There are countless books written on self-defense. Not all are non- sensical, but many are. Nathaniel Cooke has clearly thought a great deal about the subject and distilled its essence in a way that is wholly admirable.
Monopathy, or over-specialisation, eventually retreats into defending what one has learnt rather than making new connections. The initial spurt of learning gives out, and the expert is left, like an animal, merely defending his territory.
We come to believe that we can only learn when we are young, and that only ‘naturals’ can acquire certain skills. We imagine that we have a limited budget for learning, and that different skills absorb all the effort we plough into them, without giving us anything to spend on other pursuits.
William Dalrymple has superseded Mark Tully as the voice of India… He may well be the greatest travel writer of his generation.
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