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April 2022 Book Survey

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   Welcome to the April 2022 book survey. Introduction In April 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan that prioritized print books that have been on my shelf for months, or years. This post describes print books I read in April. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff. Forza, The Samurai Sword Workout: Kick Butt and Get Buff with High-Intensity Sword Fighting Moves, Ilaria Montagnani, 2005 I bought Forza, The Samurai Sword Workout  after pursuing certification in a competing system called Jungshin Fitness. I was curious if any other "sword fitness" systems existed, and I found Forza. The author claims to have a black belt in Shōrinjiryū karate, and reports having trained in aikijujitsu and iaido. "Forza" means "strength" in Italian, which is the author's native land and language.  As far as technique books go, this is strictly for exercise. It features clear black and white photos showing fundamental fitness-styled movements. Having trained

March 2022 Book Survey

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   Welcome to the March 2022 book survey. Introduction In March 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan that prioritized print books that have been on my shelf for months, or years. This post describes a mix of print and digital books I read in March. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Invention of Martial Arts, Paul Bowman, 2021 The Invention of Martial Arts is another fascinating work by the prodigious Dr Paul Bowman. Page 1 notes that it is "primarily concerned with media representation of martial arts," particularly in the United Kingdom. Page 8 continues the theme by saying the book is about "the invention of ideas about martial arts, not martial arts themselves." This is an important distinction that colors the entire argument. Page 10 reminds readers that our ideas about martial arts don't necessarily come from martial arts themselves. They are more likely to derive from media. This does leave me wondering if practitioners' views a

February 2022 Book Survey

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   Welcome to the February 2022 book survey. Introduction In February 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan that prioritized print books that have been on my shelf for months, or years. This post describes a mix of print and digital books I read in February. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Bartitsu Compendium, Volumes 1 and 2: History and Canonical Syllabus, and Antagonistics, Tony Wolf, 2005 and 2008  The Bartitsu Companion Volume 1 and Volume 2  are excellent resources for anyone who wants to learn about martial arts in the UK during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tony Wolf has done a tremendous service by compiling these two large format paperback books. The work of Edward William Barton-Wright (1860-1951, a contemporary of judo founder Kano Jigoro, also born in 1860) comprises the bulk of the material in Volume 1.  Volume 2 integrates content from so-called "Edwardian jiu-jitsu," such as  The Complete Jujitsuan by William Garrud, The Game

January 2022 Book Survey

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 Welcome to the January 2022 book survey. Introduction In January 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan that prioritized print books that have been on my shelf for months, or years. This post describes a mix of print and digital books I read in January. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff. A Complete Guide to Judo: Its Story and Practice, Robert W. Smith, 1958/1961 I bought A Complete Guide to Judo: Its Story and Practice  by Robert W. Smith strictly for the martial arts book bibliography at the end of the volume. I chose the hardcover, but in the two years since then, Amazon has released paperback and Kindle editions. The Kindle version appears to be a print replica, meaning it's a PDF wrapped in Amazon formatting. The hardcover is a reproduction of the 1961 third printing of the original Tuttle version. The book, beyond the bibliography, is a collection of material from other sources. I made the following notes on the contents. Page 29 begins with an article by jud