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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Gladwell, Malcolm. "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking." Bay Back Books. France. 2007.

Review: I am always amazed, I shouldn't be by now, at what is out there that teaches us why we do what we do. Blink is one of those books that turns a light on inside my mind. 

In martial arts we talk about the mind, the state of mind-no-mind, and about being present in the moment but there is more to that then these teachings. We talk about the mind, conscious and unconscious (the logic mind, the monkey mind and the lizard mind, etc.), but we don't really spend much time learning how the unconscious mind actually works and the why it works to well especially when we need snap judgement and instantaneous responses or actions. 

Blick helps open the door to that process and explains just how much we depend on the unconscious, a faster processing part of the brain, to achieve instant answers or in the field of martial defense - actions. 

The rub is once you understand how it works and learn how to acknowledge it for what it is you, like in mind-no-mind, simply forget about it and then be more accepting as to its purpose, function and use in life and in defenses as they apply to life. It is an amazing journey. I started reading and could not put it down till the end. I am at this writing starting the second reading of this fine book. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Violence: A Writer's Guide

Miller, Rory. "Violence: A Writer's Guide." Pacific Northwest. Wyrd Goat Press. 2012.

Review: Again Sgt. Miller has coupled his life experiences in a violent work world into something educational and useful, for a writer as well as a person learning about violence for self-defense. This book, as is his other efforts, is well done. It refreshes about information from his other efforts as well as provide solid clues on how to write about it with authenticity and accuracy. 

Example of content: The three essential elements of self-defense he provides in this book are a good primer for anyone seeking self-defense training. Knowing of and about these elements gives a person ammunition to seek out good self-defense training. When you couple this with the information Sgt. Miller provides in this book as well as his other efforts you have a good foundation to separate the chaff from the wheat of self-defense instruction. 

What are the thee essentials? Awareness-Initiative-Permission. I could give you my view of this but prefer recommending you read his book as mentioned above. His explanations are far better than mine. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

When the Fight Goes to Ground

O'Connell, Lori; Hiscoe, Steve; Weintz, Jennifer. "When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-Jitsu Strategies and Tactics for Self-Defense." Vermont. Tuttle Publishing. 2012. 

Review: First, I am not a ground fighting expert. I am not even a novice. I have some grappling experience from my early days but nothing that should be taken for expert or even very proficient. I just wanted to get that out there. Second, I believe more now than ever before that it is important for anyone practicing any type of martial art for self-defense that they address ground fighting simply because there may be moments, if you encounter violence, when you end up on the ground. 

Where I received a recommendation for this book is lost to me at the moment of publication of this post. I can tell you that whomever it was is someone I respect for their experience and abilities especially in regards to going to ground in self-defense. 

This book lays out what I perceive as solid self-defense fundamentals that will enhance any martial art, not directly associated with ground work to begin with, for self-defense. I like the way it is laid out and the simplicity that is promoted within the pages. It should be fairly easy to learn from the book if you are an experienced martial artist with SD experience. You can enhance the effort by including the DVD that is sometimes sold with the print edition or you can get the kindle edition in conjunction with the DVD. 

If your a novice I still recommend it but with one strong caveat, make sure you get clarification and experience in practice from a qualified and experienced martial artist. This is good with any pairing of literature and media for learning and sometimes is recommended even for the experienced martial artists with no background in ground work. 

This book and DVD are a very good basic starting point regardless. Couple that with hands on training as I mention and you can gain a solid foundation of ground self-defense. Hopefully you will never have to use it for real but remaining basic as this one does should provide you the tools to end the encounter and allow you to seek safety and security. Provided, of course, your avoidance and deescalation strategies and tactics fail. 

Highly recommended!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Cain, Susan. "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." Broadway. New York. 2013. 

Review: Reading this book led me to some things of interest for training and practice but more importantly the SD aspects. It deals with how we are programmed by both genes and environment. It deals with whether a person is either a high-reactive or low-reactive person. It deals with introversion and extroversion along with the amygdala storage and later influential abilities (lifetime of stored associations). 

It must be understood that these influences matter and that one can train themselves to overcome them but occasionally it does not work leaving you subject to those stored associations. What the ? am I talking about?

Well, you will have to study the material yourself to get the full picture and idea behind this post. I know instinctively that this matters and it may help sensei work with practitioners to achieve the best results possible in their training and practice toward self-defense. Knowing how this entire model works within those persons be they of an introverted or extroverted nature (and all levels in between) or of high-reactive or low-reactive nature will tell you how you can possible gear things toward greater understanding and ability in a SD situation. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who teach be it martial arts or any life discipline. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Power of Intuition

Klein, Gary. "The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work." Doubleday. New York. 2003.

Review: Awareness, one of the many fundamentals of self defense especially through the martial arts, classical or traditional. Intuition, subconscious, cues and patterns are but a few terms you will encounter in this excellent book. Highly recommended to read and use in reality based training and practice. 

I found this book most enlightening and discovered many ways to explain how we develop these traits to better serve in the combative and defensive arts. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Howe, Paul R. Msg U.S. Army. "Leadership and Training for the Fight." Authorhouse. Indiana. 2006.

Review: This one I found on Rory Miller's Blog site, "Chiron." Anything he recommends can be counted on to support and inform what he writes in his own books. After reading the first chapter on the OODA I can relate it to some of Rory's information in books and electronic media. As for myself, I find it an outstanding addition to my library. 

This provided me many connections, and I am not hardly finished reading it either, that help my mind relate to things necessary to know how things work. It is outstanding and an awesome supplemental book in support of Rory's efforts as well as other authors of note on this subject. 

Well worth the expense.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tales of Old Japan

Freeman-Mitford, Baron Algernon Bertram. "Tales of Old Japan." Indy Publishing and Amazon Kindle. Britain. 1910.

Review: First, this book is free on Amazon in the kindle edition. It does not get any better than that guaranteed. 

Second, this book was first published in 1910 and written with the intent to provide greater insight into the culture and belief of the Japanese during a period of time that has deeply influenced how Japan is in modern times. 

Third, anyone be they martial artist or just interested in learning about Japan will benefit from this book. As an example there is one small quote that adds to the explanation in the practice of sitting in a Zen posture under a waterfall during the coldest times of the year in Japan. In a nutshell it is about cleansing the soul as that is perceived by Japanese. 

An excellent edition to anyone's library and the expense is "nothing." :-)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

PDF Books Available

Greetings and Salutations All: I have worked toward compiling two small pdf books as an exercises and learning effort on terminologies for martial arts as well as my interpretation of the karate koan most call the ken-po goku-i. I didn't do this to publish for money and I don't plan on trying to charge for these two pdf books in the future.

I am making them available free to whomever wishes to obtain them for study and reflection. If you would be interested in reading them simply send me an email address that I can send them to as attachments. Please note that I am still editing them both so you will find errors and omissions within as to grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I have a friend who is an editor who has graciously consented to edit the ken-po goku-i effort. When it is done I plan of notifying those who ask for a copy so they can have an updated and hopefully fully edited final edition.

The terminology pdf book is not what you might normally find as it does not give technical/technique oriented terms but rather terms of a teaching/martial philosophical nature. I had this one as a blog for a while but decided it might better serve those who are interested to have a pdf version available to either read and use via electronic means, i.e. either a computer like the iPad or a kindle reader type thing. 

So, send your email to and I will gladly send you one or the other or both for your reading pleasure. I would ask that if you do that you give me your review of them, if you wouldn't mind, when you have read them. - Thanks!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Samurai: The Last Warrior

Man, John. "Samurai: The Last Warrior." Bantom Books. London. 2011.

Review: One quarter way through as of 13:17 hours on January 24th in the year 2013. I am impressed and will follow up with a more comprehensive review when reading is completed. I can say with enthusiasm that this one should be in any martial art library.

I am stunned by the misconceptions we have regarding both the samurai of Japan and the martial arts that have come to being from as far back as the feudal era to present day.

February 13, 2013: Satsuma, a family name many who practice karate recognize as the family of samurai who conquered Okinawa around the 1600's. It appears that this samurai tribe had far more influence on the changes that Japan, and by osmosis Okinawa, endured during the restoration period.

This book looks at one of those samurai who had a huge influence on this period of history, Saigo. It goes through his associations and connections with Japan, the Shogun and the Satsuma. It is an excellent book on the history, culture and belief of Japan that had a strong influence on its subjects of Okinawa.

Nice addition to the martial library and it will open some eyes as to how things transpired and affected the martial practices of modern times.