on 18 July 2006
This tome is an outstanding follow-up to Mr. Christensen's best selling book Solo Training (2001), sort of an advanced solo training manual. I think it is even better than its predecessor, chocked full of useful tips you can implement right away to improve your performance in any martial art. There are exercises to develop functional fighting strength in every part of your body. Most of these can be done alone though some require a partner. Some require training aids (e.g., weights, Body Opponent Bag) while others can be do not. There are some neat icons throughout which call your attention to cautions (e.g., extra care items), workout tips (e.g., critical information), important information (e.g., reasons behind the drills), partner drills, and training tips (e.g., stuff you can focus on for maximum impact). These icons make it easy to reference important information after you read it the first time.
Section one is all about building a powerful foundation to facilitate employing your art in tournament or combat. Subjects include developing powerful abs, innovative pushups, bench press exercises, leg development, core strength development for grappling arts, and grip strengthening. There are also some mental conditioning exercises as well-walking meditation, creation/use of mental triggers, and developing a powerful mindset-something rarely covered in this type of book. There is nothing really earth shattering here, just solid, practical advice.
The best part of this first section is called "41 Ways to Prevent and Relieve Pain." I consider it an absolute must read for all us aging martial artists, especially practitioners of the hard arts such as karate, tae kwon do, judo, or jujitsu. It includes icing tricks, stretching, and conditioning exercises to prevent and relieve injuries to knees, shoulders, back, and other commonly injured areas.
Section two covers some excellent methods to practice fighting without a training partner, including ways to attack and defend from the "I don't want to fight" posture, stances, innovative solo grappling practice methods, combinations, accuracy, BOB bag techniques, and ways to cheat speed. The differences between practice and real fighting are covered along with more mental techniques and things you can do before a tournament to become more successful. This is the really advanced stuff you won't find anywhere else; well worth the price of admission.
Section three contains some great ideas for 15-, 20-, and 35-minute workouts. The very last section (after the conclusion) is titled "Random Thoughts to Ponder" is quite short, but a really cool way to wrap up the work. It is also really insightful.
Christensen really knows his stuff. He began his martial arts training in 1965 and over the years has earned 10 black belts, 7 in karate, 2 in jujitsu, 1 in arnis. As the author of 29 books, he is one of my all time favorite martial arts authors. But I am not alone, he has also received high praise for his easy-to-read, informative writing style from readers and book reviewers in the United States, France and Russia. He is a retired police officer with some 30 years experience in military and civilian law enforcement.
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults and Martial Arts Instruction; co-author of The Way of Kata, The Way to Black Belt, and The Little Black Book of Violence
on 16 October 2014
I bought this book with thoughts to find some new ideas for regular group trainings. I was so impressed with tips, ideas in this book for building better training individually. Surely doing trainings alone is more like fitness and/or mental preparing for real situations. By the time, I think, everybody will come to conclusion there is a need for training partner and/or teacher. Despite of shortages with individual trainings and black/white photos in this book I recommend this book to everybody who is interested in individual martial arts training. In general this book is kind of Almanac, I think.