Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Warrior Poet

Having just come in from shoveling snow (there's not enough to warrant the snow thrower), what better time to contemplate cage fighting and poetry?

Below is an excerpt from a book review of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet by Cameron Conaway. After reading the review, I looked the book up at Amazon and saw that the Kindle version was 2.99. I bought it. I haven't finished reading it yet, but so far I am enjoying it. The full review may be read here.

Caged -- A Book Review

Posted: 12/22/11 05:09 PM ET

The link between the warrior and the scholar is an old one, and in the cultures as diverse as ancient Greece and China, one as august as any. These days soldiers who become statesmen, or scholars who teach at military colleges exemplify the tradition best. While those folks are often in the news, there is amongst us a quieter, no less thoughtful philosophical pugilist. His name is Cameron Conaway, and he is an experienced MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter who also happens to be an award-winning poet who teaches Shakespeare for Ottawa University and was the University of Arizona's Poet-in-residence. Caged is the memoir of his still short, but already exceptional life.

His exquisitely written story is the work of a bard with blood on his hands, his own and that of his opponents. It's a sometimes gristly, sometimes soaring piece of work that begins with trenchant descriptions of a broken home and abusive father. It plumbs the mines of the father-son relationships and psychology, as Conaway bares his feelings when it comes to the agony of his estrangement from his dad, and much else too.


Paul said...

I think the number one contender for THE modern warrior would be a professional MMA fighter rather than some middle-aged+ martial artist who has never been up the ring (or down the cage) but who claims (and testified by his students, friends etc) that he can beat (and sometimes said to like throwing his opponent up the air!) any fighter by...the touch of a palm...:):) (no offense intended for any non-ring trained martial artist, me included)

Rick Matz said...

People study martial arts for a variety of reasons, but I tend to lean towards your feelings, Paul.

If you can't apply what you practice, ie fight, then I think that you're doing something wrong.

Seevo said...

There are very few Pro MMA Fighters. There are tens of thousands of Martial Artists, many of whom have had to use their art for self defense at some point. Then there are Soldiers/Police that must use their arts to survive. The Modern Warrior is anyone that lives within the discipline.