Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good Reads!

I love books. That solitary fact is the only reason I have not gone insane at my current vocation. Working at the University gives me access to literally tens of millions of books. If Ohio State doesn't have it, I can get it from one of several OhioLink institutions across the state. (Chances are, your local university or even public library is plugged into a similar system. Harass your local librarian today!) If that doesn't work, OSU offers free Interlibrary Loan to staff and faculty, which gives me access to almost every library on the planet. I think of what Hwang Kee did with his local library and wonder what would have happened with the sort of access I have today.

I started to think of books that I would classify as "must read." Books that have fundamentally changed my perspective on the martial arts. Books that I have borrowed from extensively to improve my understanding and teaching of a subject. I've decided to try to list a few today, and I encourage others to add their submissions. I'm linking to Worldcat records of these books to help you find a copy in your local library. AbeBooks is also good if you want to buy.

I have divided my list into technical and non-technical books for simplicity sake.


Millman, Dan. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Great, eye-opening book. It was just made into a movie, so I'll have to look into that.

Wooden, John. Wooden on Leadership. John Wooden was a legendary basketball coach at UCLA. His system of leadership fits very nicely into a dojang.

Culling, Louis. The Incredible I-Ching. This is the book that has helped me understand I Ching the most. It is very small (less than 50 pages.) but uses some interesting math and analogies to get across the meaning. Unfortunately, it's way out of print.

Cook, Harold & Davitz, Joel. 60 Seconds to Mind Expansion. This is another outstanding, small, and out of print book. This is my favorite book in terms of meditation, and helps my ADD brain find a little focus when I meditate.

Yang, Jwing-ming. Tai Chi Theory and Martial Power. A great job of explaining how the Chinese arts think about "power" and how it ties in with I ching, qi, and more.

Caputo, Robert. Tang Soo Tao. This book is part technical, part biographical. The technical stuff isn't much different than anything else, but the bio of training in Korea, Japan, China, and his study of Buddhism is pretty interesting.

Twigger, Robert. Angry White Pyajamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police. Very funny/sarcastic, but some good points as well.

Nichol, C.W. Moving Zen: Karate as a way to gentleness.

Urban, Peter. The Karate Dojo: traditions and tales of a martial art.

These last three are really good for a sort of anthropology study of martial arts culture. Very entertaining, but some of the thoughts are a little dated.

More later...
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