I’d had Warrior Mind: Strategy and Philosophy from the Martial Arts by Dick Morgan on my to get and read list for quite a while when I happened to find an autographed copy at a book store in Spokane, Washington. So I added the book to my autographed collection and have just finished reading it. I am very glad I did. I really enjoyed reading Warrior Mind and found that I agreed with much of what Morgan wrote, and that his philosophies regarding the martial arts are very similar, if not the same, as many of mine. This book reinforced some of my own beliefs, and provided new and different perspectives on others which helped enlighten my thinking in regards to my own training and teaching. I think this is a very good read for any martial artist who wants to go beyond the physical techniques of training and develop oneself in all areas, physical, mental, spiritual if you will, and experience all martial arts are able to provide.
Morgan’s primary art is Hapkido, but he’s also studies other arts and his experiences with Hapkido and some Aikido are the ones that are shared the most, except for a little about his earlier training in the harder martial arts such as tae kwon do and kenpo. The art is not as important with this book, because as the title suggests, this book is about your mind, strategy and philosophy. That’s why this book will be beneficial for anyone of any style, because the mind, strategy and philosophies shared here transcend style and can be adopted by anyone.
The book shares a lot about Morgan’s personal journey in the martial arts, especially what he has learned training with his instructors Grandmaster James R. Garrison and Grandmaster Kim, Sangcook. Many lessons from these two are shared as Morgan learned them.
Some of the topics Morgan writes about include finding true strength from within, the mind and body being one, breath control and awareness, directing one’s energy, not resisting but blending, honoring your spirit, and much more.
One mark of a book that I really believe in is that I go to class and share things from the book with my students. I found myself doing this a number of times as I read it. So yes, the book helped shape some of my thinking and teaching, and I thank Dick Morgan for that. I’m always striving to be a better martial artist, better instructor, better warrior, and better person, and this book provides lessons to help with all of these areas.
If you are a serious student of martial arts and want to develop your mind as you develop your body, read Warrior Mind and study strategy and philosophy along with your physical techniques. Do so and you’ll develop all areas and be a true martial artist in body, mind, and spirit.