New Release: Beyond the Battleground
Categories: Martial Arts New Release Psychology & Personal Growth
Classic Strategy from the Yijing and Baguazhang
Rooted in martial arts, the Yijing (Book of Changes), and military strategy Beyond the Battleground: Classic Strategies from the Yijing and Baguazhang for Managing Crisis Situations is a practical resource for adapting to change and managing stress. If you’re fighting in a war, it’s a full-scale crisis. But off the battleground, life still presents no shortage of conflicts. The good news is that in times of conflict and change, there are also opportunities for growth—what author Tom Bisio calls “inherent dynamic potential.” Life is uncertain. The only constant is that things change and predicting the future is far from an exact science. Bisio shows us, however, that there are long-used strategies for handling change, which he has adapted for use today in business, personal relationships, and our own self-fulfillment.
The line between conflict and combat in modern life is one we must all navigate. The best way to do so is to have a strategy in place to attempt to learn, grow, and live in harmony—or else risk tipping over into combat, resistance and increased stress. Bisio illustrates that the microcosmic hand-to-hand martial arts philosophy and the macrocosmic strategy of militaries both require recognition and adaptation to patterns of change—or negotiating uncertainty—in social and political life.
In 2010, the American Psychological Association declared chronic stress a public health crisis. Studies show that even positive change can be stressful. Changing eating habits, changing jobs, and changing relationships are all indicators on Dartmouth’s Life Change Stress Test. But just two weeks ago Entrepreneur.com published 7 Steps for Keeping Conflict Healthy, showing us how “conflict can be a healthy part of personal and professional relationships.” The article explains: “Extensive research has demonstrated that conflict, when managed properly, strengthens relationships and teams and can serve as a catalyst for better solutions, innovation and growth.” The bigger issue is the people that aren’t equipped with the tools to adequately address conflict in ways that yield the potential positive results—because it’s clear that conflict avoidance is rarely a realistic solution.
Beyond the Battleground takes you on a tour of nine qualities of talented military generals, through the variously attributed ancient Thirty-Six Stratagems, to the Yijing’s collection of Qualities of the Superior Person, and beyond. The information contained within is diverse, from stratagems such as “kill with a borrowed knife,” “loot a burning building,” and “make noise in the east and attack the west,” to the individual strategies of “perseverance and patience,” “tolerance without indulgence,” and being “aware of danger in moments of peace and prosperity and optimistic in difficult times.” The strategies here are intended to help cultivate and strengthen the ability to manage crisis and conflict. By learning how to adapt to changing circumstances and prepare for the future, one has greater chance of success in personal and professional life pursuits. In the film Man on Fire, Denzel Washington’s character says, “There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained. Now which are you?”
Stress itself may not be healthy per se, but one can at least take a healthy approach to managing conflict and crisis, mitigating the harmful effects of stress through an ever-changing and uncertain life path by properly preparing for it. Do you have a strategy?
About Tom Bisio
Tom Bisio is the founder of New York Internal Arts, and Internal Arts International, which teach and promote the Chinese Internal Arts of Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi. He is also the co-founder of Zheng Gu Tui Na, an organization that teaches traditional Chinese medicine skills worldwide. As a practitioner of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine Bisio heads a clinic in New York City, specializing in trauma and Chinese sports medicine. Bisio is the author of the popular book on healing, A Tooth From the Tiger’s Mouth. He has also written and collaborated on a number of books on martial arts.Tags: Tom Bisio Martial Theory Baguazhang Eastern Psychology