The Martial
Artist's Way


Shihfu Glen Doyle
North Atlantic Books,
1996 $16.95

Available through Plum Publications: yes

This is a book for both beginner and advanced practitioner. There are many things Mr. Doyle pulls off, mostly successfuly, in this piece. He manages - no mean task - to speak in a solid, honest way that will appeal to beginners just facing their confusing introduction to the martial arts and, at the same time, to elicit a few nods from those who know the story and have travelled the road.

As the jacket promises Mr. Doyle indeed bursts with enthusiasm, though not always infectious. But he does not shirk, and that requires a round of applause. Unflinchingly he tackles :

Choosing a Style
Choosing a School
Making a Style Yours
Psychological Make-up
The Street
The Killer Instinct

Mr. Doyle's style, at times, brings new depth to the word prosaic : "The streets of any city or town can be filled with beauty and wonder, gifts, surprises and culture. They can house artifacts of science, history, and community spirit: things that make urban living enjoyable. However, always remember that the street can turn into a Pandora's box of evil and danger, and preparing and calling upon your faith in both yourself and your chosen style of combat could make all the difference in your life ... and in saving it."

But, though we sometimes disagree, there is a mind here that has gone through the topics and rare good sense, respect and a canny truthfulness. If you're interested in an overview of how to get in and/or stay in the martial arts take the time to have a cup of tea, or something stronger, with Shihfu Doyle.






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