So in preparation for the recent trip I went to our local library and checked out every book they had on martial arts. Two are worth a review with this post being the first.
From the back cover: “Whether you’re just starting out or are a serious student…you can learn to make more effective use of your body’s natural weapons…master taekwondo’s most effective breakfalls, stances, arm strikes, kicks, blocks, and steps…Develop your own personal moves and combinations. And learn effective self-defense adaptations for times when the rules of the dojang don’t apply.”
One thing that really stood out is how the authors balance the sport side of taekwondo with it’s self-defense roots. Moreover, the authors encourage you to adapt the art to your body type and personality: “Use the techniques that work best for your body structure, your personality, and the demands of each situation…practice kicks that are practical for your leg length, and tailor arm strikes to fit your upper-body strength…use what works for you and discard the rest.” (Preface, VIII)
I’ve read dozens of takewondo books and more often than not they never cover non-traditional hand techniques. This book is one of the exceptions so for that alone I recommend it to beginners. It provides brief descriptions and self-defense applications of the following:
- The jab
- The hook
- The non-chambered back-fist
The book also covers the fundamental traditional strikes including the palm-heel, the knife-edge, the reverse punch, and the elbow. Better still, it offers suggestions on how to use the hand techniques to set-up leg strikes.
So, if you are a high dan who’s mired in nothing but chambered punches you might want to take a look at this one. It can teach you two or three very useful hand techniques to supplement your other taekwondo skills–especially when it comes to self-defense. It’s also a really good book for beginners. It does not cover everything but it does touch on all aspects of taekwondo and samples most of the basic techniques.
[tags]taekwondo, self-defense, reviews, book reviews[/tags]