In Search of the Warrior Spirit (英語) ペーパーバック – 1992/4
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Expanded Third Edition with Marine Martial Art Update.
In a top-secret U.S. military experiment, Richard Heckler was invited to teach Eastern awareness disciplines ranging from Aikido to meditation to a group of 25 Green Berets. This account chronicles his experiences in the training program and his attempts to revive traditional warriorship in a technological society. His book provides insight into the nature of war, the meaning of masculinity, and the need for moral values in the military. This new edition includes Heckler's response to 9/11, his connections to the Pentagon and U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and his reflections on the movie Black Hawk Down, which depicts the deaths of two of his trainees. "The new Marine Corps martial art...is focused as much on the soul as it is on soldiering..."
—The Wall Street Journal --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
The East Bay Express (March 26, 2003) interviewed Richard Strozzi-Heckler about the revised edition of his breakthrough experience teaching Aikido to the Green Berets. With the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Heckler knows that this book is more relevant than ever before:
"From the youngest infantryman to the most senior officers, I have yet to meet someone who was personally excited or eager about going to war," Strozzi-Heckler says. "At the leadership level, there are still a significant number of senior officers who were in Vietnam, and they are very careful about committing our armed forces to a conflict in which the country is divided. They work for their civilian bosses and do what our elected officials tell them to do -- after first arguing against the use of military operations. It has been clear to me and those who have interacted with leaders at this level that they are the last ones to want to implement their violent and destructive profession. Ever wonder why you've never seen the chiefs of staff of the services in front of CNN making the case for a war in Iraq? That's one of the reasons."
It is very obvious that the "reviewer" We spent TAX MONEY on this airhead jerk off drill?, August 30, 2004 Reviewer: John H. Jennings (Bedford, Texas USA), is either too unintelligent to understand the book, or is a liar who has never read it.
Speaking of liars, the writer of "Oh why the Marines" probably never met a Marine who had any of this training, as is obvious from the Marine's review who does know these Marines.
Then there's the "reviewer" Too self absorbed, May 3, 2003
Reviewer: A reader, who didn't even have the courage to use their name as the reviewer. Why is it so hard to understand that a book about a person's experience is about the person? How is that self-absorbed? Hello, there, is anyone home?
I believe that with the number of people involved in the martial arts since this book was written, there will be more people who understand the meaning and purpose of what the experiment was aimed at in this program. Of course, there will be detractors among those in the martial arts, and I know some; however, everyone studying a martial art is not necessarily of the highest "martial spirit"; for many there involvement is just a hobby, for exercise, or maybe self-defense, or even to be the "tough guy on the block". Many of those types wold not understand higher-order thinking, as is attempted in this program.
I just ordered the new edition. I will read it and edit my comments with an in-depth review. I just wrote this to encourage people who read these reviews to follow the advice and recommendations of the highest reviews. These are people who have honestly read and understand what is being said. Never mind the naysayers, people like that could never understand true martial artists, and certainly could never understand those who are so superior to them as those in the Green Berets.
I read the Amazon reviews before starting this book so I was watching for examples of some of their critical points--which are nonexistant. I wanted to write a rave review of this book right away, but felt as a matter of integrity I should read the whole thing first, and having done so to the very end, I am even more puzzled by the erroneous statements some "reviewers" made (which have been addressed by other customer comments). It's too bad that "reviews" by a couple of deadbeats with an obvious chip on their shoulder has brought down the customer average for this book, which rightfully should be AT LEAST in the four-and-a-half star range.
Anyone who actually reads this book knows that the Trojan Warrior Project (the subject of this book) was a complete success on all accounts. The author is honest all along about his own fears and doubts--and failures--giving the book an inspiring authenticity and making the successes all the more impressive. Strozzi-Heckler is quite forthright near the end of the book in stating (from the after-project report and evaluations) that one-third of the participants did not find the program valuable. Anecdotal evidence over the next several years seems to counterbalance this partial "failure" with many of the participants later appreciating the long-term benefits of the program to all aspects of their lives. And of course the fact that a version of this program has now (as of 2000) been incorporated into an ONGOING aspect of Marine training is the ultimate proof of its success.
I could quible about some of the little things that keep this book from being a perfect masterpiece (epics always seem to be judged more harshly by film critics than little movies). The author's character descriptions are sometimes corny in reaching for either colorful metaphor or character by analogy to movie cliches. The epilogue section goes on too long: Although the follow-up information is certainly valuable and fascinating, Strozzi-Heckler could have used a more assertive editor (for both editions). The lengthy afterword section wanders a bit and keeps the book from closing on a tight note. The biggest problem from a literary POV is that it's hard to keep all the characters straight, which makes it difficult to get a cumulative sense of the different participants (i.e., on the Special Forces teams), so it was hard for me as a reader to share the author's developing relationships with these men. But these are quibbles.
"In Search of the Warrior Spirit" is one of the most thought-provoking and enjoyable books I have ever read. Strozzi-Heckler's skill as a writer lets him get away with writing in a daily journal style that could easily have come off as contrived. Here, the reader is engaged with both the events and the idealogical information and struggles that are presented. About half way through reading this book I got on-line, looked up the nearest Aikido center in my town, and started taking lessons the next day. And still am.
I've subsequently ordered about fifteen other books on Aikido and on warrior virtues. Like the nature of Aikido moves, this book has propelled my life in a direction it was already going, more than I realized. I'm charged. And grateful.