Zen and the Art of Street Fighting - True Battles of a Modern-Day Warrior

Click Here to Enlarge
Author: Jack Sabat
Pub: 1996 by Frog, LTD.
Pages: 222
Ranking:Two Star Rating
In Print: Check Price Now!


The only reason this book did not receive a one star rating, was the unintended humor found in the book. I don't really want to say what *I* thought of this book, so I'll quote a small part of the book, and let you judge for yourself... (The "Richard" named below is a visiting martial artist to Jack Sabot's Dojo)

...The head shot was without merit, but they were in the heat of battle. I knew Richard deliberately laid open Brad's eye and robbed him of his ego. Such were the spoils of war. I stopped the engagement and walked over to inspect the wound. It appeared that it would call for seven or eight stitches, so I told Brad to go to emergency and have it taken care of. I knew it was worse.

I now had a reputation to stand up for, and casually glancing at the Wado-Ryu boy, I said, "All right, Richard, I suppose my boy is out of it for now, but you've only been working out for a few minutes, so I'll work with you and see what you've got." Other students could see my ki beginning to glow. I now had to take control and offer a solution to the dark blemish placed on our dojo by a stranger from a strange land. Any visitor who left this turf would have quite another story to tell when I finished with him, I assured myself. All other battles had come to a halt. Only I and the kickboxer stood, two lone Spartans on the field of battle ready to win the war for our side. I chose to be the defender first and motioned the young warrior to exchange positions. I put my back to the green tatami wall, smashed my fists together, and took several deep abdominal breaths before we began. We both knew where this was going, and I, for one, was determined to end the battle. I figured I would feel him out, build his confidence, and then smash his ego like a bad habit. We bowed and took our positions, guard ready. I shouted to the time keeper to set the clock for thirty minutes...

This book purports to be autobiographical non-fiction - but it seems far better suited as light martial-arts humor. If you are amused by huge egos, this will be funny to read.



 Foreword ....................................... ix
 Chapter  1. The Steel Dojo ...................... 5
 Chapter  2. Battle beneath the Thunder ......... 35
 Chapter  3. Yokusuka Shotokan .................. 51
 Chapter  4. Ring of Strategy ................... 77
 Chapter  5. Makiwara:
             The Straw Sheath Conflict .......... 95
 Chapter  6. Gasping For Air!
             The Battle in the Furnace ......... 109
 Chapter  7. Facing the Mountain:
             The Ordeal of Sanchin Kata ........ 123
 Chapter  8. First Words, Then Blood:
             The Battle of the Total Darkness .. 141
 Chapter  9. Real Kung Fu, Please .............. 157
 Chapter 10. West Side Blow-Out ................ 169
 Chapter 11. The Thousand Pounds Victory ....... 185
 Chapter 12. The New South Wales Incident ...... 199



My intention is to make you think: to make you step outside the comfort zone where you are familiar and safe. It is there where your search for satori (enlightenment) - "the pinnacle of peace" - will leave you drifting in and out of calm and violent seas. On this journey you must learn to seek the highest level of the Zen mind -Sei Chuu Do- potential movement within stillness.

The Japanese martial arts are a means to an end. Through these arts, the practitioner becomes like a bamboo shoot, surviving through great resiliency. As the roots of the bamboo are deep and strong, the bamboo can resist the destructive forces of nature. Just before the bowed bamboo snaps under the weight of the accumulated winter snow, it twists and shifts, springing upright and causing the snow to the fall to the earth. This is the essence of Budo - that which allows one to change and adapt to life's different challenges. The amount of change causes a like amount of growth, and so in life one becomes great if one becomes adaptable.

This book reveals a part of my awakening, and one man's battles against the predictable forces of man and the unpredictable force of nature. As Budo has become diluted in modern times, it is my true hope that those Budoka of the old days still live and reflect the essence of Budo, to keep it alive in a few small corners of our world. Hopefully, this book will cast but a glimmer of light on the path to enlightenment of the self and awaken the reader to the real meaning of practice.

These stories are true. They tell of trials and tribulations. I have joined them with ancient and modern training methods which have been tested on the battlefield. I learned these methods from my Sensei. I still use them today. The study of Budo samurai battles and the forces of nature help to put my own martial arts ordeals in perspective.

They help to explain what valor has meant to me. Change is the law of nature and one must never forget that in the face of danger, the resiliency one achieves through Budo, like that of the bamboo shoot, depends not only on honor, loyalty, and truth, but on the depth of one's roots and the will to sustain ancient and honorable traditions. It is my greatest hope that you will use this battle book as a means to seek higher learning and a catalyst to charge your spirit and train harder. Cast safety aside, make risk your target, and become triumphant. Strive for the honorable goal of really living, as each one of us is destined to die some day. Make the practice of Budo constant and forever changing like a river; seek out the universal light. Train in the Budo arts - a beautiful violence to find unshakable peace. This is my story.

Jack Sabat


No votes yet