Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Martial Musings: A Portrayal of Martial Arts in the 20th Century Hardcover – December 10, 1999
|New from||Used from|
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
A well-written memoir ... one mans joyous, passionate, and often genuinely daring romp through the modern martial arts ... -- Education About Asia (Winter 2001)
Americas greatest martial arts writer has produced his genres one indispensable book. -- Inside Kung-Fu Magazine (September 2001)
From the Inside Flap
Robert W. Smith may be known as a world's leading authority on Asian martial arts, but this book shows he is much more than that. His pioneering work in the field has inspired others to follow, but perhaps none have brought such drive, stamina, and scholarly skills to such a monumental task.
Smith has practiced, taught, and written on the Asian martial arts for more than fifty years. From his late teens he trained under eminent Western boxing and wrestling coaches and later immersed himself in judo and finally the Chinese martial arts under celebrated masters. He taught many students in the latter arts in the Washington D.C. area where he worked as an intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Martial Musings records insightful details associated with Smith's years of involvement with combatives in the U.S. and overseas. But, what makes this book such a joy to devour is the literary relish Smith stir-fries in with the book's basic ingredients. He astutely couples combatives with literary panache, and a ready wit.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Robert W. Smith lived an extraordinary life and his martial pursuits and research was extensively covered in articulate style, his perception and humour garnishing otherwise near-unknown facts regarding some of the most accomplished true martial artists of the 20th century.
His book 'Chinese Boxing : Masters and Methods' got me interested in chi kung 40 years ago and his others on Hsing Yi and Pakua Chang are also outstanding inasmuch as they come from his own tuition by acknowledged masters of their art. Therefore we have them only second-hand, a rare thing in this modern world where so much of true asian internal boxing has been debased and distorted by those professing to be masters when they are hardly even mere beginners.
Smith can be forgiven for seeming to be a bit biased and dogmatic at times, (we must examine ourselves in those respects,) but his overall coverage of his martial life (with some other childhood stories) while a bit stodgy now and then with the sheer amount of information he offers, is excellent in the Smith tradition for which he is well-known.
The book "Martial Musings" is just like a title says "a musing", a memoir by Robert Smith. However, it is dedicated to the martial arts, and also to the writing arts. The two often intertwine, as in the liberal use of quotes from both martial and literary sources, and in the content itself which traces Mr. Smith's fighting past from his infinite love for judo, to his even more intense love for Tai jiquan of Professor Cheng Man Ching.
For those of us who have read Professor Cheng's writings and/or practiced his method of Tai Ji, it is no wonder that this gentleman was a walking wonder. A highly respected artist, he was no less respected as a doctor, and perhaps even feared as a Tai Ji fighting man, a student of notorius Yang Cheng Fu. And so Robert Smith comes upon this man an utterly falls in love with his approach to the martial arts - in particular "the softness". Read more in the book...
Mr. Smith was a close friend of Donn Draeger, and expert on the Martial Arts and a prolific writer. There s a chapter on Donn here, and it is interesting to see the 2 personalities mingling on the battlefields of both pen and the sword.
There are a few good chapters here on the various judoka, an other adepts of different arts as Mr. Smith have met them throughout his long and fruitful journey leading up to the writing of this milestone of a book.
Truly, it should be a 5 star rating, the only reason it is not is that i have trouble finishing it up, since the last few chapters or so are dedicated almost in their entirety to literature and poetry - i love poetry and all, but that doesn't mean that i wanted to be taught about it from the book about martial arts, may be a needed freebee, but may not. With that, all due respect to Mr. Robert Smith, a genuis of a writer about "the arts" and may god rest his soul, who is not with us anymore as of July of 2010.
Sure, many will object to what is written--it goes counter to the norm of hyperbole and commercial fabrication. This book is a very well written historical account of a career intelligence analyst for the CIA, and a man well skilled and versed in numerous western and eastern martial kinematics. This man (and it is well known) has known first handedly all the turn of the century greats--many of whom created the systems of martial practices now so popular.
If anyone has any true interest in the martial arts from a cultural human perspective, one needs to own and read, and re-read this text. The more angry you become, the better. Then look to your own anger as it is not sourced in Robert Smith who is close to 86 years of age today. One does learn of Mr. Smiths's opinion, but one is also offered a truth of men, women and masters within this delicate and strange arena of martial arts not found any where else.
This book is a classic regardless what others may say or think about the intelligently crafted prose. Robert Smith is no stranger to the truth and how delicate and easily manipulated it can be done. Yet, MARTIAL MUSINGS transcends the mundane, biased ignorance so prevalent in martial arts books and manuals, hitting the nail squarely on the head, driving home what few can--straight and evenly.
This is a superb text for those who are unafraid to embrace a truth about the human ego in the martial arts and want to see beyond that fragile, bloat male ego.
Most recent customer reviews
Tons and tons of history.Read more
I'd bet on Zhao Lian He to any of the cage "fighters" today, rolling...Read more