Book Recommendations!

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by Mattattack, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Hello all,

    I'm soliciting recommendations for books on martial arts! In particular I am very interested in books on Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and I am more interested in histories and analsyses than how-to books. Here are some that I like

    The Shaolin Monastery by Meier Shahar
    Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey by Kennedy and Guo
    The Creation of Wing Chun by Ben Judkins and Jon Nielson
    The Sword Polisher's Record by Adam Hsu
    Let me know if you have a recommendation! Thanks
     
  2. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Even though it isn't focused on Chinese Martial Arts, my instructor recommended that I read The Book of five rings by legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, then of course there is Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Although these 2 books focus on the strategy of dealing with conflict, rather than the history, I am definitely going to take the time to read them.
     
  3. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    I don't really read many martial art books but the only ones I really have done are the ed Parker infinite Insights into kenpo book series. It doesn't tell you how to do stuff it just explains the concepts and principals of kenpo and explains what your doing in some of the techniques. It's not just for kenpo guys either anyone with understanding of martial arts can take something from it.

    Another one Is lee wedlakes book lessons with ed Parker it doesn't really teach you a lot but its basically like a story of the 2 training together and going through all the seminars and tournaments. There's some interesting and funny stories there. Like one time a karate tournament in Australia ended in a huge mass riot with escrima guys clubbing guys other the head
     
  4. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Books? Unfortunately almost no Chinese martial arts books. This is only one bookshelf
     

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  5. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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  6. takadadojokeith

    takadadojokeith Orange Belt

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    The Adam Hsu book is good. When I started writing, he was an early model of good martial arts prose. Mark Salzman's "Iron and Silk" and "Lost in Place" are also pretty good, though not histories. If you've never read it, I'd recommend "Zen in the Art of Archery" and then immediately follow it up with "Shots in the Dark" by Shoji Yamada and Earl Hartman.
     
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  7. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Ive seem this one on Amazon. It looked a bit pricey since it seemed to be an old edition or out of print. Have you read it? Id like to hear about somenof the highlights!

    A teacher at a Mandarin Learning Group gave me a copy of Salzmans Iron and Silk book after I mentioned that I wanted to learn Mandarin in part to better communicate with my Tai Chi teacher! Read a bit so far.

    Would you say the archery books have value beyond Kyudo?
     
  8. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I read it years ago, I do not remember highlights, all I can say is it is about CMA History and I liked it.

    I linked it to PlumPublications and it is only $12.70. Click the link in my previous post

     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
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  9. takadadojokeith

    takadadojokeith Orange Belt

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    Sure do. "Zen in the Art of Archery" was one of the most broadly influential books on martial arts mysticism in the 20th century. "Shots in the Dark" is a well-researched answer to it.
     
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    There are a lot of crappy books out there, so it's hit-and-miss. Here are a few to consider:

    Complete wing chun by Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, and Y. Wu.
    Chinese boxing, masters and methods, by Robert w. Smith.
    The overlook Martial Arts Reader, classic writings on philosophy and technique, edited by randy f. Nelson.
    Nei Jia Quan, internal martial arts, edited by Jess O'Brien

    If you are interested in capoeira, there are a few volumes that were quite well written, I can give you titles.
     
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  11. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    I have quite a lot of books on Chinese martial arts in PDF format they are all in Chinese though most are from the early 20 century and most are neijia. This was back when verycd and easymule were popular and qq was the main thing.
    I like anything by jiwing ming yang. There is a couple of treatises out there and translation of classical texts so really depends on what style.
     
  12. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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  13. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    I read 'The Shaolin Way' by Steve DeMasco a few years ago.
     
  14. greytowhite

    greytowhite Green Belt

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    Pete Starr has a good bunch of books out there and I've read them all.

    Amazon.com: Phillip Starr: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

    Peter Lorge wrote a history almost entirely devoid of hagiography that was quite an interesting read from an academic standpoint.

    https://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Mart...=8-1&keywords=history+of+chinese+martial+arts

    Jess O'Brien's Nei Jia Quan, Second Edition is a must read.

    https://www.amazon.com/Nei-Jia-Quan...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1478528220&sr=1-1

    Possible Origins by Scott P. Phillips was quite an engaging read but something I'd recommend only for more experience practitioners, newbies to Chinese arts may not get much out of it.
     
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  15. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Thank you all for your suggestions thus far.
     
  16. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    How is the Judkins/Nielson book? I enjoy Judkins' blog and was curious about his book.
     
  17. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    It's dense, man. I'm only about a third of the way through, and it is discussing the socio-economic circumstances that led to the growth of southern Chinese martial arts (hung gar, hakka arts, etc.). It's interesting though. My big takeaways so far is that in a rapidly industrializing China in the late-19th/early-20th century, martial arts organizations offered workers displaced to the city from the countryside a sense of belonging and a network of pseudo-familial relations to lean on. It was also necessary since there was a lot of lawlessness and banditry in the late Qing.

    I'm looking forward to the section on Ip Man, but I'm a ways away.

    By the way, Tony, I'm 90% sure I know you from Wing Chun class in Mt. Washington. If that's the case I'll loan you the book once I get it back from Doug. That or you can bug him for it.
     
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  18. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, you're Matt from Rod & Sean's class? I didn't realize.

    Thanks for the offer, I'd love to borrow the book. I won't be able to make classes until Sean's schedule shifts back to the weekend, but hopefully I'll see you at the Allan Fong seminar next week.
     
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  19. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Oh I'll be there for the seminar!
     
  20. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    I just got and enjoyed Tom Bisio's 4 book set on BaGua Nei Gong.123
     

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