• On the Warrior's Path, Second Edition

  • Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology
  • By: Daniele Bolelli
  • Narrated by: Kirk Magoon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (70 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The urge to forge one’s character by fighting, in daily life as well as on the mat, appeals to something deep within us. More than a collection of fighting techniques, martial arts constitute a path to developing body, spirit, and awareness. 

On the Warrior’s Path connects the martial arts with this larger perspective, merging subtle philosophies with no-holds-barred competition, Nietzsche with Bruce Lee, radical Taoism and Buddhism with the Star Wars Trilogy, traditional martial arts with basketball and American Indian culture.

At the center of all these phenomena is the warrior. Though this archetype seems to manifest contradictory values, author Daniele Bolelli describes the heart of this tension: how the training of martial technique leads to a renunciation of violence, and how overcoming fear leads to a unique freedom. 

Aimed at students at any level or tradition of martial arts but also accessible to the armchair warrior, On the Warrior’s Path brings fresh insights to why martial arts remains an enduring and widespread art and discipline. Two new chapters in this second edition focus on spirituality in the martial arts and the author’s personal journey in the field.

©2008, 2010 Daniele Bolelli (P)2020 North Atlantic Books

Critic Reviews

“Bolelli’s humorous and at the same time profound prose makes On the Warrior’s Path one of those very rare books about martial arts that is masterfully written...this is one of the most original books about martial arts published in the last decade.” (Journal of Asian Martial Arts)

“Daniele Bolelli has written both a poetic and pragmatic vision of what the martial arts can be.” (Richard Strozzi-Heckler, PhD, author of In Search of the Warrior Spirit)

What listeners say about On the Warrior's Path, Second Edition

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Much better out there

Good narrator but author is pretty into himself and rambles a lot. More a book of his personal philosophy without offering any real meat. Much better books on martial arts and philosophy out there, I’d skip this one.

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Required reading for martial artists

Wish I’d read this as a kid, my path definitely would have been much different. Outstanding book

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Would love daniele’s voice

Didn’t like the narrator, moved too quickly without allowing ideas to marinate. Felt robotic and emotionless.

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A great inspiration!

One of the most inspiring books I ever read. Thank you Bolelli for make me feel less lonely for having such enormous energy in my hearth.

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great 👍

awesome. not the deepest thinker, but he did a good job vocalizing some intuitions I've had.

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Finds the balance

I only would have preferred to hear Daniele narrate the book himself because I’m a fan of his podcast History on Fire, but that aside this book is well worth the time. In true Daniele and daoist style, this book could have fallen prey to being an over indulgent and wordy exploration of the philosophical and mystical martial arts, or to presenting martial arts as a simplistic cure all. This book avoids both pitfalls but also takes the best from each of those approaches to make a thought provoking exploration that is grounded in reality and humour.

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Great listen!

Very good insite to a view of the Martial Arts world. I enjoyed it greatly!

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Decent read and some points of value.

Some areas are based off of common thought and used for judgement as a reason why one way isn’t good. Some areas are great to interpret.

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  • The Count
  • 07-08-22

At times brilliant, ultimately confused

The problem with Daniele Bolelli's book it seems is Daniele Bolelli, or more specifically, the change in him as a writer.

The first section for me was perfect: knowledgeable, thought provoking and inspiring. There were times I felt this was THE martial arts book that every practitioner need read.

But suddenly the tone changes drastically and contradictions and egotistical dismissals about styles become commonplace.

My assumption is that the book was written over an extended period of time and the author of the final section is not the same man he once was when he wrote the first.

To add to my confusion there is a lengthy section on Bruce Lee that feels like it should of been trimmed back significantly if not removed entirely as it imbalances the narrative by focussing on one practitioner. in my opinion it just seemed a little odd and out of place.

Up to the tone shift though this was a superbly written and researched piece of writing and I am still pleased I found and read it, if only for that first section.

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  • H L Noble
  • 09-06-21

It's not all about Martial Arts???

I am hope something was lost in translation, because the last chapter is bad. The aurthor just saying how special he is. Also a couple of the chapters have a far bit of trumpet blowing. Maybe it was the vigour of a 22 year old? But still not my cup of tea.