts (duh). loved it.
Glenn
Nov 30, 2013 Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read for the third time ( different incarnation, many years later )
Tally
Dec 10, 2016 Tally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this one down...and I even made sure to pause and read slowly (though at 130 pages with plenty of graphics, it's not hard to do in one day). But I savored it because I realized that despite more than two-dozen books on my shelves regarding philosophy, religion, health, and the martial arts, I have a very wise little book that will no doubt be read over and over again for the insights and wisdom. And the fangirl part of me loves the little chats the author had as a student of Bruce ...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Nice introduction to this important concept. If you have someone who is deciding to take martial arts classes for the first time give then this book...they will be able to go back to it as they reach the goals that they set for their advancement in rank.
Nate
Sep 19, 2016 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for everyone to read, and gain inspiration from it. This book is an excellent and easy read, as it is delivered by the author in a primarily anecdotal form. It is a very inspirational book that I think every martial artist and/or black belt should read at least once a year to go deeper into the study of martial arts and the self. The author is so clear in his writing and experiences and also explaining how to apply zen principles in everyday life. It will always encourage me ...more
Miroku Nemeth
Feb 08, 2015 Miroku Nemeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bruce Lee and I were having dim sum, a traditional Chinese breakfast of meat-filled pastries, in a downtown Los Angeles restaurant after a lesson. I seized on this opportunity to tell him that I was discouraged. At forty-five, I felt I was too old and my body too stiff to achieve any real ability in jeet-kune-do.



"You will never learn anything new unless you are ready to accept yourself with your limitations," Bruce answered. "You must accept the fact that you are capable in some directions and l
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“When you lose your temper, you lose yourself—on the mat as well as in life.” 2 likes
“The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life.” 2 likes
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