When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship between Zen and the Martial Arts
by Jeffrey K. Mann
I have NOT read this book and have no idea how insightful this fellow is, but he is certainly experienced on the martial arts side of things and has spent many years in Japan. I bumped into the book on line - it very recently came out -- so I thought I'd post it here, but please don't consider this some kind of recommendation.
Film, television and popular fiction have long exploited the image of the serene Buddhist monk who is master of the deadly craft of hand-to-hand combat. While these media overly romanticize the relationship between a philosophy of non-violence and the art of fighting, When Buddhists Attack: the Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts shows this link to be nevertheless real, even natural.
Exploring the origins of Buddhism and the ethos of the Japanese samurai, university professor and martial arts practitioner Jeffrey Mann traces the close connection between the Buddhist way of compassion and the way of the warrior. This book serves as a basic introduction to the history, philosophy, and current practice of Zen as it relates to the Japanese martial arts. It examines the elements of Zen that have found a place in budo—the martial way—such as zazen, mushin, zanshin and fudoshin, then goes on to discuss the ethics and practice of budo as modern sport. Offering insights into how qualities integral to the true martial artist are interwoven with this ancient religious philosophy, this book will help practitioners reconnect to an authentic spiritual discipline of the martial arts.
Jeffrey K. Mann earned his doctorate in Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University and is currently Chair of the Religious Studies Department at Susquehanna University. In addition, he has served as a Visiting Professor of Religion at Senshu University in Ikuta, Japan. A longtime student of Japanese martial arts, he has trained and competed in karate throughout North America, Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines. He is instructor of the Susquehanna Goju-ryu Karate-do Club, a school affiliated with the International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation