I just finished reading Living The Martial Way: A manual for the way a modern warrior should think by Forrest E. Morgan, Maj. USAF again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read this book since I first got it 20 years ago in 1992, but it has been quite a few. It is an excellent guide for those who live and train as warriors. I enjoy the reinforcement and reminders it provides to help me continue along the path.
After the introduction where Morgan provides a bit of background on the martial arts, and his definition of martial arts, martial ways, and the martial way, and why he believes we should practice the martial way today, the book is divided into three main parts.
The first part, The Way of Training, contains chapters on the warrior mind-set, your martial destiny, the warrior’s way of strategy, and the warrior’s spell book. This last chapter is not what you might think. Morgan has a very down to earth and practical look at what some try to make seem magical or mystical. The chapter on strategy is something that every martial artist should read, but it can apply to so much more if you really study and understand it.
The second part, The Way of Honor, delves into an important concept for all those who wish to live as warriors, and that is honor. The chapters include the foundations of honor, honor in action, and revenge and suicide: perversions of honor. I liked Morgan’s frank discussion on this character trait and what honor really means.
The third part, The Way of Living, contains chapters on warrior fitness, religion and mysticism, how the warrior stands alone, and mastery and the martial way. All of these chapters are important, and as he does through the entire book, Morgan looks at fitness and religions in a practical way as someone who follows the way of warriorship, or the martial way, should.
One wouldn’t have to agree with Morgan on everything to still gain much valuable insight from this book. It contains information to not only help a person fight, but to know when or why to fight as well. I really do think it is a manual that should be on the shelf, and periodically read, by everyone who practices martial arts and wants to live as a warrior. I know this is not the last time I’ll read through my worn volume as I strive to live as a warrior and teach the warrior’s edge.