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Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way of Modern Warrior Should Think
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Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way of Modern Warrior Should Think

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,120 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
A step-by-step approach to applying the Japanese warrior's mind set to martial training and daily life.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Barricade Books
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Jan 05, 2010 rated it liked it
This is my second time reading this book. The first time was probably about ten years ago, and back then, I thought it was awesome. This time around, I have considerably more mixed feelings.

Living the Martial Way is "is a concise manual for training in warrior-ship". The goal, according to the author, is to provide an outline whereby someone seeking to follow the true warrior's path can learn how to do that. Morgan breaks his book into three sections: the first, The Way of Training, discusses th
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: martial_arts
This book is like bitter coffee. At first you may not like the taste but it definitely wakes you up. This book is about living as a warrior in modern times. The book explains how to think and act like a warrior in modern times. Some of the reviews I have read point to the authors views as elitist by proclaiming that warriors are a step above everyone else or that most martial artists are mere hobbyists playing combat sports instead of training like warriors. Some have taken exception to the auth ...more
Miroku Nemeth
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“The Asian martial arts are grounded in a rich heritage of blood and honor, and they have a great deal to offer serious students in today’s dangerous world. Unfortunately, in most modern schools that heritage has been lost. It seems that the modern world and the marketing that drives it revolves around sports competition. As a result, students in today’s schools are only getting the surface features of a deeply rooted tradition, and even older styles of the traditional arts are gradually losing ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An OUTSTANDING book which helps Westerners integrate the way of the warrior into a pedestrian, set-the-bar-lower-please society.
Lance Schonberg
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: martial-arts
On the face of things, this seems like it should be a good read, and right up my alley, considering the more intellectual aspects of the martial arts and the consideration of life and the art as a whole.

The author divides things into three sections: The Way of Training, The Way of Honor, and The Way of Living.

For the first section, The Way of Training, the author seems to favour a harsh, difficult training regimen occupying every waking moment that isn’t spent in your day job. Looking beyond thi
Isaac Holloway
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Living the Martial Way I think is a text I would recommend to serious students of the martial arts. I find that I agree in many ways with the author go about describing how warriors ought to comport themselves and its easy to tell the seriousness in which he takes what that calling. I appreciate his discussion of Doctrine, Strategy and Tactics as well as his explanation of somewhat esoteric principles like Mushin or Zanshin. I was particularly impressed with the way Morgan defends the kata so mu ...more
Sylvan Clarke
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked Mr Morgan's honesty and boldness in challenging the status quo of modern martial arts. It takes a brave person to question how the 'Master' status' within martial arts are attained and if indeed the 'Master' status' are relevant after all technical stages have been achieved, but Mr Morgan explains his findings very well with sound reasoning and a good link back to the martial way of living. The book provides some very good concepts on how to improve your physical and psychological martia ...more
Thomas Dineen
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to add much to the praise that this superb book has already garnered, except to say that it's one of the most elegantly written and deeply felt texts in a field not always known for the verbal skill or cultural awareness of its authors.

Forrest Morgan concentrates not so much on fighting tactics or specific combat matters, but rather on how practitioners should conceive of martial arts study as a vital aspect of their daily lives. The author's gravity and austere integrity are bracing,
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I've been looking for for some time. It won't teach you any martial arts, but it will teach you what you need to know to get the most out of any martial art you choose: mindset, philosophy, etc. It could also be applied to any number of non-martial traditions. It will probably be easier to understand if you are either in the military, a veteran, or have taken a martial art before, but anyone can get something out of this one.
Tom Menke
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
fantastic book
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
While this is a fairly comprehensive work covering everything from nutrition, training and etiquette presented in a very easy reading style, I was left with the feeling that unless you are practicing full contact martial arts, then you are simply 'playing' at a hobby or something to pass the time. At times the text appears to contradict itself. On the one hand, the author discusses the philosophical side of the martial arts and states: "The master warrior is a man of character, a man of wisdom a ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: martial-arts
This book should be on the shelf of every martial artist. Strike that, it should be on the bedside table of every martial artist so it's easily accessible. Forrest E. Morgan puts his years of martial training, experience in the military, and considerable erudition to good use in what can only be described as a modern classic.

His book covers many areas associated with martial arts; physical training, general fitness, the nature of martial arts, the value of sparring vs. patterns, honor and oblig
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting read for dedicated students of any martial art. It is, in my opinion, more accessible than similar texts of Asian origin.

There were a few things I disagreed with, for example he said cross training is fine but that you should NEVER start another art without the intention of pursuing it to the end. Personally I don't find anything wrong with giving a year of your time and money to learn from someone if they are willing to teach you.

There were also times when he gave ex
Jeff G
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read and re-read this book approx. 4 times since 2004. One of the best martial arts books I've ever read.

Be forewarned this book is more about philosophy than a technical manual showing various moves and combinations.

This book really relates the warrior mindset to people who practice the martial arts and in particular the Asian arts. What I enjoyed is that this book can teach you how to live the warrior way even if you aren't in a profession that is considered classical warriors (military
Grace Messimer
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
There was some good information but the majority of this came off as arrogant bragging from the author, which made me think lowly of his information as well.
James Neal
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Living the Martial Way was in the waiting room just outside of the dojo training room when I was studying Tae Kwon Do, buried beneath piles of Black Belt and other various magazines. As an artist, I liked the cover design and picked it up.
A whole new world opened up to me, so much so that from my first day of TKD, I took my training beyond seriously. I lived as a martial wayist. My only regret is not continuing to live by those tenets after leaving the dojo(my family ran out of money). Having
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5-4, depending on my mood when I read it. This was a good, informative martial arts manual that placed a lot of emphasis on the way of being a modern-day warrior. I learned a good bit of information from it, and while it wasn't the most compelling read, it also wasn't 100% dry. The only things that bothered me was the second-person often used (which is more due to the fact that it has been beaten into me not to use it in formal writing; this was an instructional manual though, so it's excusabl ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it
At times I found the tone of the author to be a little abrasive, but thought the first part of the book was very useful for those that martial arts is a lifetime dedication. Morgan gives great advice on how how to be part of a particular style, and how to choose one, and still expand and grow as a martial artist in exploring other styles and systems. I was not as interested in the second half, which deals with warrior ethics, but could be useful to others.
Gerry Lynch
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you only read one martial arts book make it this one. Most martial arts books are self serving hookum. This book encapsulates what it is to study and live by the martial way. You don't even have to study the martial arts to get a great deal of proper living advice from this book. I have read it every other year to get my life on track.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book, even for those not in a martial mind set. Can help you get there. With so many (99%) of so called dojo's in this country having very little if any legit format or training, it can help you to not only improve your life but attain the level you wish by Morgans insight and experience.
Well worth the money and time.
Keith Keffer
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: karate
I've lost track of the number of copies of this book that I've owned. I was constantly lending it to friends in the martial arts and then telling them to keep it when they told me how much they liked it.

If the martial arts are more than just competition to you, then I highly recommend reading a copy of this book.
Chris Piehota
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Not a bad book. The author provided some interesting perspectives from his own personal experiences. The book is written more as a personal memoir rather than an instructional recount on how to learn and use martial arts in one's life. This is not an instructional book about fighting.
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
For the modern warrior, this book is a must. It basically breaks down Bushido, explains its history, and teaches some ways to apply bushido today. It teaches values and principles and how to be a warrior and live a warrior like life without the extreams of anchient day bushido.
Chris Hayhurst
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book about warrior mindset. One of the most invaluable things I've taken from this book is the concept of doctrine, strategy, and tactics. Once I learned about this, it changed my thought process about martial arts forever.

I can't recommend this book enough!
J. Harvey
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Another book that changed my view on life and what is considered a good, decent living. Aimed more toward Martial Artists or soldiers who may find themselves disheartened by the modern world and society.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seeing the martial arts in a new light.

The martial arts as a vehicle for cultivating your spirit. What do you want? Is it internal or external? Forrest Morgan details the warrior way of life.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: martial-arts
A very good read for those with more than a passing interest in the martial arts. I've only read this book once and feel it take more readings to appreciate fully.
A Blane
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked the way this book was organized, and presented. It relates martial arts training as a way of living in and viewing the world for all martial artists.
Randy Daugherty
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
must read for those following the way.
Valenfore Alestreneon
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal book of Warrior Wisdom, which can help cure the pseudo-warrior who's really just a fool fascinated with violence.
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“First, however, the student must realize that any system he or she may practice is artificial. That is to say, mastery of it is not the desired end in itself but only a vehicle towards that end. Second, the individual must be able to subdue the external gratifications of rank, prestige, competitive victory, and ego in general for the truer rewards of personal development. Finally, the prospective adherent must realize that The Martial Way does not start and end at the door of the training hall. It is a way of life in which every action, in and out of the training hall, is done in the context of warriorship.” 2 likes
“You might wonder why a waitress, bricklayer, or doctor—individuals neither born into a warrior heritage nor involved in the profession of arms—would want to think of themselves as warriors in today’s society. One could have asked Funakoshi the same question. If you recall, the warrior caste in Okinawa and Japan were abolished shortly after his birth. He no longer had any legal status as a warrior. In fact, he was a school teacher by occupation. But that didn’t change his identity. He was still a member of an elite part of society. Warriors are special people. Since they understand the concept of honor, they set their ethical standards above most of the rest of society. Since they pattern their lives around the pursuit of excellence, they tend to achieve in their chosen vocations. Why would people in today’s society want to think of themselves as warriors? Because warriorship is an extraordinary and powerful way to live!” 1 likes
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