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Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior

Cook, Doug

Boston, MA 02131: YMAA Publication Center, 220 pages (2001)
ISBN: 1-886969-93-0
4354 Washington Street


If you are looking for a broad-based description of taekwondo, I recommend Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior. Essentially, it is a biography not of a person but of the art of taekwondo. Author Doug Cook, himself a third-degree black belt, thoroughly explains taekwondo’s history, philosophy, technique, and modern development.

Cook strongly emphasizes the spiritual aspect of taekwondo. He devotes many chapters to explaining the benefits of meditation, the philosophy of "ki," and holistic development through taekwondo. As a practitioner of taekwondo, I found this part of the book interesting as a complement to the rigorous physical exercise experienced in practice. It is through Cook believes that through mental exercise, the benefits of taekwondo can spill over into the trainee's everyday life.

However, Cook realizes that the essence of taekwondo is physical. He describes taekwondo as an "action philosophy." Just as one must take action upon their ideas to bring them to life, so must one take action in their taekwondo training to understand its philosophy. As he describes it, one cannot learn how to kick by reading about it: such would be similar to describing the color red to a blind person. The only way to learn a kick is to execute the kick. Experience leads to achievement and understanding.

Cook's love for taekwondo shines through in every page of this book. He truly seeks to expand the reader's mind and understanding on the subject. Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior is a great read for the experienced taekwondo practitioner and the interested observer alike.

Annotated by: Dave Wallace (December 2001)

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Martial Arts: Taekwondo |

Topics: forms | history | instruction | philosophy | self-defense |



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