Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MARTIAL ARTS BOOK CLUB: Inaugural Edition

We martial artists use many different ways to supplement our training.  One tried and true method, of course, is with books.

Not only do I have hard copies (that's my book shelf you see over to the left) but I also have Kindle editions as well.

The one thing about print editions is that we have ended up losing them due to loan-outs (never, ever loan out a book unless you are willing to lose it).

At the same time, there are out-of-print editions that you can't get any way else, as they have not been converted to a digital format.

I like to scour places like Half Price Books, thrift stores, and used book stores, as well as checking out the shelves at our local martial arts supply store, Lang Son Traders - they have a huge selection!

The beauty of Kindle is that you can loan them out without losing them, and well, I'm the kind of girl who likes instant gratification when it comes to reading.  The downside is that they're hard to read in the tub or shower (yes, I've been known to do that).

I've read several books that influenced me greatly, but three of them in particular come to mind that I'd like to share with you today.

First, there's two books by Remy Presas.

The first is "The Pink Book" (as we refer to it) - Modern Arnis: Philippine Martial Art.

I could have kept this relatively rare book in
pristine condition, but I USE it.  Books are for reading!
The cover is the Professor and Roland Dantes doing a demo at Madison Square Garden in 1976. Not only does this contain critical information about the art of Modern Arnis, it's also a bit of a historical snap-shot as the art developed (it was first published in 1974), and puts it into the context of its era, including how it was views in the Philippines.

As you can see, my copy has lots of notations about the material, as I've read over and studied this bad boy more times than I can count.  It also contains a complete rule set for competition.

I refer to this book a lot.

The next book is Modern Arnis: The Filipino Art of Stick Fighting.

Say hello to my little friend.
Mine is the "Yellow Book" version, as you can see, but the modern edition can be found here.  This is the book that was my training partner when I tore my calf muscle and couldn't train for over a month. I learned a lot of stuff from this book while I was sitting on my butt all by myself at the edge of the mat.  It's a basic primer, and a great addition to anybody's library with even a passing interest in Modern Arnis.

Finally, there's Rory Miller's Meditation on Violence.


I would have shown you my physical edition, but we've loaned them out twice and have no idea where they are.  We now own this, and the follow-up book, Facing Violence, on Kindle.

It took the second reading of this book to really "settle in" for me.  This book forced me to think hard about why I was studying martial arts, what I am willing to do should I encounter violence, and the reality of what it might mean.  Whether or not you agree with his conclusions, this book is one that will get you thinking about the reality of what we do.  It's a pretty important book, I think.

So, there's three of mine (for today - I have many more I'll share in the future).  Got a book recommendation?  Let us know in the comments!