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, 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. :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Mind of War

Hammond, Grant. “The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security.” Smithsonian Books, New York. 2004.

Review: Let this be the next read in your library toward a fuller, better and more concise study of Boyd’s Cycle (the OODA Loop). Mr. Hammond fills in a lot of gaps in other efforts, not intentional but more depth toward understanding the man and how he came to create his strategic art of war or what he called, “Patterns of Conflict.” 

My Karate and Martial Arts aficionado’s will wonder what this has to do with karate and martial arts and self-defense and, “Competitions,” and I can say, “plenty.” Take the authors I often promote for study, Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller, whose works convey many valuable aspects of the OODA for self-defense and the professional disciplines like Police and Military. 

Yes, it started about fighter pilots in combat but it grew into this thing tantamount to the works of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Clausewitz. I am discovering more by this study and connecting karate and martial arts for self-defense to the OODA, etc. I find this not just amazingly interesting but a valuable data study of how we can better utilize our studies, practices and training of karate, martial arts and self-defense. It should be its own principle in the fundamental principles of defense methodologies, etc. Yeah!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot

Coram, Robert. “Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War.” Back Bay Books. New York. 2004. 

Review: You may be wondering why this book is listed in the library of a karate and martial art self-defense library but it becomes apparent since this man took us out of the dark ages of human conflict and into the future where one aspect of his teachings is used, the OODA Loop. 

Reading another article by Rory Miller expressing a greater understanding of the true intent in the OODA loop inspired me to seek out more so that I bought this book. It is a new way to see the art of war that spans from the individual to a nation at war. So much so that his doctrine of “Patterns of War,” has been adopted by all our military as well as many of the military in other nations (once it was declassified, etc.). 

“Wars take place between nations, every person experiences some form or war; conflict is a fundamental part of human nature. To prevail in personal and business relations, and especially war, we must understand  what takes place in a person’s mind.” _ Col. Boyd

Colonel Boyd speaks in this one quote how conflict is in our very genes, it is as he states “Human Nature.” I feel that this speaks the truth and wanted to add this book to the library as a study of the art of war according to Boyd for every karate-ka, martial artist and self-defense proponent because as it has proven in its implementation in the military and in business, it works. It transcends, much like the Sun Tzu Art of War, time, space and socially driven cultural beliefs of all humans. A great deed done say I of Boyd’s work. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Brain: The Story of You

Eagleman, David. “The Brain: The Story of You.” Pantheon Books. New York. 2015

Review: I am currently studying this one but just in regard to aging and the brain I found the material most beneficial to K&MA (Karate & Martial Artists) toward health, fitness, well-being and so on. The book also discusses how our belief systems are created and work, how our memories contribute toward our character, personality and belief system and finally how they all contribute to the changes our minds and brains encounter in every moment of life. Well worth the purchase and study of …

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shu Ha Ri: The Aikido Journey

Davies, Cath. “Shu Ha Ri: The Aikido Journey: The Metamorphosis of Form.” Shoshin Press. Amazon Digital Services. 6 April 2014. 

Review: There are a lot of defining articles out there on shu-ha-ri and for those who still wonder as to its meaning in their training and practice this find kindle book on the subject is a great explanation toward its use as to forms or kata. It is the only book I have found, in English, that does a bank up most excellent job of describing the use of shu-ha-ri in training, practice and the application of karate and martial arts. Well worth the mediocre price of the kindle book.

More review once I finish reading the book, stayed tuned …

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Brain and Emotional Intelligence

Coleman, Daniel. “The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights.” More Than Sound LLC, Northhampton MA. 2011.

Review: Who would have said that learning about the brain as it applies to emotional intelligence would be so beneficial to teaching, learning, practicing and living the discipline of karate and martial arts especially toward its mastery for self-defense. As with his book on Emotional Intelligence the author connects so much of importance toward self-mastery - that includes the self-master of the discipline. 

His enlightenment of how our brains work is laid out in a manner that all laypersons can understand what works in that lump of gray matter we call our brains. This book will enhance any teachers ability to understand the mind and therefore create more effective teaching models that will help any practitioner to understand a very complex discipline. So worth the costs and effort to read - get yours now. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Eagleman, David. “Incognito: TheSecret Lives of the Brain.” Vintage Publishing. NewYork. May 2012. 

Review: When I first picked up this book my goal was to learn more about how the brain works to answer some personal questions as to why we humans do certain things and to try and find out if malicious intent were a part of some more nefarious deeds done unto others or to self. It turns out many other aspects are explained herein like how the mind perceives things and how that translates into the motor reflexes used to take actions in life be it for every day stuff or toward the practice of karate and in self-defense. Why it is not listed in my bibliography. 

I highly recommend this book be added to the martial art and karate library as it provides a certain type and level of understanding necessary to achieve goals in life and in understanding the complexities of the human mind and its mind-set and mind-state. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016