Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tim Johnson Presents Library Quality Celebration of History of Martial Arts...And More...

Be Calm

Keep a calm state of mind
and guard yourself against depression,
agitation and stress because most of the things
we combat in life are psychological,
not physical.
--Diana Lee Inosanto
The Greatest Lessons
  from the Martial Arts
Compiled by Tim Johnson

I had one important reason for wanting to read and review this book. First, I have a beautiful niece who flies through the air practicing her particular type of Martial Arts of whom I am so proud. I wanted to share the book with her. But it was more for verifying that it provided the true philosophical lessons behind  Martial Arts that I felt was important to provide to students who choose to enter into the practice of one or more types of this field of study.

My first introduction was, of course, through television in one of the finest shows, in my opinion, that was based on the study...Kung Fu with David Carradine. It was the teachings that I most admired, especially by the Shaolin Priest who called Carradine, "Grasshopper..." Now, most movies dwell on the violence, the fighting, but this is not the true intent of Martial Arts.. For instance, Tim Bailey from Martinsburg, WV, wrote one of my favorite essays about his entering into the study because he was being bullied at school...Here is what he discovered:

"I came back to school with fervor to have a glorious martial arts showdown that would  rival a scene from Kung Fu
Theater. Instead I found that I did not need it, because I had something other than a few flash moves to combat my
bullies, I had self respect and confidence. I walked differently, talked differently, and carried myself with a stride
that told people I was not a victim anymore...
I tell...the great martial art...
is to build a strong sense of self before you build a strong body.
--Tim Bailey, Hsing yi and Bagua
This is so very important given the prominence of bullying activities in schools today! 

The fully colored art work sets the tone of study--of quiet study, of the beauty of the world, of nature. You do not have to be in the study of the martial arts to appreciate this small book of wisdom, even if it is part of a historical commemoration activity as well as the beginning of a major research effort of those who have taught and those who have studied... 

For many of us, it is a reminder of where true strength comes from... It is a gentle reminder of that maxim, "Know Thyself" which has come from many sources of ancient knowledge. The maxim has remained in my heart for many years to practice, even though I do not remember the first place that I studied it... Such is the words, the greatest lessons in this small book. You may not remember the particular contributor, but if you study the words, perhaps memorize some of them, they, too, will remain with you all your life...

Here is my favorite definition of those that are offered for Martial Art--a guiding light in times of weakness. An inner, ever-present shepherd giving us strength in times of need. Sure, I want my niece and others who study to be able to defend themselves physically, but there is so much more that is available through its philosophical study. This book, written by those who are or have been students or teachers share what they have found as important to their own lives.

For those who are actively involved with Martial Arts, please click on the link above under the Author's name. Johnson is not only a contributor, but he compiled and provided the photography and art work for this beautiful book. He is part of the new data-gathering for the Martial Arts Lineage Project. Students who read this book should provide information on this project to their instructors as well... I consider this a must-read for you...

But for the rest of us, I think it is very clear from the photos also provided by Johnson that the words of the contributors are well worth consideration for our own personal development. Who knows, after reading it, you just may have found a field of study of great interest to you or other family members! Highly recommended!


View all parts online! Here for illustrative purposes of the series!
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  1. I used to love watching the TV show. Love this post.

    1. Thanks Sheila...Once again, we have the same taste! LOL


  2. Glenda, thank you so much for your kind words about this book. It was my pleasure to compile this piece of work and discuss the true life lessons that the arts can so readily provide.

  3. I will definitely use your information. Thank you.