June 2023 Book Survey Part 4


 Welcome to the June 2023 book survey, part four. I decided to break this month's survey into four posts. The themes for this month are diverse, but include Japanese arts, Filipino arts, and European arts. These are generally the last print books in my library that have not been previously surveyed. Here are parts onetwo, and three.


In June 2023, I (Richard) continued my book survey plan. This post examines several books on Filipino and European arts.

Modern Arnis, Remy Presas, 1983

My copy of Modern Arnis is a paperback measuring 5 7/8 inches by 8 7/8 inches with 160 black and white pages. It's a 1995 13th printing. There is a newer edition from 2014 with a Kindle version and promised bonus digital content.

I bought this book when I was studying modern Arnis in San Angelo, Texas in the mid-1990s. It includes chapters on warm-ups, preparation, 12-zone striking, trapping hands, flow practice, sinawali & redondo, and stick & sword disarms. 

The presentation is familiar to anyone who is a fan of these old school Ohara publications.

Sections like these on the 12 zone striking drill were really helpful when I was training.

The Amazon listing said "the digital edition of Modern Arnis includes five Black Belt magazine articles about Presas and the practice of this ancient combat system that’s been updated for today’s world." It doesn't seem that it's worth upgrading, as my copy as all the technique content.

Arnis: Presas Style and Balisong, Ernesto A. Presas, 1988

This book, Arnis: Presas Style and Balisong, is a treasure in my library. I bought it from Hock Hochheim when he gave a seminar at the school where I was learning TKD and modern Arnis. He autographed the inside cover.

My copy is a paperback measuring 5 7/8 inches by 8 7/8 inches, with 232 mostly black and white pages. There are a few color plates. The author, Ernesto Presas, published this book in the Philippines. My copy is numbered 2366. It bears a publication date of 1988 although it includes pictures from seminars with a 1989 year.

The book begins with an endorsement by then-president of the Philippines Fidel Ramos. It reminded me of the political nature of arts like TKD and Krav Maga.

The end of the book included a group photo that included Kenpo legend Ed Parker. It was likely taken only about a year or less before he passed away.

There appear to be a couple of copies on eBay currently, listing as new for less than $20. If you're into rare martial arts books, I would grab one.

Filipino Martial Arts: Cabales Serrada Escrima, Mark V. Wiley, 199

My copy of Filipino Martial Arts: Cabales Serrada Escrima is a paperback measuring 6 inches by 9 inches, with 152 black and white pages. I also bought it while training FMA in the 1990s. Mine is a 1995 third printing. 

There is an "updated edition" from 2019 called Filipino Stick Fighting Techniques: The Essential Techniques of Cabales Serrada Escrima. I took a look at it, and it appears that author Mark Wiley published it because when he wrote the first edition, he was something like only 21 years old. I'm not sure I would consider the new book an "update," however. The new title takes a "conceptual" format, based on Mr. Wiley's subsequent 25 years of training. It seems like a completely new book to me.

I really like the presentation in this book, but I couldn't find any digital material that I could share here.

Bauman's Fight Book: Augsburg University Library Cod. I.6.4º 2 (Companion), Michael Chidester, 2022

I am a huge fan of Michael Chidester's facsimiles and companion books. My copy of Bauman's Fight Book: Augsburg University Library Cod. I.6.4º 2 (Companion) is a print-on-demand paperback measuring 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches with 246 color pages. It offers only a simple blue cover, so I used an image from the original book for the visual posted above.

The original manuscript for which this book is a companion is Augsburg University Library Cod. I.6.4º 2. That manuscript consists of two parts which were bound together. Individually the parts likely date from 1420 and 1465-1470 and originated in the Bayern (Bavaria) region of Germany. It is what HEMA researchers call a fechtbuch. The famous Paul Hektor Mayr (multiple spellings abound) bought this copy in 1556.

In his material, Mr. Chidester notes that he hopes this book is "a worthy update to the edition [by] Grzegorz Zabinski and Bartlomiej Walczak released 20 years ago as Codex Wallerstein." I surveyed that book in my December 2022 Book Survey Part 2. Mr. Walcazk contributed a chapter to the new Bauman companion.

Mr. Chidester explains why the research community has steered away from using the Codex Wallerstein title. Apparently in 1909, Friedrich Durnhoffer wrote a monograph about Albrecht Durer. In that monograph, Durnhoffer used the term "Codex Wallerstein" to refer to the Bauman manuscript. Someone scanned and published that content in 2000. Zabinski and Walczak adopted the "Wallerstein" title based on that scan. 

In 2014, researcher Rainer Welle proposed a new name for the manuscript, which Mr. Chidester has simplified to Bauman's Fight Book. "Bauman" comes from "Vonn Baumans" written on the front cover. There is no formal publication date or author. 

This companion volume includes a manuscript description, transcription, and translation on pages 1-84. There is commentary from pages 85-210. There is a neat new manuscript fragment examined as well, with photos. There are also appendices and a bibliography.

Here is a sample from Amazon:

The Bauman book itself covers armored and unarmored dueling, sword, wrestling, dagger, and more. 

The authors note that Bauman is "one of our earliest sources for German medieval martial arts, with only the Walpurgis Fight Book (early 14th century) definitely predating it" (p 85). Walpurgis was formerly catalogued as MS I.33. I also surveyed my copy of that manuscript in December 2022.

I'll close by noting that this book is top notch and I'm really glad I bought it. I especially like the chapter by Elias Flatscher comparing ringen (wrestling) in Bauman with multiple modern grappling styles.

Boxing on the Cobbles, Tommy Joe Moore, 2023

Boxing on the Cobbles is Tommy Joe Moore's latest book. I supported his GoFundMe because I enjoyed his previous works. My copy is a paperback measuring 8 1/2 inches by 6 inches with 174 color pages. This is yet another cool book from Mr. Moore, but I've had nothing but trouble with it.

It took me weeks of interactions with Mr. Moore to even get my copy. It was posted for sale on Amazon for months before I got a copy on the mail, and that required weeks of reminding Mr. Moore that I hadn't received a copy yet.

When I finally did get a copy, I quickly noticed that many pages, mostly in the back, had weird jagged lines through the page. They look like this:

Over a month ago I contacted Mr. Moore asking if I could get a new copy, or just get a refund that I could apply toward buying a new copy from Amazon. After several interactions and promises of a refund, I still haven't gotten anything from Mr. Moore. I've given up at this point and will neither support nor buy any of his future projects.

Update, 15 October 2023: This weekend, Mr. Moore refunded me $46.54 for this book.

Bartitsu Compendium Volume III, Tony Wolf, 2022

After buying and surveying the first two volumes in this series, I had to buy volume III when it arrived in 2022. My copy of The Bartitsu Compendium, Volume 3: What Bartitsu Was and What it Can Be is a massive paperback measuring 8 5/16 inches by 11 11/16 inches, with 630 (!) black and white pages, in print-on-demand format. I wish I could have just bought PDFs of all three of these books!

This volume presents four parts: a "narrative social history" (pp 11-163), a collection of articles previously on the Web (pp 164-442), techniques and tactics (pp 443-545), and "20 years of revival" (pp 546-626). 

This book represents an amazing accomplishment by the author and his colleagues. They lost a lot of online content due to technical issues, but recovered and published that material here. I am a fan of publishing blog and related information in formats like this as an insurance policy against technical failures and "Web or link rot."

I noted in the text the claim that Barton-Wright (1860-1951) apparently trained Shinden Fudo Ryu jujutsu for about 3 years with Terajima Kuniichiro and "took some lessons" with Kano starting around 1895, when the pair were each about 35 years old.

Here are a few sample pages for flavor:

If you are interested in Bartitsu, you need this book.


I highly recommend the Bauman Fight Book Companion if you have any interest in HEMA research.

This post concludes my survey of books in my print library!

Going forward I will post surveys, but only of books that I think are worth mentioning in terms of the Martial History Team mission.

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