Over this past summer, right after I began working fervently on a new book which was to be titled Prelude to a Fight, and is currently undergoing a name change (it needs to be just right…), an opportunity to be a part of a very interesting project came up. Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder, two people I hold in very high regard, were working on a book about Miyamoto Musashi’s Dokkodo (The Way of Walking Alone), and asked if I would be willing to contribute my perspective.
Obviously, I jumped at the chance to have my words side by side with theirs. And when they told me who the other contributors were, Alain Burrese, and Lisa Christensen, I was excited to be a part of this group of five. Five people, all Black Belt martial artists, and all coming from different walks of life, looking at Musashi’s last work.
If I am being 100% honest, the excitement turned to anxiousness once I sat down to begin writing. After all, who wants to be seen as the weakest contributor to anything at all? I looked at the previous work of the other contributors, and doubled down to give my dead level best effort. When the review draft was sent to me, I only read my part, carefully avoiding the work from the others out of concern that it might change my opinion, or feel like a challenge to add to what I had written in order to defend my position.
Once I gave the approval for my part, I went back and read the entire book. And I have to tell you, this is a very good book. And not for what may seem to be the obvious reason of me having a part in this project.
See, Musashi is in the category of the sacred cows. He is someone who must be believed and his advice must be followed. He is viewed as all but infallible by martial artists and corporate executives alike. But the fact is, some of his advice is really bad.
I will not go into detail here on my exact thoughts, they are very well explained in the book. But the different points of view really cast a tremendous light on where he was right, where he was close, and where he really missed the mark. I highly recommend this book. I learned a lot from reading the other perspectives on the same topics, and I am sure you will as well.
I walked into the project as someone who had simply taken Musashi’s words as law. What other way are they presented in any print anywhere?
In the end, as I sat and thought about each of the precepts in turn, I learned that even those who we people we are taught to view as genius can be deeply flawed humans.
I hope you buy this book, and I am sure you will enjoy it.