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Zen in the Martial Arts Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1982


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553275593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553275599
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If one of your goals is to live with maximum zest and minimum stress, read Zen In The Martial Arts. The great beauty of the book is that as Hyams' mind receives enlightenment, so does our."--Playboy.

From the Publisher

"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, Hyam reveals to you how the daily application of Zen principles not only developed his physical expertise but gave him the mental discipline to control his personal problems-self-image, work pressure, competition. Indeed, mastering the spiritual goals in martial arts can dramatically alter the quality of your life-enriching your relationships with people, as well as helping you make use of all your abilities.

"If one of your goals is to live with maximum zest and minimum stress, read Zen In The Martial Arts. The great beauty of the book is that as Hyams' mind receives enlightenment, so does our."--Playboy.


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Customer Reviews

I have read this book several times over the years.
"area51nv"
The book will make you think, and it's a book which can actually change the way you do things and view things in everyday life.
Agustin Devoto
Hyams gives a very clear, concise, and easy to understand introduction to Zen in the martial arts.
magellan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 17, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First I'd like to address a couple of criticisms that I read here that this book is rather superficial and doesn't get into Zen concepts in depth. That's true, this book is really only an intro to Zen--if you're already knowledgeable then this book will probably be too basic. However, for the beginner there is no better place to start, and as someone else here observed, the quotes from Bruce Lee are almost worth the price of the book by themselves.
Joe Hyams started his karate training back in 1952 with Ed Parker--a full ten years or more before the craze got started in America. He had the opportunity to train with such greats as Bruce Lee, Bong Soo Han, Ed Parker, and Jim Lau from the very beginning. Joe encountered many trials and tribulations, frustrations, and disappointments during his training, but he never gave up. One reason is he often had the opportunity to discuss his problems with the many great teachers he trained under, and they often offered their wisdom and insights to help him through the difficult times. He took that wealth of personal experience and knowledge and put it all into this little book.
Hyams gives a very clear, concise, and easy to understand introduction to Zen in the martial arts. The discussions are often illustrated and liberally peppered with fun anecdotes from his personal experiences with different masters, making this almost a personal journey through the dojos and minds of some of the most famous martial artists of our time. Hyams writes very well (he was a famous Hollywood screenwriter) and so rather than another dry, obscure, Zen philosophy tome, the book sounds more like an intimate conversation with a friend over a glass of wine and dinner. It sounds like he's personally talking right to you.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By The Masked Reviewer on January 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book as a kid at 16 just being introduced to martial arts. 20 years later, I can still say, after college and an adult life filled to overflow that this book, among the hundreds I have read that touch on similar subjects, is STILL the best book of it's class. It is modern, unlike Sun Tzu or Samurai literature, and that is the book's strength. Samurais did not have the tedium of modern life to contend with: boardroom meetings, petty office jobs that lend life no meaning, mindless commercialized, propagandized media buzzing all around us. Samurai did not live in our world of wasting time and energy on nothing. They had time to get dressed and take their time, breathe clean air, and be human, and that is what Zen in the Martial Arts attempts to do, restore that balence to a martial artist's lifestyle...in a Modern world, however, not in some remote past. And that is why this book is in a class of it's own. Many try to approach this focal point without success, but none in my opinion succeed in so few pages or in such inspiring, heart-to-mind immediacy as Hyams manages. It may not seem important to a souless, bloodless academic, but to many a martial artist for several generations it simply is without peer.

There is nothing New Age or ridiculous about this book. I feel sorry for the people who don't understand how to appreciate it. This is written by a man who was deeply affected by Bruce Lee, most likely the greatest modern kung fu exponent of our age, because Lee was a kung fu warrior who lived in the world of hype and electrified delusion and he could see through it, even while using what it had to offer. Hollywood nothing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By papaphilly on August 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are a martial arts student or are just interested in martial arts, then this book is a must read. Hyams has written an important book. "Zen in the Martial Arts" is not really about martial arts, nor is it about Zen either. Using martial arts and his personal experiences, Hyams tries to explain the martial artists mind. There is a state where the artist stops thinking and just does. This is the point of this book. Hyams explains that most of the lessons are not taught but learned from the student at their pace when they are ready. Hyams also explains that the best teachers learn from their students as well as teach.

For me, the most interesting note in this book was that Bruce Lee was not perfect, but had his own personal limitations and he worked within them. This was a big point within the book. This is a very good book and is a great place to start the mental portion of training. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Zen in the Martial Arts, Joe Hyam's uses the backdrop of the martial arts and his many unique experiences to show us all the way to a better, more rewarding life. By sharing his experiences with such martial art legends as Bruce Lee, Ed Parker and Bong Soo Han as well as many of Hollywood's biggest stars Hyam's presents in an engaging way the principles of Zen that lead to greater control and inner peace.
Even those who are not fans of the martial arts will appreciate the unique and interesting stories that captivate and teach. Each chapter focuses on a life lesson learned in such an engaging way that I find myself reading this book again and again -- each time gleaning a little more of the wisdom in it. I am amazed at the number of times I thumb back through for a favorite passage or thought. A worthy addition to the library of anyone who seeks for greater direction and understanding in their life -- I would recommend Zen in the Martial Arts highly
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