Book reviews

If you’d like me to review your martial arts books then get in touch.

Note on review policy: My reviews have always been, and always will be 100% independent. This is not paid-for content or ‘advertorial’. Books can be returned after the review period if required.

Chen Style Taijiquan Collected Masterworks, by Mark Chen

This excellent book contains translations of selected texts from Chen Zhaopi’s “Chen shi taijiquan hui zong” (“Chen family taijiquan selected masterworks“), published in 1935, but contains texts that claim to originate from earlier periods, authored by Chen Chanxing. 
Read the full review.

Xing Yi Snake, by Glen Board, a review

Glen Board’s Xing Yi Snake is a look at one of Xing Yi’s 12 animals in a lot of detail. It contains sections on history, strategy, theory, and also practical sections on linking sequences and applications.
Read the full review.


Mythologies of Martial arts by Paul Bowman, a review.

What do martial arts signify today? What do they mean for East-West cross cultural exchanges? How does the representation of martial arts in popular culture impact on the wide world? What is authentic practice? What does it all mean?
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Xing Yi Quan – A study of Tai and Tuo Xing Review

The focus of this book is on two of Xing Yi’s 12 animals: Tai and Tuo, but it also covers an awful lot of general Xing Yi theory, featuring translations of the Xing Yi classics as well as a look at how to generate internal power in the martial art of Xing Yi. Tai is a flycatching bird, and Tuo is the Chinese alligator. Their fighting strategies are explored in full.
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Hidden in Plain Sight by Ellis Amdur Review

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This book by Ellis Amdur offers a thorough investigation of the internal power displayed by Morihei Ueshiba and also contains a massive amount of research into the origins of Aikido. If you’re interested in either subject, then this is a tour de force of investigative journalism.
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Internal Body Mechanics for Tai Chi, Bagua and Xingyi by Ken Gullette, a review

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Anybody who has attempted to learn Tai Chi in any depth instantly realises that the choreography of a form is just that – choreography – and that the devil is in the details. Internal Body Mechanics is all about the details: How you move, what you move and where you move it to.
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Strikes – Soul meets Body – Vladimir Vasiliev & Scott Meredith Review

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The new book on Systema by one of the modern gatekeepers of the art. Written by Vladimir and Scott Meredith, this book explores the striking methods of the Russian martial art of Systema, but also looks at the breathing methods and concepts of relaxation that the art is so famous for.
Read the full review.


Possible Origins, Scott Park Phillips – a review part 1

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A look at how Chinese theatre, religion, and martial arts are all part of the same puzzle. This is a fascinating book and I’d recommend it for all students of Chinese martial arts.
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The Taijiquan & Qi Gong Dictionary by Angelika Frtiz Review

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A handy dictionary of all the terms commonly associated with Taijiquan and Qigong.
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Notorious The Life and Fights of Conor McGregor Review

MMA enthusiast Jack Slack breaks down all of Conor McGregor’s fights up to and including his rematch with Nate Diaz.
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