A useful and straightforward introduction to the practices and philosophies of martial arts.


A teacher reveals insights learned from his lifelong martial arts involvement in this debut motivational guide.

Nguyen took his first martial arts class at the age of 4 in his native Vietnam while the country was still riven by war. “I wasn’t really there to learn to fight,” recalls the author in this volume’s introduction. “My dad just needed a place to put a curious kid who was asking too many questions—questions that could get my family in trouble.” While his parents covertly smuggled his older brothers out of the country, Nguyen learned to punch, kick, and meditate. After a few years, he fled Vietnam with the rest of his family, spending time in refugee camps in Malaysia and the Philippines before gaining entrance to the United States. In his new country, Nguyen continued his karate training, which helped him to learn English, hone his discipline, and—eventually—provide him with a means to support himself. In these pages, he takes readers through various lessons, pausing at each step to elaborate on the deeper meaning behind it. The bow teaches commitment, for example; stretching teaches negotiation. Each chapter combines practical tips—visualization, breathing, repetition, muscle memory—with illustrative anecdotes and explanations of how these skills are useful outside the dojo. (Internalizing the importance of flexibility in the gym can help students embrace elasticity in the rest of their lives.) Nguyen’s prose is calm and accessible, and his years of teaching shine through in his writing: “In sparring, the goal, rule, and lesson are all the same. Sparring is all about control. It’s simple. In sparring, your goal is to hold control, no matter the situation or how hard your partner hits you.” Control is a fitting descriptor for the author’s work: clean, organized, comprehensive, and rarely surprising. The book would seem to have limited utility for someone not in a martial arts class—or not the parent of an enrolled child, as Nguyen provides “For the Parents” sections in each chapter. But for those embarking on a martial arts education, the author’s words will help get their minds in the right place.

A useful and straightforward introduction to the practices and philosophies of martial arts.

Pub Date: May 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-1321-8

Page Count: 222

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?



Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?