ForeWord Reviews

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Kishido

The Way of the Western Warrior

Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 2003

“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same,” according to the Chinese proverb.

“I like a man who grins when he fights,” said Sir Winston Churchill.

Like the balance between these two quotations, Kishido is a blending of Eastern and Western martial arts disciplines and philosophies. It was developed by a quintessential Eastern martial arts sensei or teacher, whom the author refers to simply as “the Master.”

Though very wise and skilled in the traditional martial arts, the Master is always eager to continue to learn and expand his craft. He developed this new Way while teaching British students. Realizing that Western culture had much to offer, the Master studied the great leaders of the West and began to weave the best of Western fighting skills-from boxing to horsemanship-with their Eastern counterparts. The result is Kishido, something altogether more than just the sum of its parts. It is a profound and beautiful philosophy of life, as well as an excellent physical sport. It is not, at its heart, a belligerent doctrine.

In an increasingly hostile world, the Master’s instructions and gentle ways are refreshing. Restraint at all times is the essence of Kishido. “Anger, according to the Master, is merely a manifestation of fear,” writes Hobart. “It is like the snarling of a frightened beast. It serves no useful purpose in combat.” Reacting to verbal or physical conflict with anger may be temporarily satisfying, but it primarily serves only to cheapen the subject and the speaker. “Just walk away,” admonishes the Master. It is the strong man who knows when to yield his ground.

The author practices the Master’s Way by implementing its tenets in his daily life-integrity, dignity, courtesy, chivalry, truth, and trust. This book is a compilation of what he has learned in his walk along the path of the Master, a journey he is but beginning. Anyone with a deep interest in the true essence of the martial arts will want to join him in that journey, and this explanation of Kishido will make an invaluable addition to any martial arts readings.

Alan J. Couture