My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Research of Martial Arts” is compiled by Jonathan Bluestein, author, martial arts teacher and founder of the Tianjin Martial Arts Academy where he teaches the traditional Chinese martial arts of Xing Yi Quan and Pigua Zhang. This 418 page monograph is a massive manual clearly composed over several years. It is ideally suited for martial artists looking for detailed and technical background information on external and internal martial arts.
“Research of Martial Arts” has three sections, one that is highly didactic, a second that is reflective and the final which is a record of six in-depth interviews with master martial artists. Bluestein meticulously weighs the pros and cons of the external and internal styles. Though it is clear that the author’s own preference is for the internal arts, yet he gives due consideration to the external and acknowledges “that there is no right or wrong in different approaches to training – there is only what is right for you” (68). The breadth of explanation goes beyond the normal range of martial arts and presents the reader with the unique and significant from a wide range of traditions, many I had never heard of before.
In the end to read “Research of Martial Arts” is to get schooled in martial arts. The student will come to appreciate the numerous approaches, traditions, and focuses whole gaining a wider perspective. Though this self-published manuscript has several editorial glitches, nevertheless the information is invaluable. I recommend the book.
Thanks to the author for providing, upon my request, the free copy of the book used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).
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