Recommended reading for the martial arts. This is my personal library list. I practice Okinawan Te or "Ryukyu Ti." My system is derived from two others, one being the main influence of Shorin-ryu and the second Goju-ryu. The branch under Shorin-ryu is Isshin-ryu as developed by Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei.

I wanted to create a library reference blog where I can provide a listing of the books I have in my library, present and past (past in that some have been lost in transit over the years). I will provide a graphic, if available, a short description, if available, and the bibliography. When possible a link to Amazon will be provided.

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Reader's of this Blog

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate

Wittwer, Henning. “Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate: Collected Essays.” Impressum. Germany. 2014 (

Review: Another interesting and informative book on the historical beginnings of karate. This one is a good addition to the book by Andreas Quast, Karate 1.0. I have already found several tidbits of interesting information that helps to validate many beliefs I had taken for granted in the past simply because there were no references to support those. This book is one of three volumes of the author but this one is the only one translated, so far, into English.

The price is worth it for the information provided. It is recommended for your martial arts library. As I continue to study it I will come back and provide a more in depth review. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Maffetone Method

Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000.

Review: This new book, for me anyway, resonated with me a lot. It resonated because it seemed complemental to my views on “Balance.” Balance as in the Chinese Yin-Yang theory. I learned long ago, academically at least although physically, etc. seems to be taking a long time, that balance is the key to life. I also am learning along the way that this balance thing is actually the secret to life as to why we are here, why we need to find balance and how all that can lead to better life, better life choices and better understanding as to how we can maximize all those myriad things in our lives. 

This books is a great addition to that Emotional and Intellectual and Physiokinetic Intelligence we all strive for daily and even more so to those of us who believe it and practice the discipline of martial systems like “Karate.” The Emotional Intelligence speaks to the “Spirit” within a martial system. Intellectual Intelligence speaks to the “Mind” within a martial system. Finally, the Physiokinetic Intelligence speaks to the “Body” within a martial system. Therefore to achieve efficiency and expertise, etc. in a martial system one must achieve “Balance within that system.” This book is a primer toward achieving that gaol. It is a whole different perspective on knowing that, “Fitness and Health” are not always inter-connected, at least properly and in balance. Think symbiotic or simpatico. 

This book will give you the additional tools to get-er-done. Take for instance our understanding of adrenal stress chemicals tend to explain the flood that occurs when fear, anger or danger of many kinds is encountered. Did you know that the adrenal stress response is just a small part of a bigger whole where that same adrenal flood can benefit heath and fitness while giving the martial artists tools to further that understanding and control to make the flood work for them vs. against them? There are four types of Hormone’s that include “Epinephrine and Norepinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Type 1 is glucocorticoids, Type 2 is mineralcorticoids, Type 3 is sex hormones and Type 4 is Epinephrine and neorepinephrine. 

When you begin to learn about the entire adrenal system, as it may be called although not truly accurate, you also understand how that particular system can either lead to injuries or take you toward lessor or even no injuries. You will find this book of interest, in general for health and fitness, and of interest as a part of your training and practice of the martial disciplines. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Journey with the Grandmaster


Review: Although this book is no longer in print and the offered used copies on Amazon are priced so high that it is laughable you can still put your name in for a copy when the book is reprinted by Sensei Hays some time in the future. It is worth the wait and costs. Well written and it conveys a good deal about Okinawan Karate. 

I ran across it a while back and managed to get a reasonably priced book for my collection and I have not been disappointed. He and the writings introduced me to some new concepts and fundamentals I had not known of before. That alone made it worth the price of printing, etc.

Honestly, I am not sure how I missed putting this into my Google Martial Art Library but I did. I am fixing that mistake now. Get a copy when the price is reasonable or when it is reprinted. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My eBooks - Status

Just wanted to get it in that I have not forgotten about publishing my eBooks on the gokui and the terminologies. I work and I write all the time. One book is still being edited by a very good friend and I didn’t give them a deadline simply because I appreciate their efforts and the time it takes them to do this - for free. 

In addition, my time has been full and the books have taken a second place in my goals to mean my every day work along with my family and finally my desire to get my retirement in order for next year or the year after latest. You all know how scheduling and coordination of many things goes. I am working on the terminology book for publishing but editing as others know far better than I ii is a process, an important process. 

Ok, so I am making excuses but know this, I am serious and will publish eBooks in the next couple of years. I also believe it will be worth the wait. I have a solid plan to write often and publish faster when I retire either next year or the year after because I have come to really enjoy writing. I will admit that the other stuff necessary to write and publish are not high on my list because they can be tedious and boring but alas I also know, from my new study and understanding of self-defense thank you very much Mr. MacYoung and Mr. Miller, is similar where SD has a lot more than just the physical, i.e. writing has a lot more than just scribbling my thoughts and ideas on paper -so to speak. 

I am getting there, really, I am :-)

Taming Your Gremlin

Carson, Rick. “Taming Your Gremlin.” Harper Collins. New York, 2003, 2014.

Review: You might be wondering why this book made it into a martial arts library. Once you get a few chapters under your belt you may begin to wonder why it rings so many bells with you and then you will realize that this author has stepped into the realm of the “monkey.” The Monkey is the Gremlin but in a distinct manner relevant to the world of humans as well as martial arts and in particular self-defense.

You will find this short tome on the Gremlin/Monkey as a guide and a workbook to train your mind in every day activities to see and combat the Gremlin/Monkey. I find this a training book for the awareness we need to be martial artists especially when we study and practice with self-defense in mind. 

This book is well written, short and terse but not lacking and it is excellent for everyone but including the MA and SD practitioners. This book will go a long way to teaching and training about combating the monkey or rather the Monkey and Gremlin. For the Monkey and Gremlin both live inside of each and every one of us and usually without our control. They tend to control us most of the time and that is part and parcel to how we end up in conflicts. This book will help you to achieve control over the Gremlin/Monkey and it is relevant to everyday practice. 

A highly recommended book for everyone but with emphasis on MA and SD. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Samurai Capture a King

Turnbull, Stephen and Hook, Richard. “The Samurai Capture a King: Okinawa 1609 (Raid).” Osprey Publising. Westminster, MD. 2009.

Review: Another of those obscure books that you come across by accident. This one was referenced by Andreas Quast, author of Karate 1.0, in one of his articles on the Internet. I have read a small portion so this review is going to be short but sweet. It is an excellent book on the Okinawan history as to the Japanese invasion of the Satsuma clan in 1609. 

Unlike a lot of "dry" history books this one remains interesting, well written and the facts are supported although the author will express the tenuousness of those historical facts since they were pieced together from three major sources. All those sources are also subject to the embellishments of the authors, i.e. similar to how it is believed that history is often written by the vanquishers rather than the vanquished so it may be a bit biased.

Yet, this book is interesting and informative to say the least. 

More to come as I read the rest of the book. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979. 

Review: Listen, when I was first informed that this was a good book I thought, “Sounds like the old girlwatching fad of the seventies.” I was incorrect and only decided to look at this again when it was recommended, several times, in the book by Marc MacYoung, In the Name of Self-Defense." Once I started to read this ancient book I then realized what a gem it is especially toward someone who has a high interest in self-defense as well as martial arts. 

This is an excellent add on to your library. It goes into depth as to the reasoning for such knowledge and is a great book to use as a study of a second book called Emotional Intelligence. He does an outstanding job associating such things to those emotions such as anger as well as how this all works regarding our lizard brain regarding instinctual actions, etc. 

The only drawback is that it is out of print with used copies available through Amazon as I am sure are available through other book sources. I found a good copy for a used price of only $1.87 so adding it to your library should be easy. 

When you couple this book to Emotional Intelligence as well as other books such as:

In the Name of Self-defense by Marc MacYoung
Conflict Communications by Rory Miller
What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series by Suzette Elgin

You get a good start on reading more than the words spoken by a person. You begin to understand the complexities of active listening not of just the words spoken but the sounds, the rhythms, the cadence of words as inter-connected to facial and body languages that are actually more important than the words spoken. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Taking It to the Street

MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.

Review: Mr. MacYoung does it again. Not saying this is a new book cause it ain’t but it came to my attention only recently and due in no small part because of his reputation as a person and as a writer of a most difficult subject - the melding of martial arts into street defense. I highly recommend all martial artist add this to their library and place it right next to his book, “In the Name of Self-defense.” 

I tend to lean today heavier to the fundamental principles of martial systems that also apply to any and all systems that could, would or should be used in a self-defense situation. This book is another aspect of fundamental principles as they apply to just applying the physical of martial arts to defense on the street. He does an excellent and professional job conveying these martial defense techniques to anyone be they professionals or just starting out. Knowing the information, having that knowledge gives you an edge when seeing out self-defense in today’s myriad collection of so-called professionals who don’t even come close to the credentials in experience and education that Marc does in his works. 

Add this one to your library and spend the time studying them closely while applying it to your training and practice in martial self defense. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Emotional Intelligence

Goleman, Daniel. “Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition].” Bantam. January 11, 2012.

Review: In the book by Marc MacYoung, i.e. In the Name of Self Defense,” he made a recombination that one read this book so, I bought it and found that, as he is generally, right. I have reviewed other recommendations such as the one from Rory Miller, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-defense, where I now find that to fully understand those books you really need to supplement both together to get a better picture.

In our efforts to deescalate ourselves, required to deescalate others in conflict, that having both are instrumental and thus instrumental to avoidance and general self-defense (long before we allow it to go physical). 

I am so please with the information provided in this book that I ended up buying the hard cover edition just so I can high light, underline and makes margin notes to help me study it and myself.

Give you a “for instance,” I found out that in one sense I was a “verbally violent man.” That was an epiphany to say the least because in the book by Marc MacYoung he delves into this type of personality so I was a bit flabbergasted to admit that I had this issue. This and Marc’s book are critical for anyone who practices martial arts and/or takes self-defense training.

Here is the best part, this book takes you into a world of intelligence that will put what you learned on its ear. We use to think IQ was the marker for true intelligence but apparently the research leads us toward a balance of IQ and Emotional Intelligence that means more. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

In the Name of Self-Defense

MacYoung, Marc. “In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It.” Marc MacYoung. 2014.

Review: Wow! Let me say that one more time, “Wow!” Guess what, I say “WoW” because all I have read to this point is the “introduction.” Wow, I can hardly wait to dive into the real meat of this book. 

I am a martial artist of thirty-seven plus years. I “thought” I taught self-defense but many years ago by reading things from folks like Marc MacYoung I discovered I was “missing a lot” of stuff. I am so happy that those I had taught never had to deal with all of self-defense outside the training hall. 

I can truthfully say that everyone, everyone who teaches, trains, practices and learns a self-defense system can benefit greatly just from reading the introduction alone. It sheds all on its own the complexities and obstacles you will encounter if you have to go physical. It provides solid information, in the introduction mind you, that avoidance is really the greatest thing you can do for yourself regarding self-defense. 

So, with that said, take a moment and go to Amazon and get your copy. Even if you are not in the SD industry as a provider or a customer reading the book or even just the introduction (bet you a buck when you read the intro you will read the remainder of the book :-), you will benefit from it. Go get your copy, well worth the pennies you will pay.

Read also: Our Brains on Self-Defense

dtd, September 15th, 2014 at 10:00am - Reading the second go round of this one. You also get the idea reinforced that it is always a good idea to give things a second, third and even more thought so as to make sure you get the entire and complete picture. On my second go-round many, many things I missed or misunderstood are coming to the top like the cream in a good wholesome full bodied milk.

When you read something as full bodied as this book along with use of tools, i.e. a high liter and pen with ruler, etc. you get a bit more clarity. You really need that clarity for something as important and life changing as Self-defense.

Let me be clear here, this is not a dry book of facts but a real page turner that just happens to be non-fiction but is written with the flare and interest one would get with a good fictional tale. In some studies the second or third time round tends to be harder but to date this one is just plain fun to read and study - that is real important here.

I get the same sense from other books by other professionals with the same type of credentials as this author but for the size and word count in this book, which is awesome in so many ways, are page turners both the first time and second time round. So much so I am looking forward to reading it again - and again - and again. Like I have said, "A Must Read!"

Addendum dtd October 9, 2014: Just read the last page on this bear. Ready for third go-round. When done, I think it is time to take a break, let it settle, do some thought meandering and contemplations, then return once again like an old friend and go another round with this book. Maybe, in support of his efforts, I will purchase another clean copy and start over again. I feel strong that if you want to talk or write about this stuff, if you want to teach SD using this stuff and if you are seriously going to have it available to see the norm vs. the abby-normal of this stuff you really have to spend time on it. Consider it this way, if you want a BS in some discipline you have to spend the time, effort and sweat over time to achieve the required results - that is my goal.

Through out his book he mentions stuff his editor axed from the final copy, I just wonder what that could have been that caused the publishers to "leave it out?"

My copy of the "In the Name of Self-Defense" book written by Marc MacYoung. It is beginning to show a bit of wear and I have not had the print copy more than a month or so. This is what it looks like as I finish it for the "SECOND" go round. Next, on the third go-round, there will be a lot of underlining to go with the high lighting and the yellow post-its marking some interesting parts I have read to date. Now, after the third go-round I figure to read it again and transcribe my self-notes onto a notepad at my computer. Once I do that, then I figure to print that out and while re-reading it again, transcribing my notes with more notes - by hand to paper - I just "MIGHT" start to truly understand it on a very fundamental level. Marc MacYoung and others who have read it are really right on, it does take a bit to really get a sense of all that he has tried to convey. It is a really and truly awesome piece of work. You don't just make this shit up!