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Sugong: The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster by Hurst, Nick (2012)


Sugong: The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster by Hurst, Nick (2012)

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Review Text

  • By ChunLi on 8 April 2014

    I study kung fu under Nam Pai Chuen (Sugong's UK school) and I enjoyed reading about his life. He is quite a character and led an inspiring life.

  • By Mr. D. J. Hill on 16 May 2012

    Admittedly, I read a lot and I read very quickly. It is not uncommon for me to read a book in a day. That said, it has been a fair while since I found one that seemed so good that I was almost unable to put it down. This book is one of those and should I fail any of the exams I have recently taken, then I lay the blamely solely at the feet of Mr. Nick Hurst.I am a martial artist (though much of my experience lies with the Japanese Arts), so perhaps it was likely I'd find something in it. However, when I recently went to visit a friend and left the book on the table at her place, in order to make some tea (yes, I'm the sort to take a book when visiting people), I found her several pages in and unwilling to stop. She is not a martial artist, but she has elicited a promise that I will allow her to borrow it. I can safely assume, then, that even for the non-practising population there is something to be found within the pages. Actually, that reminds me; the pages are really nice quality. I actually enjoyed the physical act of turning them (I say as a confirmed kindle user), plus the cover is nice too. I know those last points are slightly irrelevant, but...

  • By RobVeling on 22 April 2012

    I found this book to be an excellent read. It depicts the trials and tribulations of a Kung Fu grand master and the author's experiences from training with him.Sugong has lived an incredible life, from run-ins with various shady parts of the underworld to setting up businesses, but most of all his dedication to his art. Nick interspices accounts of Sugong's life story with anecdotal stories of his own time training with him, which can be highly amusing.Well written and very interesting, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in martial arts, but I also think that anyone with an interest in the East and their culture over the ages would find this a good read as well.I finished the book in 3 days, it had me riveted!

  • By Kim Halliwell on 25 April 2012

    An amazing book about an amazing man. I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down. This book gives a wonderful insight to the life of Sugong not just from a martial arts perspective, but on a personal level as well.

  • By MG on 24 May 2012

    I've just closed the last page of Sugong for the second time. What a great book. It documents an extraordinary man's struggle to stay on the righteous path in a turbulent world of gangsters and social change. It's a history book, a biography and an investigation into some of the mysteries surrounding martial arts such as what is chi and how can practitioners break bricks with their bare hands. Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" suggests people may need 10,000 hours of practice before achieving greatness. Here is a man who may well have practiced and taught his art for over 50,000 hours during his lifetime - no surprise then he was doing the splits and showing off with one armed press ups into his 80s! Nick Hurst's touching portrayal of Sugong's life is an achievement in its own right - I understand it was very difficult it was to get Sugong to agree to interview sessions and then even more difficult to get him to discuss what Nick, CG and Mr Tan wanted to - but also an invaluable contribution to the domain of martial arts literature, and above all a fun read.When's the film coming?!

  • By N Wall on 22 April 2012

    Very enjoyable. The reader's treated to a combination of kung fu, cultural history, personal journal, and a biography of a fascinating man - Sugong.

  • By Alun (Wales) on 24 April 2012

    Wow, what an incredible book! Nick Hurst's account of a kung fu master's life, is riveting reading.Couldn't put it down.

  • By rubber.bullet on 29 May 2012

    A great book about a great man, totally committed and dedicated to his Martial Art. Without people like Sugong, and his master before him, Kung Fu would not be practiced outside of China. I am honoured to train in this style of Kung Fu, which has been passed on to his predecessors, and is now a worldwide and popular system.

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