You can’t learn to fight from a book or video but you can learn a lot to enhance your training significantly.
These materials will put fighting into the correct context and give you information on how to develop a proper training direction, saving you a lot of time and effort and helping get you to your goal of being an excellent fighter as quickly as possible.
Check out your local library; most have a program called InterLibrary Loan which can get you any book. If you like to buy your books, please consider going via a link from one of these reviews, which will help support the site. Thanks!
“Jack Dempsey, one of the greatest and most popular boxers of all time, reveals the techniques behind his unparalleled success in the ring. Straightforward and with detailed illustrations, Championship Boxing instructs the reader in the theory, training, and application of powerful punching, aggressive defense, proper stance, feinting, and footwork. The methods Dempsey reveals will prove useful to both amateurs and professionals.”
Remarkably similar to Wing Chun principles. The idea of the “Falling Step” is required reading.
“Streetfighting is a down and dirty topic, and the author, an ex-streetfighter, shares his hard-learned lessons here. Want to know how to recognize a mugging setup? How to avoid getting sucker punched? It’s all here, as well as tips on bullies, weapons, martial arts vs. streetfighting and more.”
It is a great service to practitioners of the Chinese martial arts to throw the cold water of reality in their face. This is a one such glass of cold reality water.
“The fighting arts of Indonesia, a mix of pentjak silat and Chinese kuntao, were never meant for sport: they are brutal, unrelenting and designed to take the enemy out and punish him every step of the way. This unprecedented book by a long-time student of Dutch-Indonesian Master Willem de Thouars shows you why.”
Wing Chun is a principle-based science. This book analyses Pentjak Silat in the same way – eye-opening.
“On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory – then discusses new research findings as to what measures warriors can take to prevent such debilitations so they can stay in the fight, survive, and win. “
This is another glass of cold reality-water. Hurting (or even killing) someone is not like the movies.
“This new edition of Cooper’s classic Principles of Personal Defense …presents his timeless theory of individual defensive behavior clearly, concisely and practically. …Considered by many to be one of the greatest books on combat mindset and proper defensive mental conditioning ever written, it deserves a place of honor in every library.”
This book is short and to the point. When faced with violence, we should be strategic and aggressive.
“After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, Waitzkin expanded his horizons, taking on the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and ultimately earning the title of World Champion. How was he able to reach the pinnacle of two disciplines that on the surface seem so different? “I’ve come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess,” he says. “What I am best at is the art of learning.””
There are ways to learn faster and more fully. This book will get you thinking about your practice and how to improve in a hundred different ways.
“When the undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi retreated to a cave in 1643 and wrote The Book of Five Rings, a manifesto on swordsmanship, strategy, and winning for his students and generations of samurai to come, he created one of the most perceptive and incisive texts on strategic thinking ever to come from Asia. ”
Musashi went from thug to skilled to killer to swordmaster to philosopher. Then he told us all about his journey in this book. Classic.
“Citing the sometimes contradictory techniques of various martial arts, this guide to mastering the fundamentals of combat recommends a compilation of physical, mental, and spiritual tactics, in a reference that explains how to draw on the basics of multiple disciplines in a way that respects the principles of each.”
This book, like Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals, steps back from the techniques of the art and looks at the physics and principles involved. No one will be a great fighter who does not understand, if only instinctively, these concepts. I learn well from books, so these analyses have been invaluable.
“As a bouncer in a biker bar and a participant in dozens of fights, Peyton Quinn knows the difference between fighting fact and fantasy. The result is a unique guide to self-defense that can save your ass in places where brawling is quick, dirty and very violent.”
Another glass of reality water, only this time, with a chaser of very useful training practices to help deal with the very significant effects of adrenal stress. Groundbreaking.
My opinion is that this is the first book anyone should get who wishes to study Wing Chun. Peterson studied with Sifu Wong for many years and captured his teachings for posterity. Sifu Wong was not only a renowned fighter but a very articulate and concise philosopher of fight mechanics and strategy. Wong made Wing Chun work in possibly a hundred challenge matches and then spent the rest of his life sharing what he learned from these fights. This book is a compendium of his thoughts.
“The Inner Game of Tennis is a revolutionary program for overcoming the self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration that can keep a player from winning. Now available in a revised paperback edition, this classic bestseller can change the way the game of tennis is played.”
Like The Art of Learning. this book is all about HOW to learn a physical skill, to really get it into your body and make it instinctive.
“Kane and Wilder’s book will save lives. It will keep others out of prison. As an attorney, a self-defense instructor, and someone who has experienced violence, I was most impressed with the practical and realistic information”
Alain Burrese, J.D., former U.S. Army 82nd Airborne, author
If I was going to buy one book that would really give me a dose of reality on the subject of fighting and violence, this would be it. Highly distilled.
“The Works is an updated collection of Alan’s pragmatic, Why Wing Chun Works series of books, packed with exiting new writing, philosophy, diagrams and photography, all laid out in a straightforward manner. Written in his familiar, easy reading style, Alan’s friendly coaching voice is constantly backed up with concise and dependable information from respected experts.”
Like David Peterson, Alan Gibson is a great and detailed proponent of the Wong Shun Leung “way” and is also (like me) a big fan of Geoff Thompson and understands the need to test and harden to be a competent fighter.