Title: Beyond the Battleground; Classic Strategies from the Yijing and Baguazhang for Managing Crisis Situations
Author: Tom Bisio
Publisher: Blue Snake Books
First off this is a deep read book. This is not a light reading book. I'll probably have to read it another couple of times to really dive into what the book was saying. It takes your full concentration to fully appreciate this book. What the book does, is use the Yijing (I've always seen it written as I-Ching) to describe change and how that is used to drive battle theory. Because Bagua (the author's martial art) is based on the Yijing, there are many references to how this applies on a martial arts level as well.
|Trigrams of the Yijing|
ProsOne of the things I really liked about this book was the examples. Instead of just sticking with ancient Chinese examples, where they directly quote the Yijing, the author pulls from all over history, both ancient and modern, including Mao Tse Dong, Carl von Clausewitz, and John Boyd (originator of the OODA Loop description). I think this does a good job of making the book more accessible to today's modern, Western audience.
ConsI have two points about the cons of this book. One, I've mentioned, it is not a light read. This is heavy on deep thoughts and intricate in its descriptions of the different states of change, the trigrams. I don't really consider this a big negative, as it depends on what you want to read. If you're looking for that, then this would be a great book. The second is that I would have liked to see more description on how the Yijing is applicable in a more martial arts sense, instead of a overarching military command sense.
When I started this book, I had only a passing familiarity with what the Yijing was. Now I feel I have a better understanding of what it is, and how it applies to real situations, which is kind of the point of the book. I just wish it would have dealt with it on a more one-on-one basis of martial arts. Maybe that's book two? Or that subject has been covered in all the Baguag books, and I'm just ignorant of them. Which is why I'm going to give the book 3.5 out of 5 Ninja Stars. It wasn't what I thought the book was going to be (again not a bad thing), but it was well written, informative, and I learned a lot.