TKDT Reviews

Muye Dobo Tongji

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments


The Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts of Ancient Korea
By order of King Jungjo
Written Yi Duk-moo and Park Je-ga
Translated by Sang H. Kim, Ph. D.
Published by Turtle Press
Rating:

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

The Muye Dobo Tongji is a fascinating collection of Korean martial arts  information that has been painstakingly translated into the English language. This book should not be viewed as a “how to” manual for Korean martial arts but more as a historical documentation on philosophy, strategy and history.

The pictures that are included in the text are not reproductions or photos which lends authenticity to the project. This manual is an intriguing look into the martial arts that existed in the late 1700s. This collection is the earliest known Korean martial art treatise, the Muye Jebo written in 1599.

While I carry opinion on every product and service that I review, it would be irresponsible of me to assume this work could be improved upon. I cannot imagine the time and effort it must have taken Mr. Kim to complete this important work. I look at it as a gift to every Korean martial arts practitioner and other martial artists as well.  

Pros:  English translation, historical illustrations remain authentic, exhaustive view of Korean martial philosophy, strategy and history.

Cons:  I view this is as historical documentation but it would have been interesting to see photographs of some of the weapons and clothing from the period (even if they were reproductions). I would suggest at some point that a symposium be convened to discuss this work. 

Taekwondo Grappling Techniques

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

“Hone Your Competitive Edge for Mixed Martial Arts”
By Dr. Tony Kemerly and Steve Snyder
Tuttle Publishing 2009
Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

Final review /5

The Chang-Hon patterns are examined in clear detail in the book, Hone Your Competitive Edge for Mixed Martial Arts which also includes a bonus DVD. The authors have included large, color photographs that any reader will find easy to follow in a step-by-step approach to the techniques presented. The reader will be taken through grappling applications of blocks, strikes and kicks associated with Chon-Ji, Dan-Gun, Do-San, Won-Hyo, Yul-Gok, Joong-Gun, Toi-Gye, Hwa-Rang, Choon-Moo, Kwang-Gae, Po-Eun and Ge-Baek.

The first part of the book presents grappling in blocking techniques. I was pleasantly surprised to find that right off the bat the authors present ground techniques. Although it has been argued by some that Taekwondo has no practical defensive ground techniques, this book offers reasonable insight that Taekwondo is an art that covers standing and ground situations. While I don’t suggest that those interested in competitive MMA (Cage Fighting) would benefit from this book, those interested in understanding their forms will.

The other applications pertaining to strikes and kicks are fitting for any martial art style, form or system. While some may not understand the applications of the Chang-Hon forms in the second half of the book, it is interesting to see the authors’ suggestions. The application of techniques in forms is a tricky business as much can be very speculative and open to interpretation from school to school and instructor to instructor. While there is nothing ground breaking presented in this book, it is one of the finer written on the subject of grappling techniques in Taekwondo. The bonus DVD makes the $34.95 price tag for the book a little easier to understand. The DVD production is professional yet short, but it a nice compliment to the text.

PROS: Clear color pictures, excellent written step-by-step instruction. Bonus DVD. Models wear contrasting colored uniforms, which allows reader to see “defender” and “attacker” roles easily.

CONS: The DVD could have been used to include more details about the material. There was one application per technique presented but in all fairness the ones presented are universal and easy to implement.

Inside Elvis

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments


By Edmund K. Parker
Published by Rampart © 1978 Hardcover
Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

Final review /5

Elvis Presley was known more for his music than his Karate but after reading Inside Elvis by the late Ed Parker it’s obvious Elvis was serious about the martial arts. Mr. Parker, who is best known as the “Father” of American Kenpo was Elvis Presley’s former bodyguard and head of security and recounts his experiences with “The King” during the latter part of his life and career. There are some photographs and pictures included in the book that feature Presley in the later part of his career as well as gifts that Parker received from Elvis.

The book is very easy to read and one can imagine having a conversation with Parker about the details he wrote about. Parker, himself was a very charismatic speaker and he attempts to paint a picture of Elvis that most people just didn’t know or get to see. While one can appreciate his deep affection for his friend, the book is very sugar-coated and defends Elvis’s choices and lifestyle. Parker blames the fame and fortune for Elvis’s demise, not Elvis himself.

I was intrigued by the obvious passion Elvis had about martial arts and would have been satisfied to have Parker expound on this side of Presley’s life. Unfortunately, there are far too many tangents. Those familiar with Elvis Presley will see through the sugar-coating that Parker sprinkles throughout the book but it is an interesting read.

Elvis was no doubt a martial artist. According to Parker, quite competent and dedicated enough to receive a black belt. Elvis incorporated martial arts moves into his live show and movies. It would be interesting to see if Presley would have continued his training and with the release of New Gladiators, a movie financed by Presley, it appeared that Presley wanted to promote the martial arts to the masses like his music.

This book is out of print but can be found on various Internet sites and stores. I have the hardback copy but the paperback version is also available. Inside Elvis is a decent read and any Elvis fan or martial artist might find it enjoyable. I recommend reading Elvis; What Happened by Red West, Sonny West and Dave Hebler to get a different view of Elvis the man, musician and martial artist.

Be Ready When The Sh*t Goes Down: A Survival Guide To The Apocalypse

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

Review by Jason Loutsch
Rating:

Be Ready When The Sh*t Goes Down: A Survival Guide To The Apocalypse by Forrest Griffin and Erich Krauss is the second book co-authored by Erich Krauss and Forrest Griffin, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of the first season of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter. If you can look past the dirty jokes and R rated language, this tongue-in-cheek look into the preparation for and survival during the apocalypse is a laugh-out-loud reading experience. Ranging from the utterly ridiculous to the almost plausible, this book will walk you through everything from alienating yourself from family and friends pre-apocalypse to ensure not having to care for any one other than yourself once “the sh*t goes down,” to how to gather followers of your newly formed religion (with yourself as the messenger of God) in a post apocalyptic world.
There is a warning issued early in the book… “WARNING This book was written for idiots by idiots” and I think your expectations should be based on this warning. Will your English or American Literature professor assign this book as required reading? Will Griffin & Krauss be listed as history’s greatest authors somewhere near Dostoyevsky or Orwell anywhere other than this sentence? Probably not, but the authors are aware of that fact and state it up front and often throughout the book.

I have never laughed so much while reading as I did during this book, it is easily the most fun I‘ve had while reading! If this book doesn’t have you in stitches you should check your pulse AND watch over your shoulder because I’m pretty sure Forrest will have Zakk Wylde run you down in his “Deathcore Warmachine,” an F-350 Superduty customized to get you through just about anything if “the sh*t goes down.”

Combat Hapkido “The Martial Art For The Modern Warrior”

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments


by John Pellegrini
Black Belt Books 2009  Softcover
www.dsihq.com
Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

Final review /5

John Pellegrini has produced a very nice “training manual” style book on his art called “Combat Hapkido”.  The book is set up with the martial artist in mind but is also a great introduction to self defense concepts and techniques for the non-martial artist.

For those that purchased the Combat Hapkido training series DVD's s I would highly recommend this book as a helpful resource.  The book itself does not follow the training DVD as a side by side accompaniment but clearly shows the foundation and essential principles of this modified Korean art.

I was very impressed with the layout.  Clear, large color pictures are provided for the reader with easy to follow commentary.  There is fair presentation of Combat Hapkido approach to striking, kicking and trapping.  Mr. Pellegrini also covers defense against grabs, chokes, punches, kicks and weapons. 

If the reader wants to truly get to the man behind the art Chapters 3 and 4 are outstanding contributions to self defense education regardless of style, system or art. 

Combat Hapkido “The Martial Art for the Modern Warrior” is far from an “ultimate” martial arts instructional.  I don't think it was Mr. Pellegrini's intention for this book to be a Combat Hapkido “bible” rather a valuable resource for his students, instructors and concise introduction for the non martial artist to his art that is now practiced in over 12 countries and 250 charter locations.

Overall, a well written and produced book on a sometimes controversial approach to one of Korea's most prestigious arts.  Combat Hapkido “The Martial Art For the Modern Warrior” is worth the time to read and study if you are serious about self defense.   The exclusion of basic break falls, multiple attacker and ground defenses could have made this book more complete.  I would have also liked the book to follow the techniques shown on the authorized training dvds.

PROS:  Excellent photography.  Outstanding chapters on the foundation and essential principles of Combat Hapkido and self defense.
CONS:  No overviews of break falls.  No presentation of multiple attackers or ground defense techniques.  Book techniques do not follow authorized training dvd's sequence.

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