This book is not a starters book. To enjoy it you must realise that this is no starters guide, nor a book on how to beat people up while shouting YOW! I approached it with the formers ideals, and was dissapointed on that account. This may not be any of the above, but it is a definitive look into the history and the evolution of the ancient martial arts. It also comments on how the martial arts are often misintereperated as a wholey Eastern tradition, but in fact they were well spread around the world, but at this later date there is a lack of published material on the subject, so not many people are aware of it. But it is a good book if you are into the pyschoogical side of the arts, and if you are interested in history. It takes a good look at how changing culture reflects the change in self defense methods, and how the martial arts are constantly evolving.There are lots of snippets of zen and tao wisdom and the comments on primal rage and how it can be channeled are useful and inspiring. It also, at the end, gives the authors views and solutions to the modern day threats of terrorism, fire arms and the modern views on violence. Anyway, a good light relief book for martial artists.