Thursday, February 07, 2008

Martial Arts Madness

There are few books on the martial arts that could be considered classics. Most range from fairly competent to dry and dull. I've come across one that could be described as completely off the wall.

Martial Arts Madness has got to be the weirdest and most irreverent book of its genre; a primer that's filled with unusual martial arts subject matter (East and West) and covers topics such as strategy, psychopathology and intuition.

The author, Glenn Morris, has trained in a variety of styles, including togakure ryu ninpo, a school of Japanese ninjutsu established in the 12th century. Morris has also served as a consultant to companies and has taught at major universities. Part lunatic and part scholar, Dr. Morris explores the egoic pitfalls of the martial arts, cosmic revelations that he's endured and how to live one's life true to the spirit of budo.

Chapters that include "The Jean-Claude-Killing-Machine Syndrome" and "Martial Master as Sex Stud" are both informative and amusing. The book also offers guided meditations and some interesting dojo games to enhance realism in training.

Martial Arts Madness - strange, provocative, but always highly entertaining. Morris' unique and avant-garde writing style truly sets him apart from his contemporaries. A recommended read for the martial arts adventurer, but definitely not suitable for everyone.