Books I strongly recommend for SD

Buka

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Some time ago I posted in other threads about my gymmate (4 stripes BJJ brown belt, good wrestler, MMA fighter, experienced bouncer) the one who fought in WOTORE (bare knuckle MMA with no weigh limits) and lost half of ear in street fight.
He died a few day ago because of brain injury sustained in street brawl.
So sorry for your loss, Cynic75. May he Rest In Peace.
 

Cynik75

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I've posted this only as an exemplification that even being high level combat athlete does not make anybody untouchable.
He refused to go to hospital after he was beaten by a few guys, next day he fainted and died in hospital.
 

Hanzou

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I think it's interesting that some people on a martial arts site have little concern for real self defense. Isn't that the core of the martial arts historically? Are martial artists OK with their art being watered down to only a sport or a form of moving meditation? I had an instructor who said studying the martial arts without learning real H2H combat is like going to the shoe store and only coming back with a shoebox.

I'm afraid that the vast majority of martial arts history is horse manure. Keep in mind that the Asian countries where the majority of modern martial arts come from were rather easily conquered by Europeans with guns and modern weapons in the 19th and 20th centuries. The only country to escape that fate was Japan, and they did that by completely abolishing their feudal warrior caste who practiced classical martial arts (the samurai).

Even before that, the Ming Dynasty was conquered rather easily by the Manchus in 1644. The majority of classical Chinese martial art systems come from that period where various secret societies sprung up and trained hidden forms of Kung Fu to fight back against the Manchu invaders. Despite the various martial arts that blossomed in that period, and the rebellions they sprang, they never retook the country from the Manchus.

Karate didn't do much to stop the Satsuma clan from taking over Okinawa.

The Boxer Rebellion didn't prevent the western powers from retaking their possessions in China.

The "watered down" western boxers and wrestlers often ventured into China and Japan and rather easily stomped the martial arts masters there.

When Jigaro Kano turned jujutsu into a sport with a modern (western) methodology, he turned it on the classical Japanese martial arts community and easily beat them.

So what glorious past are you trying to reclaim here? What exactly has been "watered down"?
 
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jmf552

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I'm afraid that the vast majority of martial arts history is horse manure. Keep in mind that the Asian countries where the majority of modern martial arts come from were rather easily conquered by Europeans with guns and modern weapons in the 19th and 20th centuries. The only country to escape that fate was Japan, and they did that by completely abolishing their feudal warrior caste who practiced classical martial arts (the samurai).

Even before that, the Ming Dynasty was conquered rather easily by the Manchus in 1644. The majority of classical Chinese martial art systems come from that period where various secret societies sprung up and trained hidden forms of Kung Fu to fight back against the Manchu invaders. Despite the various martial arts that blossomed in that period, and the rebellions they sprang, they never retook the country from the Manchus.

Karate didn't do much to stop the Satsuma clan from taking over Okinawa.

The Boxer Rebellion didn't prevent the western powers from retaking their possessions in China.

The "watered down" western boxers and wrestlers often ventured into China and Japan and rather easily stomped the martial arts masters there.

When Jigaro Kano turned jujutsu into a sport with a modern (western) methodology, he turned it on the classical Japanese martial arts community and easily beat them.

So what glorious past are you trying to reclaim here? What exactly has been "watered down"?
I am not talking about obscure historical events. The historical reference was only to say that the people who started nearly every martial art could fight real fights, hand to hand, in their environment. Today, a person can train for years at just about any martial arts studio and still get his *** kicked by a street fighter. That should not be the case.
 

Hanzou

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I am not talking about obscure historical events. The historical reference was only to say that the people who started nearly every martial art could fight real fights, hand to hand, in their environment. Today, a person can train for years at just about any martial arts studio and still get his *** kicked by a street fighter. That should not be the case.

And that's my point; You don't know if that's true. In fact, all the evidence shows that it isn't true. Additionally, Martial Artists living today would wipe the floor with martial artists from the past. Humans are bigger, stronger, faster, and elite martial artists are better trained across the board.
 
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jmf552

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And that's my point; You don't know if that's true. In fact, all the evidence shows that it isn't true. Additionally, Martial Artists living today would wipe the floor with martial artists from the past. Humans are bigger, stronger, faster, and elite martial artists are better trained across the board.
If my assertion is not true, why were the arts created? There doesn't seem to be a point. And if I don't know that history is true, you don't know that it's "manure." The truth of history is hard to determine without eye witnesses.

And today's martial artists might be all those things, but the point made by all three books I recommended is that doesn't translate into being able to defend against asocial violence.
 

Flying Crane

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Today, a person can train for years at just about any martial arts studio and still get his *** kicked by a street fighter. That should not be the case.
How do you know that this is true? There are far too many folks involved in the martial arts today to be able to evaluate them all. So you are left I suppose, with an uncontrolled sample of YouTube evidence? But surely you know that not all of life is captured on YouTube.

I do not believe you can make a blanket statement such as the one above, with any hope for accuracy across the board. In some cases, your statement is surely accurate. In others, not at all. But that is the reality of life. Some folks are good, others are not. No surprise there. That in no way negates the value of martial training.
 

Hanzou

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If my assertion is not true, why were the arts created? There doesn't seem to be a point. And if I don't know that history is true, you don't know that it's "manure." The truth of history is hard to determine without eye witnesses.

And today's martial artists might be all those things, but the point made by all three books I recommended is that doesn't translate into being able to defend against asocial violence.

The martial arts were created for a variety of reasons in a variety of areas. Some were created for military purposes, others were created for protection against bandits or animals, some were created for sport, some were created for rebellious purposes, etc.

Were there some legitimate bad asses that could beat people up in medieval Asia? Im sure. However, to believe that theres been some huge decline in skill level, and that old masters from medieval times were far superior to what people are doing today is laughable.

The first UFCs showed just how absolutely laughable that belief is.
 

Buka

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And that's my point; You don't know if that's true. In fact, all the evidence shows that it isn't true. Additionally, Martial Artists living today would wipe the floor with martial artists from the past. Humans are bigger, stronger, faster, and elite martial artists are better trained across the board.
Carve that in stone.
 

Buka

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As for the history of all the Arts.....

You know and I know that history books/courses taught in schools, even at the highest levels of education, are not always correct. Sometimes things are lost in translation and/or memory, but many times it's purposely told in a skewed way.

As a young man I studied Martial Arts history. I stopped about twenty years ago.

After all, there ain't no bs in Martial Arts. Certainly won't find any in it's history.
 
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jmf552

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How do you know that this is true? There are far too many folks involved in the martial arts today to be able to evaluate them all. So you are left I suppose, with an uncontrolled sample of YouTube evidence? But surely you know that not all of life is captured on YouTube.

I do not believe you can make a blanket statement such as the one above, with any hope for accuracy across the board. In some cases, your statement is surely accurate. In others, not at all. But that is the reality of life. Some folks are good, others are not. No surprise there. That in no way negates the value of martial training.
I do think I can make that blanket statement, because no school teaches the dynamics of real violence and hardly an instructors know it. Read the references I posted in the OP. They will open your eyes.
 

Flying Crane

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I do think I can make that blanket statement, because no school teaches the dynamics of real violence and hardly an instructors know it. Read the references I posted in the OP. They will open your eyes.
You know this? About every school and every teacher? How do you know this?
 
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jmf552

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You know this? About every school and every teacher? How do you know this?
You know it too. Prove me wrong. Show me the curriculum of a school that does the kind of mental training described in the references I gave.
 
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isshinryuronin

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I'm afraid that the vast majority of martial arts history is horse manure. Keep in mind that the Asian countries where the majority of modern martial arts come from were rather easily conquered by Europeans with guns and modern weapons in the 19th and 20th centuries. The only country to escape that fate was Japan, and they did that by completely abolishing their feudal warrior caste who practiced classical martial arts (the samurai).

Even before that, the Ming Dynasty was conquered rather easily by the Manchus in 1644. The majority of classical Chinese martial art systems come from that period where various secret societies sprung up and trained hidden forms of Kung Fu to fight back against the Manchu invaders. Despite the various martial arts that blossomed in that period, and the rebellions they sprang, they never retook the country from the Manchus.

Karate didn't do much to stop the Satsuma clan from taking over Okinawa.

The Boxer Rebellion didn't prevent the western powers from retaking their possessions in China.

The "watered down" western boxers and wrestlers often ventured into China and Japan and rather easily stomped the martial arts masters there.

When Jigaro Kano turned jujutsu into a sport with a modern (western) methodology, he turned it on the classical Japanese martial arts community and easily beat them.

So what glorious past are you trying to reclaim here? What exactly has been "watered down"?
Your entire premise is wrong. You are equating limited "secret societies" with armies. A few hundred kung fu experts get beat by 100,000 strong hoard??? Or the few hundred Boxers being defeated by the weight and power of the European Empires??? Really, is this proof of the martial arts' inferiority???

Satsuma began their "take over" of Okinawa in 1609, prior to the development of karate. So, you're wrong there also.

About judo easily beating other MA styles, where is this info from? Maybe if judo rules were used, which would be inherently unfair. And are you saying the sport version of jujutsu (judo) is more effective than the combat version for self-defense? That makes no sense. Besides, Kano was much impressed by Okinawan karate.

I do smell manure, but it's not from TMA.
 

Hanzou

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Your entire premise is wrong. You are equating limited "secret societies" with armies. A few hundred kung fu experts get beat by 100,000 strong hoard??? Or the few hundred Boxers being defeated by the weight and power of the European Empires??? Really, is this proof of the martial arts' inferiority???

Satsuma began their "take over" of Okinawa in 1609, prior to the development of karate. So, you're wrong there also.

So you're saying that in the span of world history rebellions have never been successful? That's an interesting take. Especially when the argument I was responding to was that medieval martial artists in Asia were supermen with incredible martial art abilities.

As for Karate, you're arguing semantics. Neither the forerunner of Karate or Karate itself did much to stop the Satsuma clan from dominating Okinawa and making it a permanent part of Japan.
About judo easily beating other MA styles, where is this info from? Maybe if judo rules were used, which would be inherently unfair. And are you saying the sport version of jujutsu (judo) is more effective than the combat version for self-defense? That makes no sense. Besides, Kano was much impressed by Okinawan karate.

The info is from the early days of Judo. Judo ended up completely replacing classical Jujutsu within about 20 years of its founding after multiple exhibitions and fights. In 1905, 18 heads of various JJJ ryus submitted to the Kodakan and joined Kano, making Judo the dominant martial art in Japan.

I don't know why this seems so incredible to you. The exact same thing happened again with Brazilian JJ (a Judo offshoot) and various martial arts later in the century.

Kano being impressed by Okinawan Karate is rather irrelevant.

I do smell manure, but it's not from TMA.

I'm sure. :rolleyes:
 

Chris Parker

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Okay... wasn't going to go into a thread on self defence and get into this side of things, but while we're here...

I think it's interesting that some people on a martial arts site have little concern for real self defense. Isn't that the core of the martial arts historically?

No, in the vast majority of cases. And multiply that by any number of times when we're talking "historically"...

Are martial artists OK with their art being watered down to only a sport or a form of moving meditation?

What makes you think that's the alternative to "self defence" as a training focus/motivation?

I had an instructor who said studying the martial arts without learning real H2H combat is like going to the shoe store and only coming back with a shoebox.

And, historically speaking, learning "martial arts" and doing hand-to-hand is great if you're only going to fight children... for actual combat, you need quite a bit more than that...

No matter where you live or where you travel, violent crime can happen. Even if it is not likely, when it does happen, it will take all you've got. Capituating to an attacker may not save you. We have fire alarms and extinguishers even though we will probably never have a fire. We wear seat belts even though we may never have an accident. Preparedness is about hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

I will avoid any fight that I can. But I will not become that running joke of a martial artist who spends years studying but gets his butt kicked in a real fight.

What makes you think "a real fight" is anything like self defence? Or vice-versa?

I'm afraid that the vast majority of martial arts history is horse manure.

True, to a reasonable degree.

Keep in mind that the Asian countries where the majority of modern martial arts come from were rather easily conquered by Europeans with guns and modern weapons in the 19th and 20th centuries.

That's not so easy to agree with... China (not Hong Kong) was a part of the British Empire? When? The British Expansion was also more economical than pure military might... but that's a different conversation. Additionally, you're conflating "martial artists" with "military forces"... and neither are the same as the other.

The only country to escape that fate was Japan, and they did that by completely abolishing their feudal warrior caste who practiced classical martial arts (the samurai).

While the two events happened in the same era (a rather tumultuous one for Japan), the two are not related the way you're insinuating... the abolishment of the samurai (and the entire caste system) came out of the perceived weakness of the Shogunate, in part due to the capitulation to Perry's fleet, but to say that Japan "escaped (being conquered) by... abolishing the samurai class" is rather... wrong.

Even before that, the Ming Dynasty was conquered rather easily by the Manchus in 1644. The majority of classical Chinese martial art systems come from that period where various secret societies sprung up and trained hidden forms of Kung Fu to fight back against the Manchu invaders. Despite the various martial arts that blossomed in that period, and the rebellions they sprang, they never retook the country from the Manchus.

Er... "secret societies"? What? I think maybe a few too many comic books there... care to cite some examples?

Karate didn't do much to stop the Satsuma clan from taking over Okinawa.

The Boxer Rebellion didn't prevent the western powers from retaking their possessions in China.

The "watered down" western boxers and wrestlers often ventured into China and Japan and rather easily stomped the martial arts masters there.

They were show attractions in the main... so, yeah, prize fighters and professional wrestlers, in matches set by them, won as part of a public spectacle and attraction...

When Jigaro Kano turned jujutsu into a sport with a modern (western) methodology, he turned it on the classical Japanese martial arts community and easily beat them.

Jigoro... not Jigaro... but, more to the point, no, that's not what happened in a few counts... while Kano was influenced by Western teaching methods, due to his time at a European-style boarding school, which helped in the restructuring of his training into what would become Kodokan Judo, the aim was not to "turn it into a sport"... instead, the aim was more to use a structured approach to enable a more direct development than the more esoteric approach of classical arts... however, there wasn't a lot of "turn(ing) it on the Classical Japanese martial arts community and easily beat(ing) them"... instead, the Kodokan was initially set up more to be a one-stop location for a wide variety of martial training forms... among them a variety of jujutsu and weaponry schools. The idea he had was largely to have it be the centre of the newly formed Butokukai, becoming the central location for all Japanese martial arts... his idea was to have a "general" syllabus that would then allow students to continue on to specific studies... which is kinda the way that Iaido would later develop in many cases... it wasn't about "beating" the classical arts, but more about a way for the various systems to operate together... and used the training methods of the burgeoning Kodokan as a basis.

So what glorious past are you trying to reclaim here? What exactly has been "watered down"?

Honestly, both of you are, to my mind, rather inaccurate in your understandings of both martial art developments, and history...

I am not talking about obscure historical events. The historical reference was only to say that the people who started nearly every martial art could fight real fights, hand to hand, in their environment.

Well, that's inaccurate. For one thing, historically speaking, most martial systems were weapons-based... unarmed is a later (peacetime) focus. Secondly, martial systems rarely developed or formed as "self defence" systems... to use Japanese arts as an example, most bushi (warrior) traditions were set up more as systems of education, covering a lot more than combative technologies... in addition, the "combat techniques" often, well, weren't. They were instructional ideals given a combative skin, working on developing the personality as much, if not more, than any technical skills with weapons or in hand-to-hand.

If we shift this across to China, there was a statement that only the rich could afford to learn and study martial arts... for one thing, they were the only ones who had the means to pay for experienced warriors to impart the skills that had kept them alive, but, more realistically, they were the only ones who had the time that could be devoted to any such practice... anyone without that kind of capital was more concerned with day-to-day survival... as a result, in China, in Japan, in Okinawa (where the early generations of karate-ka weren't peasants, but the nobility), martial arts were far less about "self defence", and more about developing a more rounded individual, capable of leading others. It shouldn't be equated with the training you get in the army, but more the education you get in the school system.

You can also shoot the idea of "this is self defence" down by looking at the time-lines... self defence, by it's very nature, needs to be something that can be applied/understood pretty much immediately... it needs to be rather simple, direct, covering the largest area with the smallest amount... martial arts, on the other hand, go in the opposite direction, having depth of study that takes years... so... yeah... your personal take is not really based in reality either.

Today, a person can train for years at just about any martial arts studio and still get his *** kicked by a street fighter. That should not be the case.

There are a lot of caveats that would need to go into that statement... martial systems, by their very nature, are methods that are designed to answer particular problems within a particular cultural context... so, unless you happened to pick a martial art that also happened to deal with the same, or an almost identical cultural context, complete with the same cultural understanding of violence, then... all bets are off, really. The MMA guy without awareness of ambushes and weapons will be stabbed. The karate-ka who doesn't understand groups will get beaten down. The BJJ guy who thinks that the ground is safe will get picked apart by people he never knew were there.

The problem with equating two superficially related things is that you end up with highly false senses of reality... such as the above quote.

If my assertion is not true, why were the arts created?

Covered above, but largely as educational systems for the upper levels of society. There have been a few exceptions, but historically speaking, that's the main one.

There doesn't seem to be a point.

No, you just don't know the context. Not uncommon, but not the same thing, either...

And if I don't know that history is true, you don't know that it's "manure." The truth of history is hard to determine without eye witnesses.

That's not a very good argument, really... just because you don't know something doesn't mean that others don't. Your ignorance is not equal to someone else's expertise... oh, and the truth of history is determined by study... the whole "you weren't there!" smacks of not having any understanding of how such things work.

And today's martial artists might be all those things, but the point made by all three books I recommended is that doesn't translate into being able to defend against asocial violence.

This, I agree with. Martial arts are not self defence. Self defence is not found in martial arts. They're two different areas entirely. And being good at one doesn't equate to any kind of guarantee of knowledge or skill in the other.

You know it too. Prove me wrong. Show me the curriculum of a school that does the kind of mental training described in the references I gave.

Hmm... hi! Oh, and add to me a large number of RBSD instructors throughout the world... most notably Jim Wagner, Geoff Thompson, Lee Morrison, Deane Lawler, Richard Dmitri, and a number more... but, here's the thing... most of them don't teach martial arts... and those that do (such as Geoff and myself) don't conflate the two... they're two different things.
 

Flying Crane

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You know it too. Prove me wrong. Show me the curriculum of a school that does the kind of mental training described in the references I gave.
Well no. That isnt how it works. You are the one making outlandish claims, so the burden of proof is on you. Explain to me how you know this is true of all schools and all instructors.
 

Hanzou

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That's not so easy to agree with... China (not Hong Kong) was a part of the British Empire? When? The British Expansion was also more economical than pure military might... but that's a different conversation. Additionally, you're conflating "martial artists" with "military forces"... and neither are the same as the other.

Europe had spheres of influence throughout China by the end of the 19th century. In addition, European citizens in China enjoyed extraterritorial rights; in other words, they couldn't be subject to Chinese laws if they committed a crime. And yeah, the British did a good job militarily crushing the Chinese in the first and second Opium wars. Modernized Japan did a number on them in the first Sino-Japanese war as well. Speaking of Japan, the near collapse of China at the hand of the Europeans was the main driving force behind them modernizing in under 50 years.

While the two events happened in the same era (a rather tumultuous one for Japan), the two are not related the way you're insinuating... the abolishment of the samurai (and the entire caste system) came out of the perceived weakness of the Shogunate, in part due to the capitulation to Perry's fleet, but to say that Japan "escaped (being conquered) by... abolishing the samurai class" is rather... wrong.


The Samurai wanted to maintain their status, and there was a contingent of Samurai who rejected the modernization of Japanese society and its military. So yeah, if the Samurai had their way, Japan may not have modernized in time to avoid what happened to the Chinese. Fortunately for Japan, the Samurai were crushed by the modern Japanese military in the 1870s (culiminating in the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877) and swept aside in favor of further modernization.

Er... "secret societies"? What? I think maybe a few too many comic books there... care to cite some examples?


Also the White Lotus Society is quite famous for its activities during the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty, as was the Society of the Righteous Harmonious Fist which instigated the Boxer Rebellion.

They were show attractions in the main... so, yeah, prize fighters and professional wrestlers, in matches set by them, won as part of a public spectacle and attraction...

And it's still the case of western boxers and wrestlers stomping Asian martial art masters....

Jigoro... not Jigaro... but, more to the point, no, that's not what happened in a few counts... while Kano was influenced by Western teaching methods, due to his time at a European-style boarding school, which helped in the restructuring of his training into what would become Kodokan Judo, the aim was not to "turn it into a sport"... instead, the aim was more to use a structured approach to enable a more direct development than the more esoteric approach of classical arts... however, there wasn't a lot of "turn(ing) it on the Classical Japanese martial arts community and easily beat(ing) them"... instead, the Kodokan was initially set up more to be a one-stop location for a wide variety of martial training forms... among them a variety of jujutsu and weaponry schools. The idea he had was largely to have it be the centre of the newly formed Butokukai, becoming the central location for all Japanese martial arts... his idea was to have a "general" syllabus that would then allow students to continue on to specific studies... which is kinda the way that Iaido would later develop in many cases... it wasn't about "beating" the classical arts, but more about a way for the various systems to operate together... and used the training methods of the burgeoning Kodokan as a basis.

Except that's exactly what happened, and that established Kano and his methodology as something to be taken seriously, and why Judo became the dominant martial art in Japan by the first decade of the 20th century.
 
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jmf552

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Well no. That isnt how it works. You are the one making outlandish claims, so the burden of proof is on you. Explain to me how you know this is true of all schools and all instructors.
Well no. I realize it is futile to try to teach some people anything new and I really don't care that much about the opinion of a faceless person on the internet. My purpose on this thread was a present some relevant information that should be of interest to all martial artists, whether they wind up agreeing with it or not. But some people like to argue with concepts when they haven't even exposed themselves to the information. It's like a film critic panning a movie he hasn't even seen, which happens all the time. People get so caught up in being the burning bush on a topic, they can't take in anything new.

What I would much rather do is discuss the topic with people who have read those books and see what different opinions people have then.
 
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