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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

FTW Self Defense - Hardcore Self Defense - Warrior Wisdom

Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.
Jahn, C. R. “Warrior Wisdom.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012.

Review: Unorthodox in his writing but interesting, even spell binding in its presentation. It is a definite addition to anyone’s self-defense library but my warning would be to take the presentation in all its color with a grain of salt, i.e., not as to content and meaning but the method of articulation as in “hard and rough and no holds barred language.” This guys writes a lot like the other authors of self-defense, no bullshit tell it like it is models.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Strong on Defense

Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense: Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.

Review: I can’t remember how I came across this book. I suspect it was one recommended in another book I was reading at the time. It may have been Rory Miller’s Meditations of Violence or it might have been in Marc MacYoung’s book, “In the Name of Self-Defense.” I tend to study, through out my day, several books or other materials at the same, sequentially speaking, time. 

This one speaks a bit to mind-set training, which I appreciated. It also provides a lot of stories about crime and violence to give one some idea’s about that subject while feeding the training suggestions for creating a mind-set or mind-state that, hopefully, will allow the user/reader to act in those few seconds when a sudden, surprise, pain filled, fear inducing, hard and close blitz attack happens. 

The thing is, Sanford Strong is a retired police officer and his goal is to provide civilians, like me, who are not in the professional status to benefit from the training and experiences of some who spend their time dealing with crime and violence and conflict. 

Recommendation: Highly recommended for your SD library!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.

Review: This book deals with firearms, etc. but is a solid teacher of general self-defense. Many of the topics or chapters explain things that will help a self-defense practitioner to expose themselves to those things that explain varying ways to justify actions taken in application of self-defense. 

Mr. Ayoob provides us a concise explanation of things like, "AOJ (Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy), Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground, The Hierarch of Lethality, Knife-Impact weapon-Disparity of Force-Force of Numbers and so on that an SD defending themselves needs to justify and explain and be admissible type information. 

His Case Studies provide you, the SD practitioner, with knowledge that will get your evidence admitted because you used it as a reasonable and prudent means to justify and know the level of force you encountered and used that meets the standards of the law, etc. 

One of the most important concepts I got from this is "Exposure." If you are not well educated and/or versed on violence and all it entails then you cannot adequately protect yourself and most importantly you CANNOT apply SD properly to meet those legal and civil standards, etc. 

I would add this book to my library, ops-already added ;-) , especially to help create a complete, as possible, knowledge base for my SD.

Addendum: for clarity, Massad Ayoob quote, "Reasonable Fear is simply that apprehension of danger which any reasonable, prudent person would experience if they were in the same situation as you, knowing what you know at the time." My view: this means to me, that exposure to many facets of violence and SD provide you the knowledge necessary to make such critical decisions as well as make them admissible in a court battle, etc.

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.