I recently purchased The Difference – A Mental Approach to Martial Arts by Jerry Figgiani with Chris R. Vaccaro. While this book is not very large, it is absolutely packed with good information. The book is aimed towards martial artists because it encompasses the mental aspects that we strive for such as respect for self and others, confidence, self-discipline and awareness to name a few. However, you don’t need to be a martial artist to benefit from this book. The principals presented apply to everyone as a member of the human race. Sensei Figgiani guides you through each mental aspect of martial arts with relatable stories and easy to understand steps to clarify each of those aspects. Quite honestly, I was hooked by the introduction.
As I read the book, I found lessons for everyone I know, including myself. I imagined reading these stories to my young students, wondering if they could relate and I believe they could. I imagined reading these stories to my teen students, wondering if they too could relate and I believe they could as well. There are lessons in awareness, communication skills and relaxation that everyone I know can find value in. The way the chapters are laid out, it is easy to read and keeps your interest. I personally have limited time to read, but I make it a priority to read something that I can learn from every day. This book was super easy to fit in one or even 2 chapters while I ate my breakfast, but so interesting that I found that I made time to read more. I can imagine a parent reading this book with their child, one chapter a night, and having both of them benefit from it. Adults out there wondering if martial arts is for you, read this book – especially the epilogue by Lou di Blasi.
Check out the link at the bottom of this page to order this book or Sensei Figgiani’s previous book, From The Minds of the Masters.