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1. Zen in the Martial Arts
2. Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete
3. Martial Arts After 40
4. Solo Training: The Martial Artist's
5. Martial Arts Techniques for Law
6. Living the Martial Way : A Manual
7. The Power of Internal Martial
8. Essential Anatomy: For Healing
9. Ultimate Guide to Weight Training
10. The Zen Way to Martial Arts: A
11. Speed Training : How to Develop
12. Ultimate Fitness Through Martial
13. Martial Arts Instructors Desk
14. Meditations on Violence: A Comparison
15. The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts
16. 50 Martial Arts Myths
17. Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating
18. Be Like Water: Practical Wisdom
19. Speed Training for Martial Arts:
20. The Demon's Sermon on the Martial

1. Zen in the Martial Arts
by Joe Hyams
Mass Market Paperback: 144 Pages (1982-07-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553275593
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"A man who has attained mastery of an artreveals it in his everyaction."--Samurai Maximum.

Under theguidance of such celebrated masters as Ed Parkerand the immortal Bruce Lee, Joe Hyams vividlyrecounts his more than 25 years of experience in themartial arts. In his illuminating story, Hyamreveals to you how the daily application of Zenprinciples not only developed his physical expertise butgave him the mental discipline to control hispersonal problems-self-image, work pressure,competition. Indeed, mastering the spiritual goals inmartial arts can dramatically alter the quality ofyour life-enriching your relationships with people,as well as helping you make use of all yourabilities. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (115)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" for all serious martial artists
Vignettes from a serious student who created the opportunity to study with several masters.

Do not read this in one sitting. Digest each vignette before moving on.

Rinse, repeat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen In The Martial Arts
Zen In The Martial Arts is about Joe Hyams' experience with applying Far Eastern philosophy to normal living situations.This is not a martial arts instruction book.I read this book during my senior year of high school when I had become interested in Far Eastern philosophy.Years later, about five years ago, I started remembering the meanings in this book and felt them in life.I remembered the chapter titles:Empty Your Cup (page 17), Process Not Product (page 23), and Make A Friend Of Fear (page 111).I remembered Chuang-Tzu's quote (page 65):"Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free:Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.This is the ultimate."I remembered Hyams' friend who had a day for doing nothing and saw how inactivity provided the energy for activity.I remembered the statement that the mind is infinite and the body is finite.I liked the photograph of the scroll of the tiger and the dragon (page 128) as they were the Shaolin symbols featured on the Kung Fu television series -- "From the tiger, we learn strength....From the dragon, we learn to ride the wind."

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
I was given this book as a gift many years ago when I was going through a rather rough patch in life, and it worked wonders for my psyche.The book contains little bite-sized pieces detailing various martial-arts based lessons and how the author was able to apply those in a real-world context. I have since taken many of the lessons and applied them in my own life or in conversations with others, and as simple as some of them may be, they provide great insight into a different mental approach than to what I was accustomed.I have given this book as a gift to others I have encountered that, like me during my intitial readthrough, might benefit from its words, and each of them learned something new.I would guess that I currently posess my 8th copy of this wonderful book, and I look forward to eventually purchasing my 9th.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's about the author's experience encountering Zen
The one-star reviews have missed the point of this book.This book, with it's tiny chapters, is not about Zen so much as it's about the authors personal experience in being taught Zen by several masters.The book's charm is that you are taken along for the ride as a modern person (and you, the reader) explore Zen for the first time in small bite-sized pieces.

I have read this book multiple times and recommended it to 4-5 people over many years and all of them loved the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Small book, big message.
This book was an easy read but very thought provoking.This book only took a couple hours to read.The author uses an autobiographical format to discuss applying the principles (or concepts) of Zen in Martial Arts to one's life.I think one of the things that makes this book so interesting is the fact that Joe Hyams was personally trained (at his home) by Bruce Lee in Jeet Kune Do.Several conversations between Bruce Lee and Joe Hyams are referenced in the book and give you an intimate glimpse at Bruce Lee's martial arts philosophy.If there is a key point I took away from this book, it is this... Becoming a martial artist is more than just mastering techniques, forms and drills, it's also about mastering who you really are physically, emotionally, and spiritually. ... Read more

2. Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts
by Sang H. Kim
Paperback: 304 Pages (2004-01-10)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880336839
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ultimate Flexibility is the book you've been waitingfor. More than a collection of exercises or an explanation oftechnique, Ultimate Flexibility is a complete guide to stretching formartial arts, from the very basics of why you should stretch todetailed workout guidelines for every style and level of martial artspractice.

Written by acclaimed author and martial artist Sang H. Kim, UltimateFlexibility is your guide to achieving maximum flexibility in yourtraining. Begin with an in depth look at the hows and whys offlexibility and stretching. Learn about the many types of stretching,which methods are best for beginners, when to graduate to advancedtechniques and why you should completely avoid certain types ofexercises. You'll also find information that you wont find in anyother martial art book, including a detailed exploration of how yourbody works for or against you in your training and how flexibility canmake you stronger and faster.

Building on this foundation, Sang H. Kim teaches you nearly 200flexibility exercises that he has personally used to achieve thehighest levels of flexibility. You'l get detailed instructions,workout planning guides, goal setting tips, difficulty levels, injuryprevention and recovery, and over 400 photos to guide you. Specialbonus sections: 10 Tips for Full Splits, 20 Tips for High Kicks and 10workouts for specific martial art types.

Includes Exercises and Workouts for:

Core Workout
Warm Up
Cool Down
Light Contact
Full Contact
Mixed Martial Arts
High Kicks
Splits ... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on stretching
Excellent book on stretching - well laid out.Just what I was looking for.Useful for anyone interested in general stretching - you don't have to be doing a martial art.

5-0 out of 5 stars just my thoughts
This is a great book. It gives pic and full detail on streatching all muscles of the body. It gives a full routine from warm up to cool down. Its exactly what I was looking for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
This book is a great read for anyone wanting to improve their flexibility - not just for the martial artist.Mr. Kim informs the read about why we strectch, how stretching works, and how to implement a strectching program.A great read for anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good Book
This book is very complete, once it have all the information need to obtain flexibility.

5-0 out of 5 stars Flexibility made easy
Good information, good detail. The book provides a lot of very helpful information behind the idea of exercising to be more flexible and is very good and pointing out the pitfalls of being too eager.
Excellent and I find working with it very helpful ... Read more

3. Martial Arts After 40
by Sang H. Kim
Paperback: 352 Pages (1999-10-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880336294
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Martial Arts After 40 is the first book on the market tocater to two growing populations, martial artists and babyboomers. Once a blood and guts sport for tough young men, martial artsis now touted by athletes, aerobics trainers, actors, super models andsoccer moms as the number one way for adults to get fit and stay inshape. This book addresses important questions like:

How old is too old start a marital art?
What type of exercises are best (and which ones are dangerous) forthe over-40 martial artist?
What are the effects of aging and how can martial arts combat them?
How can baby boomers keep up in a martial arts class full ofgen-Xers?
What types of injuries are most prevalent after 40 and how can theybe prevented?

This book takes a positive and enthusiastic approach to taking up orcontinuing a martial art in middle age or later. Readers will beinspired, reassured and educated. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

1-0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, not of much use
I rarely write a negative review.But, I decided that I had to for this book.I bought it based on the over-all very positive reviews.I'll be giving it away and not to another martial artist, probably to a second hand store.This book covered very basic concepts (e.g., how to do strength training or speed training) in far too much detail, and even with pictures depicting sit-ups and head stands (really, head stands at 40+??).If we are over 40, we either already know this type of information, know we should not be doing some of it, or we should be going to a teacher/trainer to learn what we should be trying to do at this stage in our active lives.What I found most disappointing was that the book persisted in talking about competitions, trying to hit each other, etc.At 40, most of us who train in a martial art are not interested in competitions.I was hoping to find a book that would talk about the many aspects of martial arts that go beyond competition and medals.Maybe I can write one...

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay for Newer Folks
This book is a pretty well written fast read.It does contain some interesting thoughts and tidbits, especially towards the end,which could be valuable to anyone.The problem is, if you're over 40 and have spent any significant time at the gymor in martial arts, you probably won't find alot of useful information here.There's alot of generalities which are not age specific and are wellknown to any excercise enthusiast.If you're fairly new to working out and/or the martial arts, this is probably a pretty decent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book with great advice
I would highly recommend this book to anyone over 30 who is doing any kind of martial arts.The author's advice applies to any martial art, and even though he has a Korean MA background, I like the fact he isn't biased towards one or against any others in his writing. I was a competitive judo player in my 30's, and did karate on and off most of my adult life, and after being away from it for several years due to injuries, decided to get back to it.This book was very helpful in giving good advice on how the body ages and changes over time, and how to adapt.It also helped me to decide which style would best suit me, and now I am going strong again, and hope to for many more years, even with some ongoing back problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the price!
Master Kim gives you a great workout program and makes you feel good about being 40..:)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reasurring and Eye-Opening for Newcomers Over 40
It would be difficult to write a better book for newcomers over 40.
As I was reading this book, I thouhght to my 48 year-old self, this is comforting. I've been doing martial arts for twenty years and there was not a great deal of new materials, however, I put myself in the shoes of the target audience. If you are approaching 40 or over 40 and have dabbled in martial arts or are in to it as I am, you should read this book just to ensure that you have a firm grasp of the changes that occur as you age and how to compensate and embrace them.

Dr. Kim has a clean, clear and easy to follow writing style. It is like water that you can look through easily to see the points he is trying to make. Basic content, but it is the basics that we always overlook. The range of topics in this book is very comprehensive and provides the reader with a complete encyclopedia of issues to consider, learn, practice and embrace. Injuries are key, understanding that we don't always have to perform a killer workout to stay very healthy and remain quite capable of doing the essential techniques that we might need to in a self-defense situation.

This book does an excellent job for martial arts newcomers of introducing them to the full range of topics in training, health, fitness, personality, life experience and performance that you should consider when starting out in the martial arts mid-life.

Highly recommended. And for those of us who tend to have very high expectations of ourselves and our abilities regardless of age, it provides a nice perspective to help balance our view of ourselves as we age. Get this one.

Kevin Brett
Author: The Way of the Martial Artist: Achieving Success in Martial Arts and in Life!"
... Read more

4. Solo Training: The Martial Artist's Guide to Training Alone
by Loren W. Christensen
Paperback: 304 Pages (2001-03-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$6.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880336596
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Loren Christensen shows you over 300 ways you can addvariety to your daily martial arts training routine. Whether you’rea student looking for fun new solo drills to spice up your hometraining or an instructor in search of new ways to pump up yourclasses, you won’t be disappointed. This incredible collection ofdrills, techniques and exercises will take your workouts to the nextlevel. Learn to:

*Organize your solo workouts to the get maximum results from even the shortest training session
*Improve your speed and power with dozens of inside tips and tricks
*Beat boredom and get excited about your solo training sessions
*Become a well rounded fighter by adding essential skills that your instructor may not be teaching you
*Safely experiment with new techniques to find your ideal personal style of training
*Get an edge on your opponents with training methods that will make you unstoppable in the ring or on the street

Not only will you learn enough new training strategies and methods tokeep you busy for years, but Loren Cristensen’s no-nonsense writingstyle will get you up and moving even on the days you rather skip yoursolo workout. Packed with solid advice and kick-butt motivation, thisbook will become your favorite training partner. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy It!
Whether you are a devoute practicioner, or an off and on student who mostly or only practices in the dojo, this is the perfect book. I am a Wu Ying Tao instructor who moved away from his dojo in Portland, OR and am now teaching in NY. The biggest problem is that I no longer have my sifu, or dojo buddies around, and so by my Sijo i was pointed to Loren's book, and i have got to say it has been a life saver.Not only has it helped me discover, and even create new work outs, it has also helped me mix it up in the class room as well.Loren from all appearences without actually meeting him, is a stand up martial artist, and the real deal when it comes to unleashing its potential.

~Loren P. Utterback

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Training Companion
Loren's book gave me lots of ideas on how to vary up my workouts.He's right, repetition gets boring.The mind requires new stimulation.You have to have something new and different to look forward to or you will lose interest in the very thing you love.Becoming bored and losing your edge can be fatal on the street.

This book teaches you how to use every part of the body as a weapon, how to frame up your survival or warrior spirit so that you have the right attitude and mindset for a crucial situation.Keeping your training edge is what this book covers well and keeping that training edge, intensity, combined with a smart approach to training will keep you alive.

Loren takes training seriously in terms of the purpose of the drills and focus on effectiveness. As he states in the beginning of the book, training smart is not pampering yourself.Being tough is only really possible if you are first smart otherwise your body will not be conditioned and prepared for those moments when you need it to be touch.Get this book.Follow his advice and don't assume that you know it all.Read it with an open mind and you will receive more and re-examine your basic assumptions.A great read!

Kevin Brett
Author:The Way of the Martial Artist: Achieving Success in Martial Arts and in Life!

4-0 out of 5 stars helpful
I am new to martial arts, so I have read and read and read to find out about form and technique.Loren Christiansen really seems to understand the I-only-have-class-three-days-a-week-I-have-got-to-do-more-feeling I have had since I started classes this past August.

I especially recommend this for people who feel that they cannot workout at home because of the lack of space/money/equipment--he has tons of ideas for practice.

The best thing about the book are the personal stories he puts in to illustrate certain points (Explosiveness is especially good).

It would be impossible to train enough to use all of the ideas in all of the books out there, but this book helped me because of its practical advice and the can-do attitude toward lack of equipment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Someday, you'll need a practice partner. Until then ...
When intermediate martial artists write me for recommendations for training alone, I always recommend "Solo Training." But my recommendation doesn't stop

Even with Loren C.'s book, eventually you'll need to train with a partner. For a realistic sense of timing, distance, and reacting to another individual, you will need another body.

Both "Solo Training" and working with a practice partner are important elements to developing a complete skill. If you don't have the partner, then start with "Solo Training."

And when you do get a partner, work side by side using these valuable drills and exercises.

And even though his drills are for working out alone, some of the speed drills are fun for competition with a training partner.


Keith Pascal is the author of one of the longest-running ezines on the Net. He is also the author of books like, Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert, Coin Snatching: The Reputation Builder, and Tiptoeing to Tranquility: The Parable for Finding Safety and Comfort in Dangerous Times

2-0 out of 5 stars hmm
This book is ok i guess if you have never been in a fight your entire life. The majority of this book is based on common sense and mere karate drills with very little actual formal fighting and pretty much no body mechanics whatsoever. This does make me wonder if I even needed to buy this book in the first place as alot of the stuff in here i already knew (and/or know doesn't work).

[1 example of failed body mechanics here is they demonstrate a play fight and the instructor jams the lead punch as a way of disabling his opponent before striking. ...This is a novice and inexperienced move to say the least. In a real fight if someone jammed my lead punch they would potentially be in a world of hurt. This is just one of the many examples i can give you of this book lacking actual fighting expertise]

What bothers me even more is alot of the experienced insight of the book is "a friend of mine blahblah" ...this does make me question the logic (and authenticity) of this book somewhat.

Surely there is better books out there for your training dollar. ... Read more

5. Martial Arts Techniques for Law Enforcement (Tuttle Martial Arts)
by Mike Young
Paperback: 288 Pages (2006-07-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$8.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804837945
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Whether you’re a beat cop or a "SWAT team" specialist, you’ll benefit from the tried-and-true methods explained in this book. Destined to become a bible of law enforcement self-defense, Martial Arts Techniques for Law Enforcement offers instruction in techniques and tactics that specifically address the situations unique to police officers. These simple, easy-to-follow lessons teach readers the theory behind strikes and kicks, come-alongs and takedowns, psychological defensive tactics, and techniques including one-hand defenses and defenses.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, useful instructions for self-defence on the streets
I do not have any martial arts background and I find a lot of martial arts books hard to follow as they have too many maneuvers or require another person to practice with. This book provides useful and easy to follow instructions on how to defend yourself (important for women) and useful tips on how to avoid getting hurt while bringing the assailant down. It is very practical and its short and easy steps are a plus, as in real dangerous situations you don't have enough time to think through complicated maneuvers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, stop looking at that other one, buy this one!!
I mean it! This is the man! Having been trained at a police academy I can say he knows what he's talking about when he exposes the areas of police training that are neglected at the academy. There are many hits and holds he covers that are very effective that go beyond your academy training which will help you maintain the advantage on the street level. Great book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Basic Martial Arts
I was excited to check this book out but unfortunately was a little disappointed. While this is a good martial arts overview for new officers with no DT training, it's not a very good book for more experienced officers. The title covers the basic interview stance, standard strikes & kicks as well as standard locks & takedowns. The weakest part of the book is the weapon defense material which emphasizes different tactics for for each weapon category. Knife defense includes the traditional simultaneous block/parry with one hand while striking with the other hand. I personally prefer to control the weapon delivery system because by not doing so it greatly increases the chance of being injured or killed by the chaotically moving knife. The firearm defense stuff is the traditional grab the gun and strip it from the gunman's grip. Again, not my favorite of tactics because anyone who is still conscious will instinctively convulse on the weapon as well as fight to maintain their hold on the firearm.

If an officer has no training this might be a good starting point but I would caution against the practice of the weapon-defense material. ... Read more

6. Living the Martial Way : A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think
by Forrest E. Morgan
Paperback: 312 Pages (1992-11-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0942637763
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Hailed by many as the best book available on the subject, Living The MartialWay is a step-by-step approach to applying the Japanese warrior's mind-set to martial training anddaily life.It combines a knowledge of fighting with an exploration of the culture of the warrior. Morgan carefully guides the reader from The Way of Training, through The Way of Honor, toThe Way of Living, constantly finding applications both inside and outside the martial arts.Morethan 60,000 sold! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Every Martial Artist!
Reading "Living the Martial Way" is required reading from my Renshi.I can see why."Living the Martial Way" gives practical perspective on how one who is devoted to martial arts should live his/her life in and out of the dojo.

I highly recommend this book for EVERY martial artist!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good & Quick Service
I received my item in great condition, with quick service and no hassle.I highly recommend this vendor!

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
I have owned this book since the mid 90s, and I still read it. It's one of those books that, the more you read it, the more meaning you get from it.
As a 4th Dan in Okinawan Kenpo, this book is on my students "Should Be Read" list.

2-0 out of 5 stars Overdone, yet lacking.
I read this many years ago and then again just recently. As observed by other readers, there is allot of time spent on fabricated topics that the book would be better off without. (the "saving face" topic is circular and goes nowhere.)

In addition, I agree that the author does romanticize "warriorship" and places "warriors" above other members of society; a sentiment best suited to WW2 Japan or maybe Kronos, the Klingon home-world.

The one positive thing that I have recalled many times is the authors revelation that martial-artists (in America) are not accustomed to getting hit; although, in the past decade there has been a trend to remedy this problem. Perhaps this book contributed to that trend.

My general disappointment with the book stems from the fact that the author attempts to discuss martial-arts styles that he knows nothing about, and is dismissive of anything that he has not deemed worthy of his mastery; particularly the internal Chinese disciplines. This made me question his authority on topics which I am not familiar but which he claims to be an expert. It would have been better to omit a brief mention of a style rather than to demonstrate ignorance of it; or dismiss it altogether.

His knowledge of Martial Arts history is also not very good but that could be attributed to the limited availability of such arcane information at the time of this writing. Today, the average enthusiast has access to more information than this American author probably had at his disposal.

The authors understanding of "warrior philosophy" is also somewhat lacking and based more on fiction and war propaganda than a true understanding of the cultures from which these traditions derive. He falsely compares ancient Samurai philosophy with the sentiments of the faltering Japanese army during the final, desperate, days of world war 2.

I don't think that many culturally Asian Martial-artists would find this book representative of Asian martial-arts; speaking as a culturally Asian martial artist.

While I would love to tout a book written just "for us", I can only give it two stars because in the many years I have owned it I have never felt compelled to lend it to a friend or recommend it to a fellow martial-artist. That may be the best test of a good martial-arts book.

A revised edition, perhaps with contributions of other experts, would be welcome.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
This book speaks more to the philosophy of martial arts than how to do it.Even for someone who does not practice martial arts this book provides a sound philosophy about leading a moral and rewarding lifestyle.Have read through multiple times now. ... Read more

7. The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi: Combat and Energy Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi and Hsing-I
by Bruce Frantzis
Paperback: 432 Pages (2007-08-07)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$17.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583941908
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Originally published in 1998, this book has become a martial arts classic. It provides detailed descriptions of the three main internal martial arts—tai chi (taiji), hsing-i (xingyi) and ba gua (pakua)—and their sub-styles, as well as how they differ from each other and from such external arts as karate, tae kwon do and judo. Each internal martial art is analyzed in terms of its fighting strategies and applications. This revised edition includes 50 pages of additional material including a new chapter on martial arts and spirituality.This was the first book to provide in-depth information to Westerners about nei gung (neijiaquan), the sophisticated Taoist system developed in ancient China for working with chi in the body, mind and spirit. Chi helps build relaxed speed and power without the use of muscular tension or adrenaline surges. This gives many internal martial artists a powerful edge over counterparts trained in external martial arts.

The book provides vivid details about Frantzis’ personal training odyssey in the martial arts, including fascinating profiles of such renowned martial artists as Morehei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido; ba gua master Wang Shu Jin, who emanated chi so powerfully that on cold days his students could warm their hands by standing near him; and Liu Hung Chieh, the legendary master of the internal martial arts and Taoist meditation who also had a complete knowledge of traditional Chinese medical theory.

The new edition demystifies the technique known as fa jin, the storage and sudden discharge of energy without the use of muscular force, one aspect of which is demonstrated on the front cover. The new edition also adds a lengthy chapter on the spiritual development of a martial artist, and describes how the internal martial arts are linked to Taoist meditation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting read but no secrets
Bruce definitely has the credentials in the martial community. In this book, however, there are no "Secrets" revealed. This is also the case in every other martial book that has the word 'secrets' in its title, so Bruce is no exception. For storytelling, people he's met, masters of the martial arts, this book does whet the appetite and serves Bruce well relative to who he has touched hands or studied with; it's a 430 page advertisement for Bruce's world -- and rather impressive from that standpoint....

One gets a taste for the near iconic status of the now-passed-away masters of old. That is good, because these masters devoted their lives in the cultivation of internal and external energy and have profound knowledge. I imagine Bruce might be a fountain of knowledge and a master of his art, but I don't know how generous he might be with that knowledge --certainly not lots in this book. I have, however, heard decent reviews for his "Opening the Energy Gates" book.

This book is a very interesting read but don't expect to be any more enlightened about secrets after the 400th page. The secret of any kind of kung fu is really, really hard work over a long period of time under the supervision of a good teacher.

The book deserves 5 stars for the description of masters and the interesting writing. But I take 2 stars away because of his unfortunate use of wording in the title which undoubtedly will lead many people to think there is some useful information within its pages. A great read, yes; useful, no.

1-0 out of 5 stars No beef!
When one buys a martial art book, one would expect to learn some extra tricks (for experienced practitioner) or to use the book as a learning tool to jump start one's learning (for beginner).This book failed both.And it boggled my mind as how the author can claim his book as exposing the "combat and energy secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi and Hsing-I".No beef here, except his own publicity.

The one picture does seem to be the sole tool to do the task: The fa-jing ("externalizing" internal power) demonstration in the cover.It is however not an uncommon fa-jing demonstration by some tai-chi practitioners, with the prerequisite being that the "opponent" needed to be compliant, and simple muscle relaxation will nullify the "dramatic" effect, i.e. it can't be (or is not meant to be) used in actual combat situations.

If one is interested to know (and learn) the way how an internal martial artist trains himself for power (the same power as used by Bruce Lee or Muhammad Ali, as all physical powers obey the same physical law, it is ONLY the training method that differs. An efficient use of (internal) power can be trained by either the external or internal training method or a combination), one can refer to books, for example, by Master Lam Kam Chuen (I-style, main tool of training: fighting-style zhan zhuang - a modern and simple method) or Mantak Chia's tai-chi book (tai-chi, main tool of training being rooting, classical method).Without offering a training method, the picture only serves to mystify the power practice of internal martial art, which is not conducive to the healthy propagation of the art.Or perhaps, it is the objective of the author to mystify, after all, there are folks around who don't want to put in a lot of effort to train themselves, but would rather fantasize himself being able to throw someone out into the sky like some superman, some day in the future!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This guy knows what he is talking about.Bruce Frantzis is the first author i have found that has truely experienced internal martial arts thouroghly and deeply enough to write this book.I found this book very inspiring and helpful in my training and i cant wait to check out his other books.

1-0 out of 5 stars NOT as Advertised
Dont waste your money, I did learn from my mistake. More a history book than anything else. Very boring.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected
This book is not quite what I expected.I agree there was very detailed information related to these three internal marital arts, but without diagram or pictures or other familiarity with the styles it was very hard to follow.The information of the masters and the various styles were interesting and allowed me more overall knowledge related to the martial arts and its history.I was not a big fan of Frantzis' style of writing.Most of the time he was more about trying to show off who he knew, studied with, and his own personal judgment of the various martial arts.I found him somewhat egotistical, which is supposed to be a trait a true martial artist strives not to be.I rated this two stars only for the general information and history of these internal arts and I have not read another book that contained this information to date.Most of his information on healing arts and spirituality of martial arts is (in my opinion) a blush of the subject and not depth and way too dramatic in his presentation of the material.If I find another book that has the history detail, I'd down grade this to only one star. ... Read more

8. Essential Anatomy: For Healing and Martial Arts
by Marc Tedeschi
Paperback: 144 Pages (2000-04-04)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0834804433
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This unique book will familiarize healing practitioners and martial artists with basic concepts of the human body, as defined by both Western and Eastern medical traditions, allowing those engaged in healing and martial arts to develop a more complete, holistic, and scientifically forward-looking understanding of the body. Overviews of philosophical and conceptual underpinnings are followed by detailed drawings and diagrams of the body's internal systems, as seen by both traditions. Written in a clear and concise style, this beautiful and informative book presents information previously unavailable in any single text, making it an essential work for students, healing professionals, and martial artists. This lavishly illustrated book includes:

* Over 147 color drawings and 54 duotone photographs
* An easy-to-understand overview of Western anatomical concepts
* A detailed overview of Eastern medical principles, including information previously available only in specialized, costly medical texts
* A comprehensive listing of Oriental pressure points and meridians in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, cross-referenced to nerves, blood vessels, and other anatomical landmarks
* Twenty essential self-massage and revival techniques
* Detailed principles of pressure point fighting, as used in traditional Asian martial arts ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Charts
I am a martial arts instructor, and I have refer to the charts in this book at least 1-3 times a month for the last three or four years.It's my go-to book for meridian charts as well as for muscle and skeleton charts.In fact, I have even made photocopies of a couple of the pages to keep inside other books on dim mak because Tedeschi's charts are better than those in my other books.

Susan Lynn Peterson
author of Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly informative
This book is a rare gem!Interestingly, as a black belt myself, I have known of Mark Tedeschi through the martial arts circuits.Little did I realize that he had put together such a wonderful book about healing, also.Perhaps most people don't think of black belts as being healers, but I've always believed that black belts have an obligation to give back to their communities. I have not personally participated in any dramatic, life-saving emergencies, but I have used many of the ideas and concepts provided in this book to help and assist others with a variety of small injuries. I'm hoping to expand my awareness of these important Oriental concepts with this book to assist more people as often as I can.

5-0 out of 5 stars practical information resource for martial arts practitioners
I've found this book very helpfull for my aikido and kyusho practice as it reveals the eastern view of human body construction and functions and helps to understand how to influence it positive or negative way.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Anatomy
This book has almost no anatomy.The vast majority of this book is comprised of eastern medicine.If you are looking for detailed knowledge of the human body for use in martial arts, this is NOT the book to get.You would be better off with almost any medical anatomy book or a martial arts book on "vital point striking".

If you are in to the more fantastic side of martial arts and not self-defense, this book may interest you.

5-0 out of 5 stars anatomy
A nice comparison of east and west.I like having the many pages of channels to refer to. ... Read more

9. Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Martial Arts (Ultimate Guide to Weight Training...)
by Robert G. Price
Paperback: 168 Pages (2007-03-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$8.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932549544
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Martial Arts is the most comprehensive and up-to-date martial arts-specific training guide in the world today. It contains descriptions and photographs of over 80 of the most effective weight training, flexibility, and abdominal exercises used by athletes worldwide. This book features year-round martial arts-specific weight-training programs guaranteed to improve your performance and get you results.

No other martial arts book to date has been so well designed, so easy to use, and so committed to weight training. This book is the most informative and complete resource for building muscles, speed, and stamina to enable the body to excel in judo, karate, aikido, kung fu, jujitsu, taekwondo, kempo, muay thai, and all other martial arts forms. The book provides martial artists with an abundance of easy to follow training techniques needed to be effective in the martial arts, such as flexibility, joint stabilization, balance, and muscle development.

Both beginners and advanced athletes and weight trainers can follow this book and utilize its programs. From recreational to professional, thousands of athletes all over the world are already benefiting from this book and its techniques, and now you can too!

As an added bonus, this book also contains links to free record keeping charts which normally sell separately for $20. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Sart
All of the books in this series are nearly the same which can be a bit annoying.However, I view any weight-training programs offered as just a start rather than as the end all of what to do.

3-0 out of 5 stars Value of the book
I thought that this book would have been more robust, the exercises in the book are good, just nothing ground breaking. May want to save your dollar if you are an experienced martial artist!

3-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Martial Arts
It is an interesting fast view of weight training for martial arts ... Read more

10. The Zen Way to Martial Arts: A Japanese Master Reveals the Secrets of the Samurai (Compass)
by Taisen Deshimaru
Paperback: 128 Pages (1992-09-15)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$4.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140193448
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Informative yet Inaccurate
"Fighting without weapons first became...when itinerant monks were often attacked and robbed...because the monks' vows...a form of weaponless fighting initially developed in China...later split into Karate, judo, Tai-Chi, etc.....The itinerant monks carried all this knowledge from China to Japan, where, spreading out from the region of Okinawa...Karate and Judo became more popular there, while Tai-Chi remained specifically Chinese....[Tai-Chi] has been called "standing Zen"; but when all is said and done, it is just a dance, a sort of gymnastic without the true spirit of Zen" (p. 39-40)

I think anyone who has more than basic knowledge about the history of these martial arts can tell that the above "facts" stated in the book are highly inaccurate, to say the least. Other statements, like the last one quoted above, probably do not stem from deep personal knowledge and experience. Specifically about Tai Chi, while not being a practitioner myself I am at least humble enough not to make such broad accusations. Maybe such a claim is true for many practitioners or so called masters of Tai Chi, but I know both the head of my Karate style (Okinawan, 10th Dan, and a zen practitioner for many years) and direct Sensei (Japanese, 6th Dan) hold some martial artists who are also Tai Chi masters in high regards.

I think the two main problems with the book for people like me (i.e. martial artists who want to expend knowledge of the art and the interconnections between it, zen, the everyday life, and growing as a person) are (a) that the book was not carefully edited and (b) that the writer, which makes a lot of very specific statements about martial arts, is *not* a master in martial arts but a Zen master. According to the details given in the book it appears Zen master TD himself definitely had a personal background in martial arts (specifically "old style" Judo) and long time connections with highly ranked martial artists, but that is not the same. Thus, I found some Zen terminology new to me, and the discussion about it and its connection to martial arts informative, but I would suggest taking statements and "facts" regarding martial arts (like the ones quoted above) with a grain of salt. Personally, these problems turned my enthusiasm down and I ended up turning to other books on my list, never finishing this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars There are no better books on Zen in English
This is the THE BOOK for anyone interested in Zen.Period.

I can't stop reading this book.It has been in my personal effects for going on 20 years...rarely more than a few feet from where I sleep.I AM NOT KIDDING.

This is the real deal.

I've read a bunch of books on Zen, and similar philosophical/new agey kind of stuff (you know, Deepak Chopra, et al.)I've read Suzuki (both), I've read Watts, and most of the rest.Most of that stuff is very verbose, or poorly translated, or written by a poor user of English, or otherwise cludgy and difficult to read.Not this book.This book is like a May walk through a garden with butterflies and chirping birds and a light breeze on your face.

Not only is it a "walk in the park" but it is immensely deep too.How the author accomplished that is beyond me...but it is undeniable proof that he is a true master and that whatever he is doing works.See what I mean?

Now, I don't know much about Martial Arts, per se, and this book doesn't teach you diddly about any specific one.In fact, the title is misleading I believe...or maybe not misleading, but I honestly think that it is keeping a great number of readers away from it, which is unfortunate.

So what I'm saying is: don't buy this to learn Karate.Buy this to live life.To do anything.

Every human being on Earth should read this book.

Zen is life itself...every breath, every step, and yes.....each one could be your last.Samurai, or not, we all face the same existence.

I consider this book my personal bible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Martial Arts for the True Warrior
This is a great book, especially for those who wish to live the life of warriorship. There is much, much more to the martial arts than what is taught in the majority of today's politically correct, sports focused dojos. This book delves into the deeper philosophy behind the martial arts. As the author states, "you must live intensely, wholeheartedly, without reserve - as if you might die in the next instant."

I found this book bursting with wisdom that is helpful to those who are on the path of Bushido. Don't just read it, but read it, meditate on it, and apply it. It is a great book and a good use of your time.

Bohdi Sanders, author of Warrior Wisdom: Ageless Wisdom for the Modern Warrior

5-0 out of 5 stars Martial Philosophy at It's Finest
A true master, the zen monk Deshimaru in approximately 100 pages is capable elaborating on the differences between the practice of martial sport and martial art. That these ideas can take a full lifetime to explore make this a classical book on the subject.

A truly masterful achievement, as this book has synthesized for me what has taken great lengths to learn from multiple sources and has also introduced many abstract concepts into terms that a non-Zen practicing Budoka can understand. Unlike many other books approaching this subject, you need not become a "Japanophile" or create a super-ego to relate.

This book is naturally compatible with genuine materials on the martial mindset from Tukuan Soho, Miyamoto Musashi and Morihei Ueshiba, true masters who also wrote short but deeply meaningful books on the subject of martial practice. So this book becomes an organic extension of these other masterpieces: The book of 5 rings (Musashi Miyamoto), The Unfettered Mind (Tukuan Soho) and The Art of Peace (Ueshiba). All highly recommended.

The martial mindset has nothing to do with sports-minded competition. Modern "martial arts" are most of the time a form of sanctioned violence taught to self-appointed vigilante's. When such idiots confront a situation where emotional breakdowns occur due to overwhelming odds or unfamiliar setups, the results are enlightenment the hard way!

The distinction evident from this book is the understanding that when the practice of martial art encompasses a realistic acceptance of life or death with a conditioned acceptance of death through the practice of zen, true courage becomes possible.

Other concepts elaborated are the elusive subject of ki and the practical method of practicing zen as it relates to breathing. In this respect, the master Deshimaru ties the tradition of zen to the Buddhist and Hindu practice of Vipassana meditation as it relates to enlightenment. However, whereas the typical descriptions focus on the metaphysical, this book spares you the mystical nonesense and through a simple experiment of following clear directions, the concepts become very real for the reader.

This book is an excellent accompanying text to any internal martial arts practice as it does not condone a passive acceptance of ideas or practices, but rather encourages the reader to ascend to a higher calling through worthy reflection, genuine rigorous practice and acceptance of inherent truths about the nature of leadership, combat, life, death and worldliness. The material has great reverance for tradition in terms of principle, not ritual. A must have for the modern budoka seeking a mature approach to Martial Arts.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some good insights not obvious to martial arts beginners
Deshimaru Roshi (Master Deshimaru) teaches a few lessons on Zen, and its connection to the tradition of martial arts in Japan. He explains that without cultivating the spirit, any martial arts is just a sport which could eventually deplete the body of energy. Instead, the samurai in medieval Japan were taught martial skill and civil education (caligraphy, history, music, etc.). Unfortunately, he says, the real spirit is going away even in Japan, let alone in the West. He shares some nice stories - he has a preference for cats, it seems :).Cultivating the mind through zazen practice is at least as important as practicing a martial art!
These being said, these book is not a practical manual - they are questions and answers from a public event in 1975 -probably Taisen Deshimaru has written better suited for that pupose. However, the martial arts beginners could use it to understand what every martial art grand master says: it's not at all about fighting! ... Read more

11. Speed Training : How to Develop Your Maximum Speed for Martial Arts
by Loren W. Christensen
Paperback: 256 Pages (1996-01-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$14.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0873648595
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Speed is the most important asset a fighter canhave. Find out from a top martial artist and police officer how todevelop instantaneous reflexes and explosive speed for punching,kicking, grappling and police defensive tactics. Improve perception,polish timing and double your speed by using these sure-firetechniques. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars System Helped Me Get My Brown Belt
I used this speed training system to prepare myself for the honor of receiving a brown belt. It was very easy to follow, and I understood immediately what was being suggested for me to accomplish. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lack Of Speed Is Just As Much A Mental Affliction As A Physical Condition
Although I didn't find this book to be perfect, I did find this book to be very well done overall and literally loaded with lots of good solid information covering a wide array of techniques, exercises, and training methods to enhance one's speed. Not only on a physical level, but perhaps more importantly on a mental level as well.

Although some might say that there wasn't enough detail covering all the various methods that is to be expected in a book whose scope is to cover a number of varying methods to improve a singular aspect of ones performance, which in this case is speed. Sure there are a lot of more detailed books out there on any one of the many techniques described in this book, but I doubt you will find that many books out there specifically on increasing ones speed in the martial arts, that has as much quality information in it as this book does.

I highly recommend this book along with the ones listed below to assist you in enhancing your martial arts skills.

Timing in the Fighting Arts: Your Guide to Winning in the Ring and Surviving on the Street

Warrior Speed

Martial Mechanics: Maximum Results with Minimum Effort in the Practice of the Martial Arts

Shawn Kovacich
Martial Artist/Author of the Achieving Kicking Excellence series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for fast people and even better for someone is slow.
This book is filled with alot of great knowledge on what creates speed, building or having a basis for speed, and improving your overall speed. Also he doesn't go into these complicated scientific explanations of how speed works. I mean come on, if we were smart enough to be scientists why would we be training to fight right? lol. However, I feel that the author spent alot of time reiterating the same points over and over again. That's good for people who have a hard time learning things the first time. For me it made me really the read boring at certain points cause I usually grasp concepts very easily especially when it comes to improving my arts. That's the only reason why I gave this book 4 stars insted of 5. But it's definatly worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I just received this book a few days ago.I have read it through and have already started to incorporate some of the techniques into my training.One thing I enjoy about Mr. Christensen's books is his writing style.They are written clearly and with humor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
I recommend this book to any martial arts student that feels like they have plateaued on speed. The relaxation methods really work and the speed drills are fun and really make a difference. Buy this book, read it cover to cover and use the authors techniques to make yourself faster than you ever thought possible. ... Read more

12. Ultimate Fitness Through Martial Arts
by Sang H. Kim
Paperback: 270 Pages (1993-11-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880336022
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Discusses mind and body exercises for developing strength, speed, flexibility, balance and mental strength, and provides tips on injury prevention, and nutriton for staying fit. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to a martial artist's library
"Ultimate Fitness Through Martial Arts" by Sang H. Kim, Ph.D., is a great reference for any martial artist's bookshelf.Reading it, I found myself agreeing with things Kim wrote, and then incorporating other drills into my classes.It's always good to bring in new drills and make training varied, and this book provides a lot of different exercises and drills to incorporate into any martial art training, regardless of style.

I liked that Kim explained the benefits of the drills as well as how to perform them.I feel as an instructor, it is important to explain why you are having students perform certain things, and what benefit they will receive from doing what you tell them.Writing a book is no different, it's not enough to say do this, but one needs to explain why.Kim did a good job of this.

The book has a short introduction regarding the quest for ultimate physical condition, and what fitness really is.Short and simple explanation and then a brief word on how to use the book.

From there, the book is divided into chapters that each focus on one element of fitness.These include: Power, Speed, Perception, Coordination, Balance, Agility, Flexibility, Endurance, Accuracy, Timing, Mental Strength, Nutrition, Injury Prevention, and a few sample workouts at the end.

Obviously, some of these topics can be explored in much greater depth than Kim had room to cover in this single volume.In fact, Kim, himself, has other books that go into much greater detail on some of these topics, such as his large book on Flexibility.There are also books available that just focus on speed, or power, or timing, and so on.But what Kim did well here was provide in one book, all these different components of fitness, how they related to martial arts, and how you can train for them.Certainly, you may wish to purchase resources on these components of fitness to further your study and expand your training, but to have all the elements addressed in one simple volume is nice to have for a quick reference.

Each chapter begins with an explanation of the attribute the chapter focuses on, and how it applies to martial arts and how you can improve.The the chapter provides various training exercises.There ar simple explanations along with photographs to teach these to those unfamiliar with them.Kim also includes pages that have charts to track your progress.These are pretty basic and you can copy them from the book, or design your own.The important part is that it can be greatly beneficial to chart your progress and achieve goals you set for yourself.Seeing improvement is motivating, and shows that your hard work is paying off.

It's a pretty quick book to read, and it touches on the various components of fitness you should be training for as a martial artist.There are enough exercises to include with your training to keep it varied, and it just might motivate you to do further research on these topics.A very good addition to any martial artists library.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of Hard-Won Wisdom From the School of Hard Knocks and the dvds: Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking Essentials series and articles including a regular column on negotiation for The Montana Lawyer. Alain Also wrote a series of articles called Lessons From The Apprentice.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!
I got this book about a month ago and it has been a big help for training at home. Its packed with a lot of information and is written really well...
I really like that it has sample workouts in the back that give you an idea of what you should do for each area you are trying to work on and how much to do...

I'd recommend this book to every martial artist

5-0 out of 5 stars Kim is the expert
Part of my daily routine.I also own his newer book on flexibility.This author has laid out a good comprehensive plan for everyone at every level, not just us who practice martial arts.Although this book was written quite a few years ago, its basic theory is still good-to-go today and it remains fresh.

5-0 out of 5 stars Full of Very Useful Techniques to Improve Your Training
This book has strategies and exercises geared toward improving power, speed, perception, balance, agility, coordination, timing, endurance, accuracy, flexibility and mental strength. Also included are sections on nutrition, injury prevention and sample workouts that mix a variety of exercises from the categories previously listed. This book outlines a very direct and organized approach to the fitness aspect of martial arts training without any fluff or stylistic interpretations. Read it and immediately you will have an arsenal of good exercises for your fitness routine, at home or in a class. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars get this book
I practice Taekwondo, but no matter your martial art, this book is so detailed and helpful. Some exercises would be great in the Dojang, but you can do nearly all of them on you own. I believe even if you arent even a martial artist this book will whip you into excellent shape and you will have fun along the way. ... Read more

13. Martial Arts Instructors Desk Reference
by Sang H. Kim
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-07-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880336715
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Martial Arts Instructor's Desk Reference is a complete guide to advanced teaching concepts and martial arts school administration. Author and veteran martial arts instructor Sang H. Kim covers a wide range of essential topics for the professional martial arts instructor including:

*teaching children with ADD, behavioral problems and learning disabilities
*creating lesson plans and teaching specific curriculum elements
*combating boredom through hundreds of drills and training ideas
*marketing, advertising, publicity, staffing and customer service
*instructor training and evaluation
*tournament management

Based on our popular special report series, this book brings together a wide range of essential topics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A really good reference tool for school owners/operators
This book is a very nice collection of FAQ's with answers from one of the best martial arts educators out there.

If you are thinking of opening a school or just starting a martial arts program of any kind, I would suggest you read this book FIRST!Then keep it handy!

Glad I purchased it!One of the books I refer back to most!


4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting read full of useful hints
I bought this book many months ago (mid 2008) and browsed through it in preparation for opening my own dojo in 2009. As that time has come closer I have started reading this book in greater depth and have found a wealth of ideas that I would never have come up with, and I should point out that I have a double degree in human resource management and marketing, a minor in business law and a masters in accounting. Most interesting is that it is in the business side of this book that I found the most useful information - small, practical hints on student retention, information gathering, public relations and marketing made this book worthwhile for me.

I've only given it four stars however because the areas to do with any form of finance such as setting fee rates and determining student numbers are overly simplistic and therefore of limited benefit - if this area was fleshed out and a section on developing a business plan as it relates to the martial arts business was included in detail, then this book would be perfect.

Overall I recommend it to anyone who is in the process of setting up their own school, and it will be of great benefit to those who are looking for ideas to improve the running of their school.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I have already another excellent book (Ultimate fitness) and some DVD's of Master Sang H. Kim. He is a great teacher and likes to share his martial arts wisdom.
This book covers almost every single aspect about running a martial arts business, from teaching to marketing.
A serious book to serious martial arts teachers.
I strongly advice you to get one.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview
I'd recommend this without reservation to any martial arts instructor, part-time or full time. Or any instructor. It provides excellent simple advice for dealing with simple difficult issues such as ADD kids or other attention problems in class. It provides straightforward and concise guides for organizing a class or a business. I've had it only a few weeks, and expect to be mining its depths for years. I doubt if I'll ever sit down to read it straight through, but I've found that every time I've gone to it for any specific issue, or just to open and browse for ten or fifteen minutes, I've learned something.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough Instructions on how to run a great martial arts school.
This book has a wealth of information about running a dojang (dojo). From dealing with the difficult student to organizing a class with specific drills, this book covers everything a good instructor needs to at least think through.I particularly liked the aspects of running a business; when to advertise, how to run a radio spot, what to do when enrollment drops, when to expand and when not to.If your business is teaching martial arts, you must have this book. ... Read more

14. Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
by Rory Miller
Paperback: 180 Pages (2008-08-25)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594391181
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Experienced martial artist and veteran correction officer Sgt. Rory Miller distills what he has learned from jailhouse brawls, tactical operations and ambushes to explore the differences between martial arts and the subject martial arts were designed to deal with: Violence.

Sgt. Miller introduces the myths, metaphors and expectations that most martial artists have about what they will ultimately learn in their dojo. This is then compared with the complexity of the reality of violence. Complexity is one of the recurring themes throughout this work.

Section Two examines how to think critically about violence, how to evaluate sources of knowledge and clearly explains the concepts of strategy and tactics.

Sections Three and Four focus on the dynamics of violence itself and the predators who perpetuate it. Drawing on hundreds of encounters and thousands of hours spent with criminals Sgt. Miller explains the types of violence; how, where, when and why it develops; the effects of adrenaline; how criminals think, and even the effects of drugs and altered states of consciousness in a fight.

Section Five centers on training for violence, and adapting your present training methods to that reality. It discusses the pros and cons of modern and ancient martial arts training and gives a unique insight into early Japanese kata as a military training method.

Section Six is all about how to make self-defense work. Miller examines how to look at defense in a broader context, and how to overcome some of your own subconscious resistance to meeting violence with violence.

The last section deals with the aftermath--the cost of surviving sudden violence or violent environments, how it can change you for good or bad. It gives advice for supervisors and even for instructors on how to help a student/survivor. You'll even learn a bit about enlightenment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (81)

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of 'Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence'
A definite insightful read into the world of real-life violence.
The author's main message is that real life violence is complex, nasty & nothing as glamorous or as cool as how we all imagine it to be like in the movies. Getting caught up in it whether as victim or perpetrator is neither good & both has serious consequences.
The examples he gives are illuminating & insightful.
The author keeps the message & writing style real, direct, & to the point. He doesn't sugar coat things. Some of the stuff he says rings true, while others may come off as unsettling to some readers.
My guess is that he's doing so to make the reader feel the need to ask questions & think more critically about violence in general (due to the uneasiness felt from his message).
Again, definitely a good book worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Meditations On Violence
This is not a book of martial arts technique but more the voice of experience explaining what happens when confronted by the "unexpected" of real violence rather than the "expected" of much of todays martial arts training. For those wishing to understand from an experienced Martial Artist, who is also a long serving American prison officer, just what happens to the mind and body when confronted by real life violence then this is informative and a surprisingly easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Add Another Fan to the List
Does anyone need to read review number 79 for this book? Others have already said it all, but I want to add my "five stars." This a must-read for anyone interested in martial arts, police science, self-defense, criminal psychology, etc., but it's about a great deal more than any of those things. I would say this is a must-read for anyone who has any intellectual curiosity at all, anyone who wants to try to understand a broad swath of the human experience that many of us will never--or hope to never--encounter personally.

I'll tell you how much I value this book: I read it cover to cover and then two weeks later I read it cover to cover again. Since then, I've picked it up dozens of times and read a page or two. There are so many fresh, original, striking insights in it that it is impossible to absorb it all in a single reading.

I've read a lot of books in this genre, but "Meditations on Violence" is unique. It has a place in my library alongside such books as Gonzales's "Deep Survival," De Becker's "Gift of Fear," Cooper's "Principals of Personal Defense," and Thompson's "Verbal Judo."

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best self-protection book ever written.
Hundreds of books have been produced by so called experts on self-protection who all claim to have real life experience of extreme street violence. Claiming to have had hundreds of street fights and decades of experience as door security staff; I've often thought that perhaps they may just be stretching the truth a little or they are probably the type of people to have instigated many of their own confrontations and that they are the ones to steer clear of. I spent twenty years working as a doorman in Cardiff and I can count all my violent confrontations on one hand, actually, one finger!

Sgt Rory Miller on the other hand is completely different animal. Working daily in America's high security correctional facilities (prisons to us Brits), he deals with some of the most violent men on the planet every day of his working life. To steal from the blurb on the back of the book, he "teaches and designs courses in Use Of Force Policy & Police Defensive Tactics; Confrontational Simulations; and leads and trains his agency's Corrections Tactical Team." Bluntly put, when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan, he's the man they scream for.

It shows too. Miller understands and conveys the pshycology of violence in depth as well as how to deal with potentially violent and very violent people by using pshycology as well as force on force. Making use of some quite shocking imagery, he drives home the true nature of violence and violent people clearly and succinctly and blows away any delusions martial arts experts may have that their art will protect them and others without having had any real experience or at least having trained in a realsitic way.

Possibly the best self-protection book ever writen. Certainly the best I've ever read.

3-0 out of 5 stars decent.. but repetitive
This is a decent book for a beginner martial artist, or someone that is going into the field of law enforcement (or both).
But as a martial artist I have read several books with the same info I got from this one and its pretty repetitive with the common sense . Basically you could get the same realist info from a Bruce Lee book .
Something I really disagree about in this book is when he quotes that 'overwhelming aggression always defeats skill and precision'. Well, this has proven throughout history to be wrong, and even today a skilled martial artist can overcome a sloppy aggressor with skill and precision. I suppose it depends on the person as well. but to use the word "always" is just not correct.
Also, he says that 'the first strike always gets in' .
It doesn't ALWAYS. Some people are not on their guard , it could happen, but someone who is on their guard would be aware of their surroundings and able to sense a hit coming and quickly react. (by moving or covering, or blocking etc..).
Anyway, I respect Miller's experience and he does offer some good insight based on his many experiences, but , that doesn't mean he is right about everything.
Overall an ok book.
... Read more

15. The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Training Guide: Techniques for Fitness, Self Defense, and Competition
by Danny Plyler, Chad Seibert
Paperback: 304 Pages (2009-10-29)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$2.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558708839
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A Must-Have Resource for all Warrior Athletes

Regardless of your skill or fitness level, The Ultimate Mixed Marital Arts Training Guide?with more than 300 step-by-step photographs, detailed callouts, and comprehensive instruction?is the personal trainer you need to accomplish your workout goals and sharpen your techniques. You?ll learn:

  • Cardio and strength training exercises like mountain climber push-ups, partner closed guard sit-up reaches, and the Muay Thai scarecrow
  • Striking and defense techniques such as the jab, cross, hook, overhand, Muay Thai knee, inner/outer thigh kick, and head kick
  • Wrestling and countering techniques including the dirty boxing clinch, the over-under clinch, and the Muay Thai clinch
  • Takedowns like the hip throw, shoot takedown, and single and double leg takedown
  • Jiu-jitsu passing and escape techniques for the full mount, knee mount, closed guard, open guard, and more
  • Winning submission moves like the arm bar, Kimura, omoplata, guillotine, ankle lock, and triangle choke
  • Drills to improve your punching and kicking speed and accuracy
  • Mental exercises to sharpen your focus, reduce your fears, and increase your concentration
  • Diet and nutrition techniques the pros use to stay in top fighting condition?whether they?re in training mode or cutting weight before a match
Whatever your personal fitness and fighting ambitions might be, The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Training Guide is your all-in-one resource to peak physical conditioning, clear mental focus, increased confidence, and superior fighting skills. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Buy any MMA book first
This is the worst MMA book on the market.I have a bunch of them and this one is at the bottom of my list.If I buy any more, this one will most likely go below those too.The techniques were basic at best.The pictures were not sufficient to be able to determine proper techniques.This book is basically just a bunch of pictures of techniques and then they say this is a right cross...this is a roundhouse kick...this is an arm bar.

Really crappy, and a waste of my money.I gave it a 2 instead of a 1 because at least they didn't have too many spelling errors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with specifics suitable for at-home use
The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Training Guide: Techniques for Fitness, Self Defense & Competition offers cardio and strength training exercises, striking and defense postures, wrestling techniques and drills to improve punching, kicking and more. From mental exercises to physical strength, this is for any warrior fighter or library catering to them and is packed with specifics suitable for at-home use.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get this early in your training
I've been practicing MMA recreationally for about 6 months.I should've picked this up sooner.It's a great book, it's perfect for the beginner, gives you great context into the sport.Covers the basics you need to know, you can use this as a springboard for more learning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quality Work! Great Workouts!
This is a quality MMA book. It is written by 2 very knowledgable Martial Artists and MMA fighters. The workouts are outstanding. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn MMA techniques or just the training aspects to improve your health and way of life. Very Nice job!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Intro!
OK. Why consider this book? Well, I have most of the books put out by the Victory Belt and once you own a book by Victory Belt the others out there just dont feel right. First the illustrations are black and white. The Binding wasnt put together for constant use and frankly the techniques in the book have been explained in almost every book on mma that i've ever read.

So why consider this book. THE WORKOUT section is great. Something VB books usually leave out. The VB Company had mentioned a "Couture: The Natural Workout" book but that never happened. So I went out looking and found this work. It even has a Nutrition section that i was relieved to read. The Book is well rounded and i believe it to be of a great benefit to beginners of martial arts. Especially those with single disciplines. Though I have a slight history with many forms I wish i had had a book like this Fifteen years ago when i first started. I think i would be a better version of me lol!

At the Amazon price this book is a steal. Get and use it if youre a beginner. Get it as a refresher if your intermediate. And finally, If you want a pretty cool work out theis book has it pretty well detailed.

Necessary Equipment:
1)Jump Rope
2)Heavy Bag
3)Speed Bag
4)Kicking Shield
5)Striking Pads
6)Free Wieghts
7)Resistence Bands
9)Medicine Balls
10)Sparring Gear

and a Partner is always good.
... Read more

16. 50 Martial Arts Myths
by Sulaiman Sharif
Paperback: 220 Pages (2009-11-25)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0967754623
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Become a more informed martial arts enthusiast, teacher or student by discovering what really lies behind the legends of the world's different fighting systems. Comprehensively researched, carefully organized, and packed with fascinating details about the history, development and culture of martial arts, 50 Martial Arts Myths reveals the truth about martial arts and the stories they've generated.

  • Discover where black belts come from and what they really mean!
  • Learn why girls often make the best martial artists.
  • Understand why soft martial arts can pack the hardest punches.
  • You'll learn why practicing martial arts can actually reduce aggression
  • the amazing truth behind top secret "dim mak" techniques

50 Martial Arts Myths is essential for anyone interested in martial arts-- whether experienced martial artist or a new student -- who wants to understand the real story behind the world's martial arts styles. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition needs attention
First a gripe; between my wife and I we have purchased hundreds of books on Kindle, and a few have had some formatting or odd font issues, but none have been as bad this book. The font would go from single to double spaced, from italic to bold, from san-serif to serif all without warning, and often mid sentence. The publisher would do well to review the Kindle output and correct the font issues.

Second, I am glad that I picked up the Kindle edition, because there is not enough meat here to justify the price of the print edition. While there are 50 "myths" in the book, most of them are more like arguments you might see on one of the many martial art forums around the internet. And for those that engage in those arguments this book could be the reference that settles the disagreement, or you could spend a few minutes on Wikipedia.

Finally, the book has no bibliography, and there is no information about the author or how came to his understanding of these "myths."

In Summary, this title is not for the experienced martial artist, but for those new to the arts, or just tired of all the bickering on martial art forums, it could be a signpost pointing you to sanity (as long as the constantly morphing fonts don't drive you insane).

4-0 out of 5 stars The truth behind the art.
I have never been big into martial arts, however, members of my family are.The book "50 Martial Arts Myths" by Sulaiman Sharif, has allowed me to better understand the discipline required to be a true student of any discipline of martial arts. I specifically liked the depth in which the author describes the history and benefits of martial arts.

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.It is packed full of great information for both those who love martial arts and those just curious about them.This book exposes the truth behind the movie hype.

4-0 out of 5 stars 50 Martial Arts Myths, The Truth.
Reading the book "50 Martial Arts Myths" was fun and inspiring. It is definitely not the type of book I would expect to find myself reading but once I started reading it became very interesting. "50 Martial Arts Myths" separates truth from fiction and tells the real story ofdisciplinary and conditioned fighting skills. readers will discover what wearing a black belt really means,why some of the softest martial arts forms are actually the toughest form of fighting,learn why women are usually the best martial artists etc... This book is truly a great read and may just inspire some of you to take up the tradition and art of Martial Arts. There are many many forms and traditions and this book will help you glean the real from the fake in its honest and thought provoking view.

4-0 out of 5 stars The truth about Martial Arts.
We have all at one time watched an action packed suspenseful martial arts movie and wondered, can they really do that?"50 Martial Arts Myths" by Sulaiman Sharif, will set things straight.Not only does it dispel many of the misconceptions and myths surrounding the martial arts, but it also informs the reader.From the history to the discipline required this book covers it all.

I really enjoyed reading this book.After spending years studying Jiu-Jitsu and Tae Kwon Do, it was very interesting to learn more about other disciplines.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely interested in the subject, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Martial Arts and Respect
Whenever there is a martial arts demonstration, my grandson who is six years old always wants to go to see the show and you can hear him cheering them on.Then at the end he always asks if he can learn how to do that?Initial, I always feel it is because he sees it as a chance to kick someone and hurt them and that was because I didn't know that much about martial arts.

After reading the book titled "50 Martial Arts Myths" by Sulaiman Sharif it showed me how little I did know about the sport.The history of the art learned in the sport.The discipline it takes and the self control it teaches and most of all the respect it commands as they grow through the different belt colors.I now look at the demonstrations with a different view and will most likely be putting him in a class soon.The book is very good and explains quite a bit.So, if you are looking into learning anything about martial arts, then you should get this book.
... Read more

17. Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
Paperback: 288 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$14.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812696840
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Martial arts and philosophy have always gone hand in hand, as well as fist in throat. Philosophical argument is closely paralleled with hand-to-hand combat. And all of today’s Asian martial arts were developed to embody and apply philosophical ideas. In his interview with Bodidharma, Graham Priest brings out aspects of Buddhist philosophy behind Shaolin Kung-Fu — how fighting monks are seeking Buddhahood, not brawls. But as Scott Farrell’s chapter reveals, Eastern martial arts have no monopoly on philosophical traditions: Western chivalry is an education in and living revival of Aristotelian ethical theories. Several chapters look at ethical problems raised by the fighting arts. How can the sweaty and brutal be exquisitely beautiful? Every chapter is easily understandable by readers new to martial arts or new to philosophy.
... Read more

18. Be Like Water: Practical Wisdom from the Martial Arts
by Joseph Cardillo
Paperback: 176 Pages (2003-09-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003B652XA
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For anyone interested in deepening their quality of life, karate expert Joseph Cardillo delivers an inspiring and essential guide to the spiritual wisdom of the martial arts.Contrary to what many might think, self-defense is not the main purpose of martial arts training. "See with Your Skin; Find Your Range; Be Like Water" are just some of the wise messages at the heart of all martial art practices that help seasoned warriors, Buddhist monks, even kung fu champions like Bruce Lee maintain their trademark calm in the face of chaos. Now, in 16 easy-to-read chapters, Joseph Cardillo outlines a variety of disciplines from Korea, China, and Japan, and provides narrative examples for how they translate into spiritual well being. Complete with reflective exercises, BE LIKE WATER is a well-grounded, step-by-step approach to applying the warrior mind-set to life's daily challenges. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Ho-Hum
Cardillo's book is one of good intentions, but has little in the way of helpful teaching. It is disjointed and poorly conceived. You feel like there's a deeper thought, a clear principle, or a good lesson lurking somewhere in this miasma, but you never seem to be able to grasp it. At the end of each chapter I found myself saying," What the h%$# was that all about?"

4-0 out of 5 stars Water Meets World
Amateur kick-boxer and ex-karate student, I picked up this book looking for a little mental spice to add to a relatively sparse spiritual training regimen. Be Like Water hit the spot.

Cardillo's writing is obviously colored by the practice of Kung Fu, one of the "softer", more spiritual martial arts. Needless to say, his thoughts can't be neatly applied to becoming a more effective Muay Thai kick-boxer. But in reflecting on and cultivating the art of living, this book is thought-provoking.

Be Like Water holds a lot of great warrior-wisdom. My favorites are the sections on responding appropriately and controlling urges. Cardillo expresses very effectively the utility of economy of movement/reaction, just as he clearly explains the benefits of correctly assessing which threats to react to.

Be Like Water isn't a bible for up-coming boxers. I don't expect it to help me very much in the ring. But in trying to live the rest of my life well, I expect to recall and return to Cardillo's writing.

Terrie Schauer

5-0 out of 5 stars Mushin??
This is another one of those "It does what it says on the label" type books. You'll not want to put it down once you've started.

The book is arranged into many small one to three page chapters about a subject e.g. "Pacing Yourself" or "Identifying Your Priorities", then followed by a page or two on Meditations about how you might achieve what has been discussed then one page of "Resolutions" on suggested promises you should make to yourself to carry out the task at hand.

Written in a nice easy flowing & interesting manner which urges you on to want to just read one more chapter before you put it down.

Although the topics discussed immediately relate to Budo (Martial Arts), all of them can equally be applied to everyday living without little or any adaptation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Living a simple life
This is one of those books that you can't put down.I'm not a big reader, nor am I big in to martial arts, however the principles in this book really apply to everyday life.

It immediately changed the way I analyze situations.There are many small details that anyone can use to change something if that is something they want to.

I have read this book a few times, mainly looking for something else to apply to life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical Wisdom ~ For the Mind, Body and Spirit
Joseph Cardillo offers practical wisdom for everyday living in this brilliantly written book.The format is well-designed ~ with a spiritual saying at the beginning and resolutions at the end of each chapter.It's wonderful finding opportunities to apply his ideas, to `go with the flow' of life ~ to conserve strength and energy ~ to move through life more gently. ... Read more

19. Speed Training for Martial Arts: How to Maximize Your Hand Speed, Boxing Speed, Kick Speed, Wrestling Speed, and Combat Speed for Martial Arts and MMA
by J. Barnes
Paperback: 176 Pages (2005-09-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$14.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0976899809
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Based on proven concepts of martial arts masters, such as Bruce Lee, this bestselling guide provides advanced training methods to maximize speed and reflexes for competition and self-defense. J. Barnes provides education, tools, and drills as part of his famous Speed Loop training system...which is designed to isolate, transform, maximize, and integrate the 7 keys to martial arts speed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Anyone in Martial Arts
Speed Training for Martial Arts: How to Maximize Your Hand Speed, Boxing Speed, Kick Speed, Wrestling Speed, and Combat Speed for Martial Arts and MMA by J. Barnes is a book that I would highly recommend for anyone interested in developing their Martial Arts or boxing skills to the fullest. Well written and easy to understand, the author includes instructions, exercises and drills useful for all levels that increase speed, reaction time and reflexes. Mr. Barnes also covers areas such as mental shadow fighting and focus. This is a good book whether you are new to the martial arts or have plenty of experience since you can always increase your skills.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Training Book for Increasing Skills
With 20 years of experience, J. Barnes book "Speed Training for Martial Arts: How to Maximize Your Hand Speed, Boxing Speed, Kick Speed, Wrestling Speed, and Combat Speed for Martial Arts and MMA" is full of tips, drills and exercises to maximize your skills. Although I am not involved in martial arts, my daughter is and this book will be a great help in developing her speed and overall skills. I would recommend anyone with an interest in martial arts or boxing to get a copy of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must have.
Having studied several different martial arts disciplines, I have always searched for ways to improve my abilities."Speed Training for Martial Arts:" by J. Barnes, is a great resource that has helped me accomplish my goal.The book is filled with great teaching techniques and speed drills that will improve your physical and mental responses dramatically.The best part is the methods used in the book are easy enough for everyone and proven to get results.I recommend this book to every martial arts enthusiast.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gaining Speed.
This book should be considered more like equipment than an actual book. In it the author gives you instructions, and drills to help gain speed and maximize your potential as a martial artist. I highly recommend it to individuals in the martial arts field looking to maximize their speed and learn different concentration and focus techniques. It would also benefit individuals in the dance field.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Guide for Martial Artists
Having trained in the martial arts & self-defense, I was impressed with what this book has to offer. The author has an extensive background in mixed martial arts. He's also lived in rough areas where he learned to defend himself in actual street fights. He's drawn on his experience to create a practical manual that can be used to improve speed & overall fighting skills, whether in the dojo or for self-defense.

The book contains dozens of practical exercises, addressing physical, mental & energetic (Ki) principles. Many of the techniques can be done solo & require no equipment. However there are also partner & group drills, plus training techniques using everything from focus gloves to a record player to a simple paper target. The language is clear & accessible, & I believe both beginning & more seasoned students of martial arts or self-defense would find it of value. I imagine it could also be useful for people in other sports wanting to fine-tune their speed & overall physical awareness.
... Read more

20. The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts
by Issai Chozanshi
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2006-09-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 4770030185
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Woven deeply into the martial traditions and folklore of Japan, the fearsome Tengu dwell in the country's mountain forest. Mythical half-man, half-bird creatures with long noses, Tengu have always inspired dread and awe, inhabiting a liminal world between the human and the demonic, and guarding the most hidden secrets of swordsmanship. In The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts, a translation of the 18th-century samurai classic by Issai Chozanshi, an anonymous swordsman journeys to the heart of Mt. Kurama, the traditional domain of these formidable beings. There he encounters a host of demon; through a series of discussions and often playful discourse, they reveal to him the very deepest principles of the martial arts, and show how the secrets of sword fighting impart the truths of life itself.

The Demon's Sermon opens with The discourses, a collection of whimsical fables concerned with the theme of transformation--for Chozanshi a core phenomenon to the martial artist. Though ostensibly light and fanciful, these stories offer the attentive reader ideas that subvert perceived notions of conflict and the individual's relationship to the outside world. In the main body of work, The Sermon, Chozanshi demonstrates how transformation is fostered and nurtured through ch'i -- the vital and fundamental energy that flows through all things, animate and inanimate, and the very bedrock of Chozanshi's themes and the martial arts themselves. This he does using the voice of the Tengu, ad the reader is invited to eavesdrop with the swordsman on the demon's revelations of the deepest truths concerning ch'i, the principles of yin and yang, and how these forces shape our existence. In The Dispatch, the themes are brought to an elegant conclusion using the parable of an old and toothless cat who, like the demon, has mastered the art of acting by relying on nothing, and in so doing can defeat even the wiliest and most vicious of rats despite his advanced years.

This is the first direct translation from the original text into English by William Scott Wilson, the renowned translator of Hagakure and The Book of Five Rings. It captures the tone and essence of this classic while still making it accessible and meaningful to today's reader. Chozanshi's deep understanding of Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto, as well as his insight into the central role of ch'i in the universe, are all given thoughtful treatment in Wilson's introduction and extensive endnotes. A provocative book for the general reader, The Demon's Sermon will also prove an invaluable addition to the libraries of all those interested in the fundamental principles of the martial arts, and how those principles relate to our existence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Definately provides much to Ponder
I like to keep reviews short because, really, no one reads the reviews that are NOVELS!!! Cryptic and leaves much for you to consider.Unless you're a long-time follower of Zen (I'm a novice), a recommendation for getting the most of this work:Highlight what "stands out" to you, possibly make your own notes/observations about the passage off to the side, and meditate/ponder/whatever you may do on these when you have opportunity.A martial artist stands to get something/much of this work.Worth your time!

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This is a masterpiece of warrior philosophy.It is not a casual read and nor is it a story that will provide entertainment value.This is essential reading for martial artists and practitioners of eastern medicine as one of the fundamental lessons involves the cultivation of Qi.The "Demon" in this case refers to the Tengu, which are legendary throughout Japan.

The Tengu is many things and comes in many forms.It is known as a mischievous and malevolent spirit that brought terror to the Japanese.The ninja made use of these legends and often impersonated Tengu to strike fear.But the Tengu is also a respected and revered symbol and is associated with Shugendo, or the Way of the Aesthetic.In this role the Tengu can be a teacher, and a protector of Buddhism who punsihed evil-doers.

Practitioners of Shugendo often live alone in the mountains and are known as Yamabushi (Shinto), meaning "Mountain (Yama) Warrior (Bushi) Aesthetic" in the deeper sense.They view nature as possessing powerful Qi; in the mountains, rocks, and streams.In the wilderness they train and cultivate their energy.Their ancient roots come from China and the Taoist traditions, which is very evident in this book:

"The Demon said, 'The Way cannot be seen or heard.What can be seen or heard are just traces of the Way.'

The Tengu, the Yamabushi, and the ninja are all connected.Togakushi is a small village high in the Japanese alps that claims a ninja heritage that is 900-years old.There are 3 shinto shrines in the valley, and countless sacred spots throughout the mountains, which have many small waterfalls and streams.The Tengu of Togakushi takes the form of a raven.Tengu are also common in many other ninja villages like Yagyu-zato.

What's incredible about this book is its really the only one on this subject in english.While sitting high on a precipice in the mountains above Togakushi, I watched a raven high above tuck its wings into a steep dive and it sounded like a katana slicing the air as it passed 15-feet away before continuing another 1000-feet down and leveling off just over the tree line.It was an odd display and there was something really powerful about it.That spirit is alive in this book, and it sheds light on where these ideas originated.

The Tengu are also high techers, but only to the select few.They often took a keen interest in people who retreated to the mountains for extended training.Morihei Ueshiba, the Aikido founder learned some of his martial arts from a Tengu in the 1920's.Sword master Yagyu Muneyoshi had an epic sword duel with a Tengu during a violent lightning storm in the mountains above the village.There is rock there where supposedly his sword cut through the stone after the Tengu dodged him that is now known as Itto Seki, or "one sword stroke rock".

This book deals a lot with the movement of a warrior, but perhaps a more powerful message relates to the Shugendo concepts or more specifically the cultivation of Qi.This was fundamental to the ancient Taoist masters who created powerful martial arts such as the highly advanced Ba Gua Zhang.Chozanshi is clearly advocating that we work endlessly to cultivate Qi, and through this process both our lives and our practices will excel.

This book is a rare treat.It offers some very advanced material, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a serious practitioner of the arts.Be prepared to study.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful
This book doesn't just jump into the "Sermon" but builds into it by offering insights to certain nuances born of Eastern thought. You may not clearly understand the anecdotes, but you may become a bit less prejudiced, a bit more educated on the "Way" which pervades much of Asia's day-to-day. If you spend anytime in Asia, esp. Japan, this book may be a good choice to start out with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very deep knowledge.
I feel that this is not a book for beginners in the martial arts. The sermon remarks on this point as well. However, if you are at instructor level or higher, this book will change some concepts about yourself and your Self, especially for those beyond their thirties. This book points out that it is pointless to hold on to ephemeral things as body power, stamina, even technique, rank or wisdom, since all these are a reflection (a delusion / distraction) of the Mind and Self. I will also point out an exquisite translation and aesthetic quality of the book. A book for the rest of your lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where it's obscure, it's really obscure
Where it's not, it's excellent.The actual Demon's Sermon is a superb discussion of everything to do with fencing except how to use the weapon.There is no discussion of parries or cuts, but of preparation to train, preparation to fight, the conduct of combat, and the mind of the person holding the sword.All this is imparted to a swordsman as he eavesdrops on a discussion of fencing among Tengu, the demons who taught humans to fence, according to Japanese legend.

The Mysterious Technique of the Cat was also a delightful and clear story on stages of learning and human nature.Again, good points, clearly articulated.

A very enjoyable and thought provoking treatise on the spirit of martial disciplines.

E. M. Van Court ... Read more

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