In my new section of (Views and Reviews), I’ve decided it would be nice to share some of my favourite content, whether its Podcasts, YouTube videos, books, products, etc. Unfortunately, the blog opens with a bit of a dark setting, starting with last night’s binge. Friday night, I’m home alone, I had some pizza and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream. I sat down at my laptop and realised this could be a slippery slope towards gluttony and sloth, especially considering last weekends unhealthy bank-holiday. But all was not lost, I realised there was a problem before it got too far; so, i got on it and decided to get myself motivated, get my shit together and stop fucking about. I’d been here before, I recognised what I needed to do, and what better place to get started than by watching/listening to podcasts by men who do one of two things to me:

  1. Make me feel like a lazy piece of shit
  2. Get me motivated

I had for a while been meaning to dig a little deeper in to my Martial Arts reading, and had Musashi’s “The Book of Five Rings” on my radar; this is in part due to the namesake of the Jujutsu school I train at, Shirindo Jujutsu (four ring way jujutsu), and also because I’d heard “The Book of Five Rings” is a Martial Artists ‘must read’. So, when I saw that a podcaster who I hold a lot of respect for, Jocko Willink, had recently recorded a companion for the book, I was naturally quite enthused. I recommend Jocko’s podcast to anyone who is interested in motivational content, or enjoys interesting conversational podcasts. I first became aware of Jocko through Joe Rogan Experience Episode #729, which is very much worth listening to, and in my opinion is a good place to start as an introduction to Jocko. That said, Jocko Podcast Episode #80, involves a fantastic reading of “The Book of Five Rings” and a discussion with Echo Charles regarding its content and contemporary application; it’s Jocko’s ability to make analogous links towards Musashi’s writings and a contemporary context which makes this particular podcast especially worth listening to. Jocko is clearly enthusiastic about strong, motivational characters, but he is also a battle-field combatant and a Martial Artist; therefore, in my mind he is incredibly qualified to produce a worthwhile conversational analysis of “The Book of Five Rings”, in a way that captivates the listener. This is a practical companion to the book, not a boring academic review.

Having listened to this podcast episode, I am definitely looking to purchase “The Book of Five Rings” for myself. It will be interesting to see what parallels, if any, I am able to draw between Musashi’s writings and my own experiences. I definitely came away from the listening feeling re-enthused; however, as it was now close to midnight I decided it would be best to channel my energy towards purchasing a new gi, rather than rolling around on the living-room floor.

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