Reviews of “The Rhinoceros Tale“, by Jeff Brooks:
“An unforgettable account, crackling with energy and full of heart… the kind of book that can change your life.” – Philip Zaleski, Editor, The Best Spiritual Writing series
“…honest, entertaining and forthright…” – Dave Lowry, author of Autumn Lightning
“The best book I have read in a long time …filled with sincerity and wisdom…” – Michael Lushington, CEO, Virtual Consulting, Inc.
“…this book is a gem: a fun read, insightful and fascinating.” – Christopher Caile, Editor, fightingarts.com
…Shortly after I last saw him, Sakiyama Sogen, Roshi of Kozenji, Shuri, Okinawa, communicated his understanding of karate to me. This is an excerpt from his letter:
Dear Mr. Brooks,
Today many karate students, particularly karate teachers, neither know the difference between karate and karate-do, nor do they try to discover the difference. This I regret very much. True karate-do can be learned only when we have realized the mysteries of our heart and mind, and realized the mysteries of our body with all our heart and mind and strength. Otherwise karate will be nothing more than a little game, a way to show off. Ultimately it will degenerate into contests or street fighting. It is a shame.
“The essentials of karate-do can only be attained through profound practice. This means that in order to realize what is essential we must experience deep samadhi. I am sure you fully understand what I am trying to say. It is most important for us, and for the younger generations, that we cultivate our heart and mind.
“The final hurdle for us is to be free from the limitations of our own ego. The disease of modern people is that they are slaves to money, power, fame, etc. They are enslaved by their own egos, and are unaware of it. You will become a true master when you become aware of it, and become free of it. There is no easy way, but it is the most important task, one worth devoting one’s life to accomplishing. This is the central task for anyone trying to master a true martial art.
“As I am writing to you I can vividly feel your sincerity and passion to pursue this and to master karate-do. ‘Do’ is an endless and severe way. Therefore we must endlessly exert ourselves to attain it. How wonderful the ‘Do’ is!”
Sincerely yours, Sogen Sakiyama
The Rhinoceros Tale follows the path to that advice, and what I did with it. The advice is not for me. Every martial artist can share it.
The Rhinoceros Tale, 3rd Edition, available in paperback and Kindle Edition ebook
The Good Fight, available in paperback and Kindle Edition ebook
Jeff Brooks, author of the Rhinoceros Tale, the Good Fight, and hundreds of published articles, is a lifetime practitioner of Shorin Ryu, and is among the most influential writers on martial arts. He taught karate to thousands of people at his dojo in Massachusetts, collaborated with martial artists in the US and abroad to restore defensive application and advanced movement in kata. He served as a police officer, detective, and law enforcement instructor. He received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School, was a communications consultant for leaders and public figures. He teaches at Mountain Karate in western North Carolina.
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