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on 20 March 2015
An interesting short book on martial arts which debunks some of the myths with science and fact. Covering a wide range of topics, force generation, brick breaking, hand conditioning, pain tolerance, pressure points and death touch. There is a lot covered in the book, including discussions on the best martial art to be studied by learner type, ie seeking traditional style, physical learner etc. The authors views on certain subjects ie : Bruce Lee, samurai swords, self defense are bound to rub some people up the wrong way. I found the martial arts timeline very interesting as well as the history and purpose of the ninja.
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on 8 December 2013
This short book gives an interesting and entertaining insight into the world of martial arts and makes the crucial distinction between traditional martial arts performed barefoot and in costumes versus reality-based self-defence systems designed for real-world fighting. The author also gently chides those martial artists who - how shall I put it? - take themselves too seriously. Well worth a read, especially given the paltry price.
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The amount of BS in the martial arts is simply staggering, things are not helped by martial artist themselves talking silliness and further propagated by martial arts movies giving people unrealistic glamorized portrayals of violence.

This book is an attempt to bust commonly held myths such as the Japanese Katana sword been super awesome or the infamous Death Touch and will no doubt upset some people.

My criticism of this book is that although what it's saying is correct the author does not really explain in much detail why the myth is wrong and thus the explanation can seem not very convincing (even tho it is generally factually accurate) for example:
"The famous Shaolin demonstrations of balancing on swords or cutting watermelons on an individual's chest are usually just precise examples of control and practice. Onlookers marvel at their impenetrable skin when in reality they should be amazed at the skill it takes to balance or hold a blade in the one spot where it won't slice through the body."
The watermelons trick is done by the sword user slicing though the melon but stopping at the person, impressive sword control( as the book states) but it does not state that the part of the blade that comes in contact with the person can be blunt and the sword must not be dragged across the person's body.

Some of the author's logic seems a bit strange, for example saying the death touch does not exist because nobody has done it to him makes no sense because if they did kill him he would not be alive to question the creditability!

This book is relatively short and overall it might be worth a read when you take in to account that it's free.
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on 19 June 2015
Once again a very interesting book, packed with little gems and insights. This book, as well as the other's in the author's collection all give a grounded and clear view of Self Defence, Martial Arts, Exercise and General Well Being. They show that these subjects are open to everyone, and not just the fitness enthusiast or someone seeking a more mystical approach. They clearly blow away the smoke screen that quite often distorts these subjects. A very enjoyable read.
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on 5 August 2014
Phil has a real talent for writing in a way we can all understand and relate to. It's clear and he doesn't use fancy words. Nothing worse than stopping your reading to get the dictionary out. Humour is put to great effect, but he is never disrespectful to any martial art. I am not a big reader (sometimes takes me months to get through a book) but love these books and read them quicker than most.
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on 7 August 2013
Written by a passionate martial artist debunking some of the myths that are floating around. It's an interesting read, but not very long.
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on 26 June 2015
To be honest it was a really interesting read. Going through all these techniques and myths gives you more realistic view of what you're able to do and what's just a movie trick. The book contains a must read facts and techniques for someone that takes interest in the marshal arts. Worth the time and money.
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on 26 October 2014
Phil does an excellent job in shining the light of fact into this world of mystique and myth. Well researched and argued. Whilst debunking a lot of the "froth" surrounding most of the Martial Arts he still acknowledges their underlying value and skills.
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on 24 October 2014
This is a brilliant short book dismissing some of the myths of martial arts. There is not much in this an experienced martial artist doesn't or should already know. But a brilliant read non the less. Thank you 5 stars.
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on 5 November 2014
Great free book really insightful on martial arts and informs the beginner. Planning on buying book by this author !
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