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Thread: Books by Phillip Starr

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Mississippi River
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    Books by Phillip Starr

    The Making of a Butterfly... a new book by a kung fu master telling the story of his training as an american student. was a good read, recommended. Got it on amazon.

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. #3
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    Talking

    Actually, there was another thread regarding the book but it seems to have vanished-

    One of the members asked if I had once been the Chairman of the AAU Chinese Martial Arts Committee and I told him that, yes, it was me- from 1991-95.

    And this is my first book that has been published-

    Anyway, I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it!

  4. #4
    It's pretty inexpensive, but maybe Sifu Starr could you make it searchable so we could at least view the table of contents and get an idea of what it's about?

  5. #5
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    Smile

    If you go to North Atlantic Books on the internet, they have an excerpt from the book and the Table of Contents. If you have any difficulty, let me know and I'll try to post the TOC here-

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by P. Starr
    If you go to North Atlantic Books on the internet, they have an excerpt from the book and the Table of Contents. If you have any difficulty, let me know and I'll try to post the TOC here-
    Thanks very much! I'll check that out.

  7. #7
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    Let me know what you think!

  8. #8
    I read through the first two chapters.

    It's interesting because at this time in my life I'm tired of kung fu teachers who want you to do everything their way. I've pretty much given up on that approach. In fact, I've pretty much given up on teachers.

    Honestly, it's not that I don't want a teacher that pushes me, it's that I'm tired of the 'do it this way' thing. 'My way or the highway'. Every new teacher wants you to do it their way, study their forms, etc. Well what if you already have 10-20 years of training? Just throw it away? It's a waste of time if you move around or don't want to train with the same person forever.

    I have a hard time finding teachers who will work on what I want to work on. For example, I currently want to train with staff, but I cannot find anybody who fights with staff. The MMA places don't fight with staff.

    Yet, at the same time I lack a lot of motivation for martial arts practice, because I don't think I will ever use it. Does that make sense? When will I ever fight a high level fighter bare-handed in my life? Probably never. If I get attacked by a random person they'll probably have a gun, not attack me with fists.

    So it's kindof a double-edged sword. At the same time I hate the training methods of the current teachers, I'm not that prepared for a real fight, but at the same time I probably will never get into one, so there's not much point.

    So this book is kindof like a weird thing, because if I had a teacher like yours when I was younger, I would have worked hard, etc. But now, I wouldn't really want a teacher like that. In fact, I'd probably tell him to shove off. Make sense?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    reads well so far.

    thanks for sharing.

    here is the link to the exerpt:

    http://northatlanticbooks.com/store/1583941517.html

    the actual exerpt link is near the bottom of that page.
    A man has only one death. That death may be as weighty as Mt. Tai, or it may be as light as a goose feather. It all depends upon the way he uses it....
    ~Sima Qian

    Master pain, or pain will master you.
    ~PangQuan

    "Just do your practice. Who cares if someone else's practice is not traditional, or even fake? What does that have to do with you?"
    ~Gene "The Crotch Master" Ching

    You know you want to click me!!

  10. #10
    If I wrote that for my first teacher, it would be something more like,

    "So we were all doing kicks. After 50 snap kicks in cat stance on the right side, we shifted to the left side, and did 50 kicks there."

    "I thought I was going to puke, but out of the corner of my eye I saw my teacher's daughter, Lan, and I didn't want to look like a fool in front of her, so I worked harder to make sure my kicks looked better than Brad, her current boyfriend."

    "All of that effort made my legs really hurt, and I thought I was going to fall down, but when we went into the character 'Sun' punches, I didn't want to lose face, so I made an extra effort to do them even faster."

    "Later in sparring, in an effort to impress the women, I worked extra hard not to get hit, and in doing so nailed Greg hard in the eye, so hard it turned red and watered. Hopefully he'll forgive me. He didn't forgive me the last time I nailed him in the 1st grade with a pail, though, but he forgot after a few years." (Truth is Greg never forgot the pail).

    The next day I had to get a ride to school from Pete, because I was so sore that I couldn't ride my bike. At least I have a day off until next class.

  11. #11
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    Talking

    That's great! You ought to take up writing!!!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by P. Starr
    That's great! You ought to take up writing!!!
    Actually, I interned in several publications in college, so actually that was terrible. Not enough description or style or anything.

    But seriously, I don't have anything worth saying. People want to hear about some great sifu with a lot of students like you, not some divorced loser who gets drunk and bangs on poles in his back yard.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    lmao

    that was rich neilhytholt, your a funny guy.
    A man has only one death. That death may be as weighty as Mt. Tai, or it may be as light as a goose feather. It all depends upon the way he uses it....
    ~Sima Qian

    Master pain, or pain will master you.
    ~PangQuan

    "Just do your practice. Who cares if someone else's practice is not traditional, or even fake? What does that have to do with you?"
    ~Gene "The Crotch Master" Ching

    You know you want to click me!!

  14. #14
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    May 2006
    Location
    Council Bluffs, IA
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    I understand what you're saying, but...

    Every teacher is accustomed to training with his or her particular system. Their forms, including weapons sets and techniques, are based on the fundamental principles of the system that they teach. This is why they won't allow you to skip over the other parts of training and go directly to training with something like a staff.

    Some years back, I taught a staff seminar at the behest of my students. We had participants from many other disciplines come in - from aikido, cuong nhu, karate styles, taekwondo, wing chun, and so on. They had a terribly difficult time learning parts of our form and many basic (staff) techniques because their footwork and body shifting principles were different from the system that I teach.

    Weaponry is based on the empty-hand system and that's why the bare-hand method is learned first.

    A teacher who really knows what he's teaching will insist that you do everything just so...not for the sake of his ego, but because he wants you to learn (the system that he's teaching) correctly. A good teacher will push you beyond what you think you were capable of...if he won't do that, he probably shouldn't be teaching.

    You may never need martial arts for purposes of self-defense. I hope not. In today's world, though, there's more of a need for effective self-defense skills than ever before. But to learn basic self-defense doesn't require that much time.
    If you ask someone who's been involved in the martial arts for a long time (like a decade or more) why they started in the first place, their answer usually involves self-defense. But that's usually not why they're doing it now -
    It becomes a part of you, a lifestyle that includes a lot of discipline and a love of learning and striving to be better than you are.

    If you can find a good teacher, one who really knows his stuff, immerse yourself into the art. As a dear friend of mine (who's now a 7th dan with JKA) once said, "There are some people in the martial arts who don't have a clue. Then there are those who odn't even suspect..." There's a whole world inside the martial arts that most people never see and never experience.

    Give yourself a chance - and feel free to let me know if I can ever be of help.

  15. #15
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    -And I do have a striking post in my backyard...a neighbor heard me out there one afternoon and came by (he's nearly 80). "I thought you were getting into a fight with all that racket," he said, "And I guess you are...hitting a stick..."

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