CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 21 . . . . June 20, 2003
The origins and philosophies of martial arts are explored in this thoughtful and engaging book. As Scandiffio emphasizes, the discipline involves much more than just "punches and kicks.” In training the body to become strong and controlled, a martial artist is following the path, or "do" to spirituality and self-knowledge. The basic tenets of Zen Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism are clearly outlined.
The different styles of martial arts, such as kung fu, tai chi and tae kwon do, are described as "many branches, one tree." Readers will learn how the Shaolin Temple monks started the first martial arts system. As the monks shared their teachings with others, new techniques evolved. A full-colour map of Asia illustrates how the martial arts traveled from China to Korea and Japan and became adapted to each region.
The page layout and design is very eye-catching. Sidebars feature information on everything from acupuncture to the world of the samurai. The text is also enlivened with myths, legends, Zen proverbs, and biographies of intriguing characters such as Gitchin Funakoshi, the founder of modern karate, and Seiko Fujita, the last practicing ninja who went to extremes to teach himself to ignore pain and survive poison. Nicholas Debon's vibrant, mixed-media illustrations provide a glimpse into an ancient world.
For young practitioners of the art, the final chapter includes tips on choosing a "dojo,"or martial arts school. Students will find the glossary, pronunciation guide and index very helpful. Perfect for research or leisure reading, this title fills a void on a popular topic.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.