Studying books and listening to podcasts can be an excellent way to further improve your understanding of Martial Arts. Here are some of our favourites!
Published as a limited edition of 250, The Works is a celebration of The Wing Chun Federation formed by the Alan Gibson in 1990, and is an updated and consolidated version of some of his most popular books. The book is now available as a print on demand purchase. The book opens with a brief introduction to Alan and his personal journey into Wing Chun. I found this section interesting as it charts Alan’s evolution from the Ip Man lineage through to his conversion to the Wong Shun Leung way. Not all authors would be so honest to admit to such a change.
The main bulk of the next 300 plus pages are split into sections, including The Principles of Wing Chun Theory, The Wing Chun Forms, and Kicking techniques. Throughout the book there are plenty of large photos which really add to the professional feel of this the book. There are many other Wing Chun books on the market, each providing us with the complete forms, but in this book, not only are we given the forms as a sequence of movements, but we are also given the real life, and Chi Sau specific applications, and it is this intelligence which makes Wong Shun Leung’s Ving Tsun (Wong’s preferred spelling) such a formidable Wing Chun method.
Finishing the book is a massive appendix, with articles on striking and self protection. We also get an interview with the author, a scientific look at the forms by Dr. Matthew Mills, and a full Wing Chun glossary. Although there are many Wing Chun books on the market today, Wing Chun – the Works stands alone as a title that any Wing Chun practitioner, regardless of lineage, should add to their collection.
Link - Wing Chun Federation Store
When looking to buy a new book on my chosen martial art, I always want to find one that offers something more, something new. This book does just that, in that the authors, both with many years of martial practice and study, strive to give us more depth to our knowledge of Wing Chun. The book is not merely a re-hash of techniques, forms, history and photographs, but delves much deeper into the underlying principles, history and theories which Wing Chun so fascinating.
The book begins with the author telling us why he chose to study Wing Chun. As he says, this is not an art that merely seeks to create a replica of a Sensei/Instructor, but Wing Chun allows, indeed encourages the student to ask questions, and to prove through structure testing, drills and ultimately sparring, that it’s principles actually work. The author then goes on to reveal the origins of Wing Chun, through it’s connections to Chinese history and literature and key figures in the popularisation of the art by Ip Man and Bruce Lee.
Next we have a section on the key principles; Centreline, Structure, Force, Speed and Chi Sau with excellent diagrams and photographs to illustrate these points (at times you’ll think you’ve gone back to a school physics lesson!) And this is what re-enforces the fact that Wing Chun can prove it’s effectiveness, scientifically.
The author concludes with a chapter on the value of Wing Chun both as an art and a culture, he says “Art is something beautiful and expressive, Culture is something traditional and characteristic of a people”. The authors passion and respect for the art is clear for us to see and I would highly recommend this book to those of you who share this perspective, and wish to look that little bit deeper into our art of Wing Chun.
Link - xuanwingchun.com
The Complete Book of Urban Combatives is based on what Lee Morrison teaches in his Urban Combatives (UC) curriculum. Morrison formed UC after 22 years of researching various Asian and Western methods of combat, incorporating the teachings of W.E. Fairbairn and E.A. Sykes, Charles Nelson, Geoff Thompson, Bob Kasper, and Kelly McCann, to name just a few.
Morrison's reality-based UC is neither a sport nor an art. It is designed to counter street violence. Having been in his share of real blood-and-snot fights, first as a somewhat misguided youth and later as a doorman at pubs and nightclubs, Morrison knows that 30 seconds on the street is worth three years in the dojo any day of the week. His hard-earned experience also taught him that no one system has all the answers, necessitating that you keep an open mind and stay on the cutting edge of combatives.
Link - Urban Combatives Store
Jonathan Bluestein's Research of Martial Arts is a book about the true essence of martial arts. It includes neither instruction on deadly killing techniques, nor mystical tales of so called super-human masters. Rather, it is a vast compilation of seriously thought-out observations made on the subject by the author, as well as many other martial artists and scientists, with a slight touch of history and humour.
The goal of this project had from the start been to surpass the current standard in the martial arts literary market, and offer readers worldwide something which they have never seen before. In essence, a book in which are found countless answers for martial arts practitioners which cannot be read elsewhere, addressing commonly discussed martially-related topics with breadth and depth unparalleled in other works to this day (in any language). It holds among its pages no less than 220,000 words, containing knowledge which would be coveted by many.
The aim of this book is to present the reader a coherent, clear-cut, and in-depth view of some of the most perplexing and controversial subjects in the world of martial arts, as well as providing a healthy dose of philosophical outlook on these subjects (from various individuals).
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