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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 20 Oct 2018
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Martial arts research library Reply with quote

hobbitbob wrote:
What would you consider indispensible in a good MA research library?
Here are some of my choices,and I am eager for others to add to this:
Karate History:
-Unante, John Sells
-Secrets of Okinawan Karate, Mark Bishop
-Shotokan: A Precise History, Harry Cook
-The History of Okinawan Karate Do, Higoanna Morio
-Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate, Patrick McCarthy
-Koryu Uchinadi (two volumes), Patrick McCarthy
-Bubishi, Patrick McCarthy (tr.)
-Rentan Goshin Tode Jutsu, Funakoshi Gichin (reprint, available from Kodansha)
-Karate Do: My Way of Life, Funakoshi Gichin
-Okinawan Kempo Jutsu, Motobu Choki (reprint, available from University of Hawaii Press)
-Karate: History and Traditions, Bruce Haines (a bit dated, but still worthwhile)
-Karate Masters, Jose Fraguas(interviewer)
-Tales of Okinawas Great Masters, Nagamine Shoshin

Japan and Okinawa:
-Okinawa: A History of an Island People, George Kerr (the only comprehensive overview of Okinawan history to date)
-The Making of Modern Japan, Kenneth Pyle,
- Dogs and Demons: Understanding the Dark Side of Japan, Alex Kerr
-The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, Ruth Benedict
-Angry White Pyjamas, Robert Twigger
-Moving Zen, C.W. Nichol

-Karate Kinematics and Dynamics, Lester Ingber (out of print, but well worth finding)
-Dynamic Karate, Nakayama Masatoshi (the "orange book")
-Best karate #2: Fundamentals, Nakayama Masatoshi
-The Essence of Okinawan Karate Do, Nagamine Shoshin
-Shihan Te, Darryl Craig

Korean Styles:
-Hapkido: An INtroduction To The Art of Self Defence, Marc Tedeschi
-Taekwondo: Traditions, Philosophy,and Technique, Marc Tedeschi
-Taekwondo, Choi Hong Hi
-Taekwondo: The Korean Art of Self Defence, Richard Chun
-Advancing in Taekwondo, Richard Chun
-Muye Dobo Tongji, Sang Kim (tr.)

-Dragon Times/Classical Fighting Arts (quarterly, published by Dragon enterprises. Semi Scholarly, peer reviewed)
-Journal of Aisan Martial Arts( Quarterly. Scholarly, peer reviewed)

This is my "short list." I eagerly await suggestions! Especially suggestions regarding Chinese MA, about which I know very little.

Wow. Thank you for this
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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 30 Apr 2019
Posts: 7
Location: England
Styles: Frestyle Karate & Kickboxing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic!

How about:

The Manual of Karate - E.J. Harrison

Code of the Samurai - Thomas Cleary

The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu - Wong Kiew Kit

And already mentioned but worth another go:

The Art of War - Sun Tzu

Tim x
YouTube: Martial Arts & Fitness UK
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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 177
Location: NJ
Styles: Hapkido, JKD, TSD

PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
A Killing Art The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do
By Alex Gillis

Check it out:

My hat is off to Alex Gillis and the magnificent work he has done in putting this book together.

In an effort to understand what TKD rose out of, Gillis sought interviews with many of the movers and shakers of early TKD; men like General Choi, Hong-Hi himself, Nam Tae-Hi, Jhoon Rhee, Min-Hi Rhee, Tae Eun Lee (WTF), Jung-Hwa Choi, the General’s son, as well as the General’s daughters, Hee Jin Choi (WTF), and many others, including various personal assistants to General Choi over the years. Gillis himself is a practitioner of both ITF and WTF TKD, so he has knowledge of both sides of the story. I also feel that he presents the information in a very neutral tone.

Along with much research, he has opened up the world that TKD grew out of; from Korea’s independence from Japan and its roots in Karate, to the “invention” of its roots in Taek Kyon and the “connection” to the Hwarang warriors, to its use in the politics of a fledging country.

Gillis tells of several accounts of TKD masters involved in covert government operations, with TKD in the midst of it. The link between TKD and the Korean CIA is discussed as well. He also talks about Choi and Kim Un-Yong quite a bit, and the rivalry of the ITF and WTF, and Kim’s drive to the Olympics, as well as Kim’s rise and fall through the ranks of the IOC. Gillis also talks of Choi’s constant suspicions and mistrust, and how he drove away many of his masters, and his eventual rise to prominence in North Korea.

With stories that sound so cloack-and-dagger as to resemble a Robert Ludlum novel, the book constantly engages the reader in the chapters of TKD’s history.

I cannot possibly do justice in completely highlighting the information in this book, so I won’t continue to ramble much longer. Now, thanks to the work that Gillis has done, TKD practitioners have a reference source of where the art truly comes from, without the noticeable ITF or WTF slants of other publications. We can finally see the true history of TKD, and hopefully gone now are the exaggerated claims of “5000 year histories” of future TKD texts.

In my opinion, this book should be required reading for ALL TKD practitioners.

Old post, I know, but I saw your recco of this book in a more recent post, and wanted to say thanks! I've read much of the excerpts online, and it's a colorful and engaging read. I was a TSD guy back in the day, and heard the bogus "2000 year old art" stories, too. Eventually the more modern, accurate history came out, but I never read so much detail or about the behind the scenes politics and intrigue. It really depicts a struggling country, with suffering people. It dispels romantic notions of virtue and mysticism with the reality of violence and political corruption. The military aspect explains why traditional training seemed so rigid and disciplined.
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30229
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad it got your attention, JazzKicker. I highly recommend picking it up and reading it. Twice. I've got both editions, and have read them both. And worth it each time.
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Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 05 Nov 2020
Posts: 94
Location: USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My personal MA book collection, as it currently stands:

Karate-dō Kyōhan: The Master Text, Gichin Funakoshi (tr. Tsutomu Ohshima)
Karate-dō Nyūmon: The Master Introductory Text, Gichin Funakoshi (tr. John Teramoto)
Karate-dō: My Way of Life, Gichin Funakoshi (tr. Genshin Hironishi?)
The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate, Gichin Funakoshi (tr. John Teramoto)
Notes on Training, Tsutomu Ohshima
Introduction to Karate-Dō, Michael Mantz & Tom Muzila
Tsutomu Ohshima: Carrying the Samurai Spirit Into the 21st Century, Eli Eliyahu Cohen
The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman, Takuan Sōhō (tr. William Scott Wilson)
Zen Bridge: the zen teachings of Keido Fukushima, ed. Grace and Peter Schireson
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Shunryu Suzuki
A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi (tr. Victor Harris)
The Art of War, Sun Tzu (tr. Samuel B. Griffith)
Japan Karate Association (JKA), 1974-1990, Sandan

Last edited by SLK59 on Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30229
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've jumped back into it. It's been some time since I've been able to find what I'd consider another promising TKD book to read, but I found one that I really enjoyed. It's titled Old School Perspectives on Taekwon-do, by Ciaran McDonald. It's another TKD book in which the author's goal is to dig out possible applications to forms. He lays out a nice outline of the how's and why's, and rather than spend chapters showing a form, and then applications for each move, he worked a different route. He first laid out comparisons that TKD forms have with various Karate katas, through identifying "templates" with in the TKD forms that have been transplanted into TKD forms. From there, he spends time breaking down the "traditional" blocking methods and shows how they can be used in application. He has another section on the applications of stances, and how the stance in use can demonstrate what the techniques are possibly being used for. So, instead of providing a book that says, "here are the applications," it instead provides an outline for digging in. He does layout some examples in the book, but again, it's not a straight dishing of what he thinks the forms applications are. He mentioned at the end of the book that he is publishing two more volumes, so I'm looking forward to them.

With that book finished, I got in the mail today a new Bruce Lee book: Jeet Kune Do: Bruce Lee's Commentaries on the Martial Way, published by Tuttle Publishing and edited by John Little. When this collection came out years ago, I picked up several volumes, but not this one, because I thought it was just a rehashing of Tao of Jeet Kune Do, but I appear to have been wrong. So I look forward to digging into it. It also appears I'm short another volume, titled Bruce Lee: Artist of Life. Looks like that's another added to the list...
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