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5.0 von 5 Sternen A great book about aikido, although not really about aikido., 6. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
Mr. Twigger's account regarding his time spent in Japan, and with the Kidotai, is both hilarious and enlightening.
The life of a foreigner in Japan must be unusual to say the least, but being a foreigner participating in the Riot Police aikido course must have been downright bizarre! His anecdotes and humour made this a book I just could not put down!
As others have noted in their reviews, "Angry White Pyjamas" is a similar story to Mark Salzman's "Iron & Silk", with the central figure being a stranger in a strange land... But I feel this is where the similarities end. Mr. Twigger writes with more wit and self-discovery with less emphasis on the martial arts than Mr. Salzman, who wrote in a more "gee-whiz" style (for lack of a better term) with more emphasis on China's people and wushu. Please don't misunderstand, I love "Iron & Silk" (I highly recommend it), but Pyjamas is a *different* kind of book.
His story almost seems too funny to be real, at times I suspect that he may have embellished certain parts, but I'm just being nit-picky... Also the fact that I used to train under the "famous aikido teacher from Toronto" reminded me that this book is based in reality; having a connection (even an indirect one) to the writer really changed my perception of Pyjamas.
The only negative thing (if you can call it that) about this book is a somewhat haphazard regard to time, in some instances we skip a number of months from one chapter to another... But in this regard, I'm being VERY picky.
This has become one of my favourite books in my limited collection of prose, "good face" Mr. Twigger! :)
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great Tales of a Warrior Poet, 4. April 2000
Von 
N. Lee (Sydney, Australia) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
I bought this book on an impulse and wish all my impulse buys were this good.
I train in Kendo and the Japanese Riot Police have a fearsome Kendo reputation - training at a Kidotai dojo is something many Kendoka talk about with dread and awe - so I was curious to see what they were like in Aikado. (Okay, I confess I was also hoping for some insights into Kendo - the word was in the glossary of the book so I thought...)
Really enjoyed the book - great look at the tough physical and mental environment in a dojo but balanced with insightful and witty comments about the 'human' side of the training and martial artists.
Mr Twigger has some interesting comments about Japanese culture and attitudes. I liked his attempt to be factual and not force his interpretation down our throats. Obviously he provides his opinions - which I found very useful - but he expresses (and practices) a reluctance to read too much or describe his view as definitive.
Congratulations to Robert Twigger for giving me an idea about the hard edge of martial arts training in Japan, about the people who train, and on successfully 'surviving' his training. Thanks for also introducing me to Tesshu and the Hagakure.
On yeah, I did pick up some insights about Kendo training too.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Tucson to New York City, 4. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
The title of my review of Robert Twigger's book Angry White Pyjamas reflects the distance I traveled while reading Mr. Twigger's book on the Japanese culture and his life and experiences while going through a martial arts program in Tokyo.
I bought the book in Tucson and finished it while flying back home. It's entertaining, funny, insightful and ultimately quite successful in conveying his reasons for taking on a tough, year-long program in Aikedio training at a very famous school(dojo), having had no previous martial arts training. Mr. Twigger seems to have taken the course to learn more about himself and by extension humanity in general. He relates these thoughts and experiences in a way that makes the reader stop and think about how people relate to each other and more specifically how a person relates to themself. These ideas are highlighted in a very natural and dignified manner.
I liked it, the year flies by and so did I,as I read the last page as we taxied to our gate at LaGuardia Airport, NYC,
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book, oddly inspirational, 31. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
I say "oddly inspirational" because it's not a direct, rock-'em-sock-'em recruiting book for the martial arts, yet it seems to motivate you to see if *you* couldn't push yourself just a bit harder than you already are.
Robert Twigger writes in an entertaining manner, obviously not taking himself too seriously, and this is quite refreshing given that there seems to be such a serious air about many martial arts practitioners. Twigger's style goes down well (though his loose adherence to the rules of punctuation was occasionally annoying -- but, then again, he *is* a poet, and I'm picky about that in particular!).
I found the outsider's view of life in one of the toughest Japanese dojos fascinating, and I tore through the book twice in just a few days. A good, witty read, and one that I highly recommend.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Hardcore Aikido!, 8. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
You thought Aikido was for flower-children? Not in the Tokyo Riot Police program! Get ready for bloody red "suns" on your gi and brute Australians crying from exhaustion. At his first exposure, Twigger discovers what I love about Aiki: "Suddenly I saw aikido as offering an arcane knowledge of the body's weak points. It was a living alchemy; immense, complex, a whole structure of thought and action I never knew existed. Just punching and kicking looked crude in comparision." He also does a beautiful job of expressing the "Black Belt attitude," and how mental strength can overcome physical weakness.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Weeping knees and inspirational goldfish., 27. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
This is a truly hilarious account of serious martial arts training. Robert Twigger is genuinely an "Oxford poet" (having one a poetry award at Oxford) who pits himself against the worst that the Tokyo Riot Police aikido trainers can throw at him. And it's pretty bad! The Japanese tradition is that one learns by doing - which amounts to being endlessly thrown until one develops unsightly, weeping, lumps on various body parts - and, eventually experiences the occasional moment of bliss when the assailant is flung effortlessly aside. Twigger is a charming, witty writer - rather like Mark Salzman who also wrote with similar self-deprecation and similar intense commitment to martial arts, in "Iron and Silk" (set in China). Angry White Pyjamas is hilarious and self-mocking (the western students are unfit and naive - studying goldfish for insights into the empty-mind, working tirelessly while the REAL Tokyo Riot Police trainees lie about watching dirty videos). But it is also a serious and inspirational story about the transformation of an odd bunch of European misfits into superb Aikido practitioners in Japan's toughest training dojo.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Utterly Authentic Experience, 30. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
Having lived in Japan for nearly a decade and trained in modern and ancient Japanese martial arts I have to say Angry White Pyjamas is one of the most authentic accounts ever published of what it feels like to train in a serious dojo in Japan. The Yoshinkan has a fierce reputation among martial arts insiders - along with the JKA and the Kodokan it is a candidate for the toughest school in Japan. Twigger brilliantly illustrates the daily pain and struggle with the desire to give up which is so close to my own experience. What some may not like is the fly on the wall view he gives of his dojo - insiders in Japan do not in general reveal the secrets of their institutions and most traditional Japanese dojo prefer to keep a low profile....but I came away from this book admiring (most) of the teachers and wanting to train in Yoshinkan aikido. Although I am biased towards Japan I felt it was equal to Iron & Silk, or even had the edge.Simply one of the tiny number of real accounts about martial arts to add to Draeger; Dave Lowry and Nichol's Moving Zen.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Aikido Viewed From A Karateka's Eyes, 10. Mai 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
Well, despite being a karateka I bought this book roughly before Christmas last year and found it impossible to put down. I know virtually nothing about other martial arts and while I still know very little, I managed to understand and and enjoy this book about aikido. The tough style of training mirrors what my instructor said about the JKA (except not quite as vicious as bleeding knees, shattered collarbones, etc!) The strict rigors of discipline and ettiquette I found inside the book's pages were impressive. The author's explanation of prejudice against foreign martial artists in Japan is accurate enough to envoke memories of my Chief Instructor's tales of Japan when he was a student. After praising this book I found that four of my instructors and fellow students had also read it and been impressed. This proves that this book is worthwhile for all those interested in martial arts, not just aikidoka. The humourous style of writing is captivating and can make the book a firm favourite.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein Jahr in Tokyo, 5. Oktober 2008
Von 
Stephan Otto (München) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
Als ich Twigger zum ersten Mal sah, dachte ich nie, dass er den "Course" dursteht, aber er hat es geschafft. Und auch noch ein absolut lesenwertes Buch darüber zustande gebracht. Es gibt viel zu Schmunzeln, zu Lachen und zum Grübeln in diesem Büchlein. Und auch wenn es einige gibt die es nicht so ganz wahrhaben wollen, die Geschichten sind alle wirklich passiert. Es gibt allerdins zwei Dinge mit denen ich nicht übereinstimme: 1. Robert Mustard ist ein wirklich netter und gutherziger Kerl. 2. Twigger hat machmal nicht zu viel übrig für das japanische Essen. Diesen Kritiken kann ich nur vehement wiederstprechen.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining but not as good as, 6. April 2000
Von 
William Meisel (Jacksonville, FL) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police (Taschenbuch)
Salzman's IRON AND SILK which it is similar to (as a previous reviewer has already noted.) The author details his life as a foreigner in Japan (some of the most interesting parts of the book for me) and his attempt to survive the Tokyo Riot Police course. I should add that martial artists will undoubtedly get more from the detailed descriptions of the training than I did. Despite only giving it 4 stars, I will say I tore through it in three days, so it definitely kept my attention.
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