Tiger's Eye, the Bird's Fist: A Beginner's Guide to the Martial Arts

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Colleen Harris
I interpreted "Beginner's Guide" in the subtitle to mean that, when I opened this book, I would find illustrations and instructions that all came together to explain the philosophy or spirituality of the martial arts. That is where the problem lies. Although the writing styles and biographies will appeal to sixth through tenth graders, most students that age are not going to appreciate this book's philosophical presentation. When I handed it to my fifteen-year-old who has a black belt in karate, he acted like I was punishing him. But his instructor thought the book was excellent, that it represented the best in martial arts and included many well-known practitioners. The legends' bios, mostly set off in boxes or sidebars, capture the essence of the masters and their beliefs. The modern code of honor, very similar to the one used in my son's dojo (school), teaches a way of discipline and a code of behavior that are lacking in many young people. It is difficult to teach young adults that martial arts are not sport but a commitment to and practice of an ancient belief. I recommend that parents and students use this book together, either to create a dialogue about the conduct of life or to look at a first commitment to a martial art. Index. Illus. Biblio. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12). Brown,
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
This hodge-podge of martial arts information: biographies, historical development in many countries, training activities, and stories are brought together in a format sure to please anyone seeking general information. Broken into four sections, the author addresses the early history, martial arts around the world, training today, and martial arts and you. While current box office draws are mentioned (Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, and Segal), the biographies of those accomplished martial arts masters emphasize healthy lifetime habits and perseverance as their keys to success. Drawings and black-and-white photography are used. Bibliography and index.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 UpAlthough this book covers martial arts basics such as stances, self-defense, sparring, and belt ranks, its strong point is its exploration of the philosophy and history of these fighting styles. Rafkin offers background material on the origins of major styles from around the world. She uses anecdotes to illustrate the skills of ancient masters and highlights the talents of modern "warriors." There's information here on everyone from the Shaolin Temple monks to Bruce Lee, including women and young people. Anyone intrigued by karate movies, Hong Kong films, or the "Kung Fu" TV series will appreciate Rafkin's emphasis on thinking rather than punching. Throughout the narrative, violence is portrayed as something to avoid, and force something to be used only for self-defense. The bibliography is excellent; the only detriment to the presentation is the lackluster black-and-white illustrations. Along with Terrence Webster-Doyle's Facing the Double-Edged Sword (Atrium, 1988), this is one of the few martial arts books that emphasizes the mind over the fist.Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316734646
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1080L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.03 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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