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Waitzkin's name may sound familiar—back in 1993, his father wrote about Josh's early years as a chess prodigy in Searching for Bobby Fischer. Now 31, Waitzkin revisits that story from his own perspective and reveals how the fame that followed the movie based on his father's book became one of several obstacles to his further development as a chess master. He turned to tai chi to learn how to relax and feel comfortable in his body, but then his instructor suggested a more competitive form of the discipline called "push hands." Once again, he proved a quick study, and has earned more than a dozen championships in tournament play. Using examples from both his chess and martial arts backgrounds, Waitzkin draws out a series of principles for improving performance in any field. Chapter headings like "Making Smaller Circles" have a kung fu flair, but the themes are elaborated in a practical manner that enhances their universality. Waitzkin's engaging voice and his openness about the limitations he recognized within himself make him a welcome teacher. The concept of incremental progress through diligent practice of the fundamentals isn't new, but Waitzkin certainly gives it a fresh spin. (May 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Waitzkin, a champion in chess and martial arts, brings enthusiasm and obvious love of learning to this amazing look at what he aptly describes as the art of learning. He begins by recounting his own quirky journey. At the age of six, Waitzkin learned chess from a motley crew of street hustlers, gamblers, junkies, and artists. Since then, he has been among the highest-ranked chess players. He recounts the distractions of adolescence as well as fame after the publication of his father's book and, later, the film based on it, Searching for Bobby Fischer. He later discovered that chess principles could be applied to learning tai chi. In fact, he found a respect for artistry, meditation, and philosophical devotion within both chess and martial arts and realized the possibility for broader application to learning in general. Waitzkin integrates his personal experiences in mastering chess and tai chi with research on psychology and learning techniques to offer a vibrant and engaging look at the love of learning and the pursuit of excellence. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Amazing read for those interested in improving their performance at truly any skill level. His insights on the learning process and what strategies/tools he uses to sharpen his... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Vikram Kalia
I liked going deep into his learning process. It really opened my eyes up to the mental side of performance.Published 6 months ago by Ben
Lost interest after a few chapters. Doesnt really get going. Maybe I'll wait for the movie.Published 7 months ago by D Jones
Josh Waitzkin speaks from experience. He shows that talent is one thing but thinking and preparation is key. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Norm from Montreal
Josh Waitzkin's clarity of how mastery happens is inspiring, workable and flexible enough that I believe it's the framework for any kind of person willing to put in the work. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gareth Morris
I bought this book on a suggestion from a friend, and it was a good choice! I enjoyed the way this book was written, with autobiography and lessons all in one. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dr Lisa Simpson
Josh Waitzkin's book is full of insights and very hard to put down. I would recommend it for anyone trying to understand effective learning patterns.Published 17 months ago by Bilal
Josh's story is wonderful to read, and his insights are applicable to almost any discipline. I give it five stars.Published 17 months ago by Michael Sanders