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, September 24, 2020

Multiple Attackers

MacYoung, Marc. “Multiple Attackers: Your Guide to Recognition, Avoidance, and Survival.” Carry On Publishing. August 25, 2020.

Multiple Attackers by Marc MacYoung is a must read for anyone who studies, practices and requires self-protection for self-defense. In these troubled times, especially with the volatility of some protest efforts, we need to truly understand how group violence occurs and how best to protect ourselves if we are present when the trigger is pulled. Add in the benefit of his comparison to how it all works with one-on-one vs. group attacks because the differences matter - a whole hell of a lot. 

This book has now become my go to reference just after his book “In The Name of Self-Defense,” simply because he covers the necessary material is such a way it becomes fun to read and to read again. I especially appreciate how he lets you know how to battle the predatory prosecutors as well as the predatory legal system. Use the reference below linked to Amazon Kindle where you can get your copy. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword

Benedict, Ruth. "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword." Mariner Books. 2005.

Review: This most excellent material was written in a time of war and its influence in all probability provided the path taken at war's end that General McArthur took that gave us modern Japan with all that it has to offer. This includes the martial arts and karate. 

There are many books on Japanese culture but this one stands out because of its ability to add to those presentations thus cultivating and conditioning the soil they already grow from and that makes for some enhancements toward a better understanding of those who have come before. 

I have read the first round of reading and found a plethora of things, feelings and understandings that simply make my philosophical and psychological understanding of that which I have studied and trained for going on over forty-plus years. You can say, although I had my doubts when I first thought to read this book, that the surprise as to its value and contribution to my understanding of those who created and passed on to us karate and other martial disciplines as a great wonderful boon to that study and understanding. 

It explains many facets to their cultural philosophical belief system and still I cannot fully fathom the depth and breadth of how well they achieved the achievements they did even in the face of utter defeat in WWII. YOU WILL NOT be disappointed, especially if you have a deep interest in what makes the Japanese/Okinawan mind think, act and believe. You will NOT fully and completely and comprehensively understand that simplistically complex process but you WILL BENEFIT and so will your efforts in the martial arts and karate. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

When Deadly Force is Involved

Lawlor, Bruce M. “When Deadly Force is Involved.” Rowman & Littlefeild. 2017

Review: let me begin by offering a word on this book, “ Awesome!” We have already covered other awesome books by the likes of Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller concerning self-defense, violence and the use of force. This one provides a method to communicate that seemed to work well for me and I feel it will do the same for you. 

Let me begin by saying, it does NOT provide you with either legal advice nor legal references other than semantic references to give you “A FEELING” for a general understanding necessary to talk the talk with an attorney should you find yourself facing the legal system in a self-defense case. The way this book tells the story then covers the subject of each chapter gives one the “Sense and Sensibility” of the self-defense defense if you apply your self-protection skills. 

It helps to understand in a general way what you are up against when you face-off with the legal system. In my past meanderings of the written word I have mentioned that you don’t just face the conflict and battle of an aggressor, you don’t just face the repercussions such as grave harm and you do FACE another conflict and battle from those in the legal system who will scrutinize your skills, past, present perceptions, and more to filter out what you did according to their perceptions, beliefs and rules/law never before experienced by you as a non-professional in self-protection. 

This book provides you with a plathora of data, concepts and possibilities toward creating a self-protection program that goes far and beyond mere physical skills and techniques. It provides data to build a holistic wholehearted comprehensive program that covers the full spectrum of not just martial disciplines but those concepts necessary to prepare, train, practice and experience those things that will matter should you face-off with the legal system. 

After all, the battle for self-protection never ends when the attacker stops his attack because your adversary will shift from him to, “first responders, their leadership, those who lead the charge in the prosecutor office, all the way to the court staff and those unpredictable folks who will sit and judge what you did, how you did it and all the other stuff discussed in this book to make a decision on your future. 

You can suffer damage far beyond that heaped on you from an attacker and long after leaving the ER because the legal system holds just as many dangers over the many months to years that will follow in the meat grinder called the legal system. 

Get the book! Study, read, study some more then seek out legal advice from someone in the legal system who has the experience and understanding of self-defense law and legal system. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Second Amendment and the American Gun & Aftermath: Lessons in Self-Defense

Fleming, Jim. "The Second Amendment and the American Gun: Evolution and Development of a Right Under Siege." Rivers Edge Production. 2016

Fleming, Jim. "Aftermath: Lessons in Self-Defense:What to Expect When the Shooting Stops." Rivers Edge Production. 2015

Review: I am reviewing both at the same time because as you will soon see they both work together in regard to the use of firearms for self-defense. The second book also speaks somewhat to those who would use either their empty hands or other weapons for self-protection so that they can understand in a very basic, fundamental, way what to expect when the dust clears. 

Since I and others, those professionals I rely on, have spoken of this over a long period of time and since it is about what is missing from the self-defense industry and communities be they martial arts or other these two books speak volumes in support of and in addition to and in relation to what is needed if you have to defend and protect yourself, your family or your tribe/clan/neighbors, etc. 

On the second amendment, I have to express how much I learned that is what I didn’t know or didn’t know I didn’t know and about what I assumed I did know that is just plain wrong makes this book a MUST READ for everyone who is concerned about the second amendment as it speaks to our rights to be firearm owners. This is not a read only end all answer to the question of validity in regard to the 2nd but it is informative and enlightening BECAUSE as a person who no longer owns firearms but did at one time and as a person who believes in the 2nd but is not ‘religiously’ a believer I still found that with just this bit of information I have solidified and validated my past, present and future beliefs that the 2nd is and always will be a valid confirmation of human history in the strong belief of arming and protecting and defending ourselves and others at the base level of citizens and individuals with firearms and other methodologies appropriate to our needs in that endeavor. 

On the second book, that one destroyed some of my beliefs, assumptions and increased my understanding of just how critically important this knowledge is to our endeavor to learn, teach, practice, train and MOST OF ALL APPLY protection-defenses against such socially unacceptable aggressions and violences that may come our way regardless of how much safer our society and social realities have become. I have to say that it ‘scared be straight about what must be taught’ in self-defense protection models, all of them. 

I thought that the most danger I would have to face in my life would have been while active duty military and in the rare chance that social/asocial violence in every day life AND now I UNDERSTAND as you can imagine and may already know the greater danger to the destruction of one’s way of life is the “Legal System.” 

If we don’t follow the examples and recommendations and experiences of those experts especially provided by Mr. Fleming, whose experiences and knowledge and understanding span all aspects both social and legal will leave us ill prepared to handle self-protection against the violence found socially and legally in society. 

I list in my bibliography those most critical books and sources for self-protection as it pertains to being attacked but these two are special in they cover those areas and the legal dangers that happen after you use your wonderful self-protection skills. 

Get these books!!!!

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)

Friday, September 14, 2018

The History of Karate and the Masters Who Made It

Cramer, Mark I. "The History of Karate and the Masters Who Made It: Development, Lineages, and Philosophies of Traditional Okinawan and Japanese Karate-do." Blue Snake Books. July 24, 2018 

Review: I am stunned, stunned because so many other books on this subject are of questionable quality and that is not to say that a lot of books are of quality and informative and enlightening YET this one stunned me. I began reading and before I knew it I was well past the fourth chapter. Usually, even the very best of books, I am reading in chunks simply because I would get easily distracted before long and simply put the book down until later reading it over a longer period of time rather than almost in one fell swoop. 

I do have my doubts about some of the material as to historical validity and yet I still didn’t get distracted to copy the part for later consideration. I also, as you probably already know that it is going to take several readings to just absorb the material for further research and assessment as to its factual historical nature. I am even waiting to hear from other historian karate-ka on the content. 

Cramer Sensei has done a most excellent and bang up job putting karate into this book and from me, humbly, I present my “kudo’s” on a job well done. His work has earned a very high place in my library regardless of historical validity or simply a well thought theory and belief of one persons perceptions and practices. If you have an interest in learning about your karate, then this book will provide you sustenance because of its quality and rhythm and word work.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Principles-Based Instruction for Self-Defense

Miller, Rory. “Principles-Based Instruction for Self-Defense (and maybe life).” Amazon Digital Services LLC August 2017

Review: In the last decade I have come to rely on only a few authors when it comes to self-defense be it through martial arts or some other model. Of those authors Rory Miller is held in my mind with high regard not only as to his expertise but especially his understanding. 

Of these few authors what I appreciate most is how well they write, articulate in writing, and how well they relay the same materials but in a different way that is unique and informative and understandable while reinforcing what was previously studied while expanding on what you already know. 

This book about teaching whether for self-defense or any other discipline the information is relevant, important and critical to understanding how that is accomplished. In recent postings people ask questions like how do I teach this or how do I attract students or how to I retain the one’s I have and so on. Well, Mr. Miller has all this covered especially from one of his comrades who contributed a chapter on the business of self-defense whether from a martial arts perspective or some other model. 

I have just finished the first run through of this new book. I am already going for the second round of study and reading and I expect to do a third and fourth round much like when I read Marc MacYoung’s book on self-defense. I am once again flabbergasted with his work. Every time I feel like I might have a solid grip on the subjects and disciplines he, and the other authors, publish another one of their works and I am gripped with the sudden butterflies and mental thought that I am merely a child trying to learn and have a long way to go - a very long way. 

If I could transport this book back in time to when I first entered a dojo to teach self-defense this would be the first one I would want to use as a guide in seeking out and obtaining the proper credentials to teach, instruct and mentor people in karate and defensive-protection (self-defense). Now, I have had training and experience as an instructor, I was pretty good at it - BUT - I still lacked a lot of what it takes to professionally and responsibly and properly teach such a responsible discipline of martial defense protection discipline. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Training for Sudden Violence

Miller, Rory. Training for Sudden Violence: 72 Practical Drills.” YMAA Publications. New Hampshire. 2016

Review: Currently reading/studying the material so the following is provided from the Amazon description as a teaser, i.e., “The speed and brutality of a predatory attack can shock even an experienced martial artist. The sudden chaos, the cascade of stress hormones—you feel as though time slows down. In reality, the assault is over in an instant. How does anyone prepare for that?”

As I read the introduction I am again pleased and not too surprised that in a short and terse chapter Mr. Miller has once again inspired and informed me on the most seriously deep subject, most awesome!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Cialdini, Robert B. PhD. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Harper. New York. 2006.

Review: The reason I am listing this one is because how well it connects to other principles regarding martial disciplines and the various ‘ways’ of practice that include the self-fense parts I like. It was pretty amazing the connections I made as you can read, if you so choose, in my blogs on martial arts and self-fense. It also takes you to those things we take for granted that involve life patterns, encoded responses and the consistency principle that drives us to do things sometimes not so good for us and others. I found this book enlightening and beneficial to understanding many things especially in martial practices and my re-birth in what I am calling, “The Dart Arts.” Well worth adding to your library, worth every moment of study and expense - monetary and mentally.

Addendum: did September 21, 2016 at 13:57 hours

Morality vs. Legality

There is a deep divide and they are two separate and distinct things often at odds with each other especially when it comes to money, i.e., resources, etc. Take the sales game, the goal is to entice people to purchase resources such as homes, cars and vacation trips - to name a few. There is two ways you can approach the sales game, one with morals involved where you use the psychology of persuasion to present things to people they may need, want or require. The person is persuaded to consider the product, the resource, and if they find that is does not meet a need, a desire or something similar they simply decline. 

Then there is the legality issue, i.e., where they use the same psychology of persuasion to entice you to make purchases or give up something of value to you regardless of whether you need it, want it or require it. Because there is no law or other mandate from society or the government banning such unscrupulous tactics and greed as well as profit is the only concern of those nefarious predators you end up getting the very principles that make society thrive and grow into something debasing and unconscionable and just plain nasty happen, they take those principles; they trigger the best in you; the use that to dupe you into doing or paying for things you don’t really want, need or desire. 

Yes, these same principles can be triggered form a moral stand resulting in exchanges between individuals and groups and tribes and societies with all the cards on the table and all parties understanding all aspects of the process but to the predatory compliance professionals they trigger you so you will instinctively react and then get caught in obligations, etc., that drive you to do things you would not do normally leaving you feeling guilty of nothing other than being human. 

How do you fight back? You learn about the principles involved in compliance and persuasion, you learn how to feel the old spidey sense - the uncomfortable feeling something is wrong by the butterflies in your tummy - and then you throw the compliance principles back at the predator leaving guilt and anger and regret out of it. 

How do you do that, you start with Robert B. Cialdini, PhD’s, book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” He sets out the most basic and most used principle of, “Reciprocity, Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.” I cannot tell you what an eye opener that book was and how it triggered all kinds of “Oh shit moments” for me, it was illuminating. 

Cialdini, Robert B. PhD. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Harper Collins Publishing, New York. 1984, 1994, 2007.

p.s. now think of it, is this also something relevant to self-defense? :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Tao of Physics

Capra, Fritjof. “The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism.” Shambhala Publications. Boston. 1999.

Review: No where did I not expect to find connections to martial arts then in this book. I took up reading this one because it was one of those references Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF (ret) studied to create his discourse on winning and losing where a more in depth discussion on the OODA loop is found, as well as other efforts of the good Colonel such as in Patterns of Conflict, etc.

Yet, not into the depth of this book I found connections that explained some of the more esoteric and mysterious why’s to how martial arts were practiced and taught in the East. A good example is the act of “Mokuso” where one sits seiza at the start and end of dojo training where it became understood that it was for meditative reasons to clear the mind of the days pressures and stresses so one can better focus on training and practice, etc. 

It does not surprise me to find out that the meditative practice is not just mokuso at the start and end but a type of moving meditation during the entire practice and training session that should and would bleed over into every day living and that it has connections to Zen and Warriors and Death and so on. 

This one is an excellent addition to any library and a good one for the martial arts library not to forget in understanding the ways, whys and hows that Colonel Boyd used to find his most modern art of war and his cryptic OODA loop. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sun Tzu: The Art of War

Griffith, Samuel B.. “Sun Tzu: The Art of War.” Oxford University Press. New York. 1963.

Review: I have many versions or translations of Sun Tzu’s Art of War but this one escaped my notice until now. I was studying Colonel Boyd’s works when his reading list came up in the thesis written by Frans Osinga, a most excellent paper - the best written on the Colonel. He stated that Colonel Boyd found Mr. Griffith’s version to be the best written, most comprehensive and insightful translation of Sun Tzu to date. It is this reason I found a hard cover copy and am not studying it along with Clausewitz and Machiavelli - to name just two others.

I have barely gone past the introduction and find his writings to be clear, concise and inspiring. I have already begun taking notes in my work to analyze the art of war then to synthesize it into a form plausible and relevant to karate, martial arts and self-protective disciplines like self-defense. 

Well into the fourth chapter, easy to understand, easily explained and relevant to every day life strategies let alone those for karate, martial arts and protection disciplines - even toward the product from Colonel Boyd, USAF and his patterns of conflict, the Boyd Cycle or the OODA loop. :-)