The Overlook martial arts reader

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Overlook Press, Nov 4, 2004 - Sports & Recreation - 352 pages
The themes, ideas, and images generated by the martial arts have found their way in myriad forms into the minds of millions of westerners over the past few decades--from the films of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan to the traditions of Asian meditation and exercise. At the same time that a wide spectrum of people have a passing familiarity with the martial arts, the topic is also one that is subject to wide misunderstanding and misinterpretation. The Overlook Martial Arts Reader is an in-depth anthology and analysis of the fundamental writings--both ancient and modern--that demonstrates exactly why the martial arts exert such a powerful hold on the western imagination. John Donohue, a world-renowned scholar in the Asian martial arts, and a black belt in both karate and karatedo, provides penetrating and insightful commentary on the selections he has gathered for this volume--the core writings that martial arts masters regard as the backbone and underpinning of their training and technique. With highlights ranging,from Lao Tzu on the Taoist principles of striving for the "natural" to Musashi's classic writings on swordsmanship and discipline in the heat of attack; from Issai Chozen on the pinnacle of martial skill development to modern masters and apprentices such as Dave Lowry, Robert W. Smith, and Nicklaus Suino, The Overlook Martial Arts Reader is the one book absolutely every serious student of the martial arts and Asian culture must have.

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The Overlook martial arts reader: an anthology of historical and philosophical writings

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This anthology aims to convey the intellectual and philosophical depth of Asian (particularly Japanese) martial arts to Western readers, but the low quality of the selections undermines the premise ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

John Donohue, an editor at the "New Yorker", has been passionate about food all his life. He worked at a retail fish market when he was in college and was a short-order cook after graduation. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters. He blogs about the cooking he does for his family at