Item description for Mental Karate: A Warrior's Guide by Tom Muzila...
Mental Karate: A Warrior's Guide by Tom Muzilla
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Oct 31, 2006
Publisher Empire Books
ISBN 1933901012 ISBN13 9781933901015
Availability 0 units.
More About Tom Muzila
Tom Muzila has over 45 years of practicing and teaching martial arts and fitness conditioning. He is a fifth degree (godan) black belt in Tsutomu Ohshima's Shotokan Karate of America. Tom has established several world marks and long endurance karate records. Tom has also authored Mental Karate: A Warrior's Guide.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mental Karate: A Warrior's Guide?
Read this one hard. Dec 3, 2007
I initially saw Tom Muzila back in the early 1970's. He was still in the armed forces and had recently returned to Fort Campbell, KY from covert combat op's somewhere outside the US.
I was pretty green, but I could see well enough to notice that even among a group of talented black belts, Tom Muzila's quiet solidity projected a certain intense strength. As things went on, people got the idea that what he did was very authentic.
I trained with him for a while at that time. There was more to it than could be explained here. When I left the area a couple of years later, the training went with me, and I continued along in the direction he had taught. I have not had the chance to train with him personally very much since then; now, not in a long time.
It sticks, though. Through the years, I have had more of life's successes than my young self ever thought I could; and, of course, there was a bit of failure here and there to balance it out.
In my finest moments, it is not unusual to notice that something that was generated from Mr. Muzila's training has carried me more easily along the path to get here. In darker times, it was not unusual that something that began with Tom's training helped me keep everything in perspective.
Mr. Muzila is one of a very few examples of the "paradox resolved", the warrior-gentleman, the soldier-philosopher, who brought it through and put it into practice in regular life.
Unlike many who talk a lot these days, what Tom says he says out of living it. In a lull in the middle of jungle warfare, he could appreciate the beauty and delicacy of a butterfly that drifted by, and in the next moment do well the job he had to do. This tranquility and humanity in the midst of conflict was a Samurai ideal.
This is real, and it's available to us for regular daily life.
Get this book. Read it hard.
A Great Read for Anyone Seeking Greater Mental Strength--Will Be Cherished Aug 7, 2007
The introduction to this book, alone, is almost worth the price of admission. It conjures images of fearless warrior juggernauts from throughout history, revealing a secret so powerfully potent and self-realizing, that it could be considered a better "engine of history" than Hegel's thesis-antithesis "synthesis." In fact, I find myself fighting for time to re-read the book with my wife, reading it aloud to my mother (with whom I have had quite a rocky relationship with, and she's furiously writing notes down as I'm reading), and I'm getting ready to send a copy to my troubled, barely-adult sister. It also just occurred to me that this will be a perfect high school graduation gift for my neighbor. The funny thing is, none of them are "martial artists." Nevertheless, it is a true guide to anyone seeking a higher mentality, a stronger, clearer purpose, a different bent on history, and even the inner workings of the mind and the psychology of fear. It's that good.
Even though I am a friend and student of the author, and have heard many of the stories straight out of the "horse's mouth," it is nevertheless very refreshing to have them in a book form that I can easily refer to and share with anyone I choose. There are many other stories and concepts which I have newly-learned, as well, and many others will benefit from them through the concise conveyances in this book.
One story speaks of a pit bull that the author once owned. One day, while walking it, it ran out into the street, chasing a stray dog. It was hit by a van, and the author observed the rear tire running over the dog, after the bumper had hit his head--the van had been going 35 MPH. Expecting to find him slumped on the ground and mortally-wounded, he instead observed him to "flip out from under the van, "land on his feet," and continue to run after the dog." Other than a tire print on his underside and a broken paw, several days of observation by a vet revealed no serious injuries, and the dog lived another 6 years. The author spent weeks trying to figure out how the dog had survived, and concluded that it was due to his conditioning-he'd run the dog 10-12 miles per day, and it's body was "like steel-" and the specific reaction, including the dog's breathing.
You might be asking what something as mundane as a dog being hit by a car has to do with "warrior spirit," but we must remember that the ancient masters observed wild animals to learn fighting moves, and to mimic their strong spirits. The author mentions this, saying that gazing into the eyes of a wild animal (from a safe place, of course) is an excellent way to "instantly" realize what true focus and determination is, and to "wake up the mind." The other point is the breathing, which the book devotes an entire section to. Other stories deal chiefly with people.
The book is far-reaching, covering such subjects as spirituality, sociology, psychology, history, and even religion and faith. The author is so well-versed and cultured, that even I found myself, a personal friend, wondering how he could so eloquently and effortlessly make his points, yet so clearly-written, that a child could mostly comprehend much of the book (albeit with a bit of background). On the other hand, it could be used as an introduction to many of the advanced concepts and, in fact, will always occupy a central place on my bookshelf, as I raise my almost-3 toddler, and work to expand my family.
Unlike most books of the genre, it's capaciousness lends itself to anyone interested in becoming more efficient and powerful, or just seeking insight into what it takes to set apart a leader from the crowd. The book shows that everyone has the capacity to expand his or her mental energy, but that it's the willingness to work towards it, even starting with "baby steps," and working along the path.
The cover photo is arresting. It is a portrait of Tsutomu Ohshima, a karate master and the author's longtime instructor and friend, performing a karate move, and exhibiting great mental focus and strength, as a much younger man.
I can personally attest to the author's genuineness and selflessness. Last summer, he came out and voluntarily performed a karate demonstration for a summer class I was teaching--6 students with severe behavioral problems in a self-contained special education class that was so isolated from the rest of the school's population that they had their own lunch-time, and had to be individually escorted to the restroom by security personnel. Students that had dismissed me from day 1 took to him almost immediately, and the simple "baby-stepping" self-improvement strategies he spoke of, the complete respect and non-judgementalness that he approached them with gained their immediate and lasting confidence, and I believe changed the (not-so-positive, but expected) courses of their lives (and they really enjoyed seeing their teacher getting "beat up" during the physical parts). This even impressed my teaching assistant, who was doubtless fortified and enlightened, firing off a volley of questions of her own. I know those 7 people (and I) greatly benefitted from this personal and generous display of selfless devotion to what many considered to be "lost causes," and this attitude permeates the book.
This book is unlike any other "self-help" book (and it is broad enough to be at the front of the category). It does not berate you for failing or falling short. In fact, a central tenet is to "never talk down to yourself" (in your inner "mind-talk"). It isn't composed of repetitive exercises, and doesn't talk you into seeing a shrink. Instead, it seizes on your inner strength and builds on it, showing how to harness that positive energy and strike down negative, draining thoughts, building an ever-increasing aura of positivity that will draw other positive people towards you.
Other sections of the book cover the "power of belief," self-confidence, controlling thoughts and developing mental strength, and attaining "optimum peak-performance mental states" (ie. "the zone," athletically speaking), among other things. Many pictures depict martial artists, the author performing world-record (and Guiness Book) feats such as pulling 18-wheel trucks and fire-walking and mountain climbing, and some of the professional people he's worked with, such as Willie Gault, "the fastest man in football," and Lamon Brewster, the WBO world-heavyweight champion.
In summary, reading this book will either initiate (or continue) a road of self-improvement in almost anyone, and Tom Muzila's extremely humble and generous personality and strong, warrior mentality will carry right through its pages, and into your psyche. That sounds like a lot, but I'm speaking from personal experience, as well as the direct observation of the effect of his spoken and written words on even those who've either never heard of (or previously met) him, and wouldn't recognize him at all. And reading the book has greatly helped me to increase my self-discipline, stay positive in the face of "dire straits," face opponents more strongly in the karate dojo (as well as my own fears and weaknesses), and even spread positivity by simply discussing it. It is one of the finest, most helpful books I've ever read, easily reaching into my "top ten."