Sunday, December 20, 2009


I thought I'd put in a plug for my friend Mark Law's book about Judo, The Pyjama Game. When I went to check the URL of his website, I noticed this review:

The literary genre “neophyte learns a martial art” is getting somewhat crowded, but Law’s likeable and stylish entry deserves a place on the mat.

"Neophyte learns a martial art" is a crowded literary genre? I had no idea. Anyone want to tell me where to find the rest of these books?

Anyway, I liked Mark's book very much. I particularly enjoyed the third chapter, which is relevant to anyone involved in the martial arts. "If there is some chemical compound," Mark writes,

called aggression sluicing around our systems, and it is A Bad Thing, then surely we need to have some way of disposing of this hazard before it starts burning holes in the fabric of society? In fact we have a number of methods; one of them is called sport.

This seems intuitively obvious to me, almost so much so as to be hardly worth saying. Yet it seems to be remarkably shocking to many people when I say just this.

1 comment:

  1. I liked Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman when I read it 20 years ago. I haven't read it since, so I've no idea if it aged well, but it's still in print. Bruce Frantzis gives something of a chronicle of his own adventures in The Power of Internal Martial Arts, but that's not the main focus of the book. I guess Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery is the progenitor of the genre.