Friday, October 3, 2008
Book Review: "Me, Chi, And Bruce Lee"
In 1963, writer George Plimpton, on a lark I presume, signed on for training camp with The Detroit Lions football team. A skinny thirty-six year-old, he totally sucked. He did however get some playing time, and got to hang out with the players, coaches and groupies. The result was his famous book "Paper Lion", which detailed his experiance in ways most football fans could only imagine.
Fast-foward to the present, we meet Brian Preston. Preston is an unasuming, polite "everyman", living on Vancouver Island, Canada. He has a taste for good Beer, and is most famous for his previous book "Pot Planet - Adventures In Global Marijuana Culture". Preston is definately a guy I'd like to have a Beer with.
After experiancing frustration with getting his views published in some venues, Preston's book publisher talks him into doing a book on Martial Arts, something Preston is unprepared and generally unsuited for. From there, we follow this self-described "cerebral, haphazard, unfailingly harmless pacifist" as he begins his "hero's journey" into the world of Martial Arts.
If anything, Preston's self-deprecating sense of humor really stands out, as he experiances a panic attack while being pinned by a sixty year-old grandma at Sifu Bob's Kung Fu school. Again as his ribs get broken when he meets Royce Gracie at a snowbound Canadian Jujitsu seminar. In China, he trains at Shaolin and during a bout of food poisening, he is preoccupied with worrying about shitting his white Kung Fu training pants. Preston is the consummate "hanger-oner" who always comes up with a good idea or solution. We experiance his disappointment at the blatant State-Capitalism that drives Shaolin under a new era of Communist/Capitalist rule. We relate to the training limitations of his middle-aged body.
But mostly, we benefit from Preston's personal experiances with people like the stoic Royce Gracie, historical expert Jarek Szymanski of the website ChinaFromInside.com , and of course, radical leftist-Christian-anarchist UFC fighter Jeff Monson.
Brian Preston compiles a thoughtful catalog of martial readings and colorful experiances from snowbound Canada to Wudang Mountain, from Shaolin to Las Vegas.
Through all this, our ungainly hero finally finds a martial style that suits him, one that he hopes to continue for the rest of his life.
"Me, Chi, and Bruce Lee" is a rollicking fun book, a great read that both takes us around the world and allows us to explore our own inner martial journey.
-Please check out this book, and hundreds of other Martial Arts titles at "Blue Snake Books", their website is available at THIS LINK... Check it out!