Saturday, May 23, 2015

Episode XXX-Podcasts, Trains, and Automobiles


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Intro:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri

Introduction:  
  Recorded On: May 23rd, 2015
  Begging for iTunes/Stitcher Review
  Asking for Facebook Likes 

Interlude Music: I've been Everywhere by Johnny Cash

Interview: Iain Abernethy
  Doug James
  WKF
  Wado-ryu Karate
  Bunkai
  Funakoshi, Gichin
  Mibuni
  Motobu
  Gavin Mulholand
  Chuck Norris
  Kris Wilder
  Marc MacYoung
  Throws for Strikers
  Karate's Grappling Methods
  Karate-Do My Way of Life
  James Williams
  Te-Gumi
  Rory Miller
  Jeff Thompson
  Dead or Alive
  Peter Consterdine
  Streetwise
  Meditations on Violence
  Scaling Force
  Lawrence Kane
 
Contacts
  www.iainabernethy.com
  Practical kata bunkai
  @iainabernethy
  www.facebook.com/iainabernethy
 

Interlude Music: Territories by Rush

This Week in Martial Arts:  May 25th, 1977
  Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
    Akira Kurosawa
    The Hidden Fortress

Contact Information
  Twitter Acount: @martialthoughts
  Email: martialthoughts@gmail.com
  Atemicast Youtube Channel
  www.thinkingmartial.blogspot.com
  www.facebook.com/martialthoughts

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Shownotes for Episode XXIX-You Only Podcast Twice


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Intro:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri

Introduction:  Recorded On: May 1st, 2015
  Less laughing under my breath
  Karate Cafe (Episode 105)

Interlude Music: The Sundering by The Sword

Interview: Ben Miller 
  Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies
  HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts)
  Jaguarina
  Spirit of the Times Magazine
  Schools and Masters of Defense 
  The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Soho
  The Mark of Zorro (Youtube)
    Tyrone Powers
    Basil Rathbone
  Mississippi Gambler (Youtube)
Contacts
  www.martialartsnewyork.com

Interlude Music: Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzepherions by The Sword

This Week in Martial Arts:  May 1st, 1971
  Billyjack Premired (Trailer)

Contact Information
  Twitter Acount: @martialthoughts
  Email: martialthoughts@gmail.com
  Atemicast Youtube Channel
  www.thinkingmartial.blogspot.com
  www.facebook.com/martialthoughts

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review of Samurai and Ninja by Antony Cummings

In the interests of full disclosure, I was given this book by the publisher for review purposes

Title: Samurai and Ninja
Written by : Antony Cummins
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Format: Softcover
Page Count: 222
Cover Price: $15.95 (USD)

    This book is a little more in my wheelhouse of knowledge and experience.  I've been reviewing a bunch of books that have spanned a wide spectrum of martial arts knowledge.  And by itself, that's okay, that's how people learn is by experiencing new things. That being said, samurai is a bit more of what I'm used to, especially since I've practiced Japanese martial arts for the last 15 years or so.  Ninjas...I enjoy a good ninja occasionally.  

Content 

  This book is broken in half.  The first half talks about the samurai, who and what they were, while the second half describes the ninja from the ninja's point of view.  The main goal of this book seems to be to dispel the myths and legends that have grown up around both the samurai and the ninja, almost to the point of being caricatures.
    When dealing with the ideas of the samurai, the author, Mr. Cummins wants you to see the samurai more as human beings, albeit very well trained and deadly human beings.  He breaks from the ideas of idealized samurai values, since most of those values were derived after the samurai were an active military class (as we discussed in Episode XXVI of the martial thoughts podcast).
    The ninja half of the books deals more with dispelling the mystique of the ninja.  He starts off this section by demonstrating what ninja were and weren't.  The author gives many examples of how some ninja were openly employed as soldiers, and were even working as "anti-ninja" to the other general's ninja.  He also goes through specific translated examples of how ninja accomplished their work including information on some of their tools and chemical concoctions that they made.


Pros


    One of the things that immediately jumps off the page to me is the enthusiasm of Mr. Cummins.  If you've ever watched his videos or talked with him, you can very readily see how much he likes ninja and the true ninja ideas, not the mythology of the ninja.  I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Cummins on Episode XX of the Martial Thoughts Podcast, and I can't help but read the book and hear his voice and accent telling me the information.  It is a very easily accessible book, which is honest in its dismissal of the way the general public thinks of these people.


Cons

    
    I don't really have any negative aspects to talk about except, none of this is really new information, but it is the first place I've seen all this in one place.  It is a good collection of mythbusting.


Conclusion

    This is generally a good book, especially for someone whose just starting their knowledge base in Japanese warrior cultures.  If you are new to reading about samurai or ninja, this is definitely your book.  It gives you an excellent foundation to build further information on top of.  As such, I'm going to give this book a 4 out of 5 ninja stars (yes I realize the irony, that they didn't use ninja stars).  I enjoyed the book, it has a lot of good information, and I appreciate the enthusiastic tenor of the book.  It was just a little too basic for my personal taste.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shownotes for Episode XXVIII-Every Which Way But Podcast

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Intro:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri


Introduction:

  Recorded On: April 19th, 2015
  iTunes review by AnarchoPunk78


Interlude Music: Return of the Silent Stranger by Rob Zombie


News





  
Interlude Music: Phat Planet by L

Interview: Jerry Liu
  Jerry Liu Films Exploring Martial Arts

Interlude Music: Jerry was a Racecar Drive by Primus

This Week in Martial Arts:  April 25th, 1961
  Yojimbo was released

Contact Information
Twitter Acount: @martialthoughts
Email: martialthoughts@gmail.com
Atemicast Youtube Channel
www.thinkingmartial.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/martialthoughts

Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Shownotes Episode XXVII-Once Upon a Podcast...


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Intro:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri

Introduction:
  Recorded On: April 11th, 2015
  Bushido
  Request for iTunes review

Interlude Music: Woman from Tokyo by Deep Purple

Interview: Nate Ledbetter
  The Samurai Archives Podcast
  Sengoku Period
  Sun Tzu
  Battle of Sekigahara
  Ozaki
  Tokugawa Ieyasu
  Battle of Nagashino
  Jukenjutsu Jukendo
  Izanami and Izanagi
  Gempei Wars
  Minamoto
  Game of Thrones
  Samurai Behaving Badly
  Samurai/Peasants/Artisans/Merchants...and Eta (Henin)
  Hagakurae by Yamamoto Tsunetomo
  Yoshida Shoin
  Admiral Perry
  Meiji Restoration
  Inventing the Way of the Samurai - Oleg Benish
  Bushido:The Soul of Japan - Nitobe Inazo
  State of War Thomas Conlin
  (Akira) Kurosawa
  Kagemusha
  Owl's Castle
  www.samuraiarchives.com
  www.samuraipodcast.com
  www.forums.samurai-archives.com
  @samuraiarchives
  www.facebook.com/samuraiarchives
  www.sengokufieldmanual.com

Interlude Music: Champion by Hammerfall

This Week in Martial Arts:  April 11th, 1955
  General Choi assembles the 5 Korean Masters to create Taekwondo
Contact Information
Twitter Acount: @martialthoughts
Email: martialthoughts@gmail.com
Atemicast Youtube Channel
www.thinkingmartial.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/martialthoughts

Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna

Sunday, March 29, 2015

5 Stars for Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies Edited by Ben Miller

In the interests of full disclosure, I was given this book by the publisher for review purposes

Title: Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies
Edited by : Ben Miller
Publisher: Blue Snake 

Format: Hardback 
Page Count: 199
Cover Price: $14.95 (USD)

  Let me first say that I am in favor of inclusion of HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) in our little martial arts family.  Its a weird kind of  reverse racism that says "martial arts can only come from Asia."  Especially when its being said by a person of European decent in America.  Do you get the joke?  In rare occasions, we have historical fencing being practiced with a direct lineage back farther than some of the Asian martial arts. The Martinez Academy in New York City is a prime example of this.  However, just before the turn of the last century there were actually many people, in many American cities teaching different lineages of different combat systems, both armed and unarmed.  The most colorful of these characters has to be Col. Thomas Hoyer Monstery.  That's what this book is; a combination of a biography and collection of his teachings.

Content

    The book is really divided into two parts.  It starts off with a biography of the Danish born American, Col. Thomas Hoyer Mostery.  This man had the type of adventurer life that only seems possible in the Victorian age. He learned various forms of swordsmanship and fencing as a youth, was involved in at least 50 duels, fought under 12 different flags and achieved the rank of colonel. If anyone is going to read this, I don't want to spoil the anecdotal stories about him, because they're that good.
    The second half of the book is a collection of newspaper articles which detail his methods of combat.  The first couple chapters are collections of unarmed combat, which he calls boxing, but it includes things like trips, sweeps, and how to escape headlocks, so its much more than the sport boxing that we think of today.  He then continues on with his weapons techniques including cane, swords of various types including foil, rapier, and saber, and concluding with staff techniques and drills.

Pros

    To be honest, just the biography at the beginning would be worth the price  of admission This guy was a gentleman badass in the truest sense of the word.  I wanted to go and look up more on this guy, whom I had never heard of before this, just from the introduction. Besides that, this book contains a wealth of information on a lineage of martial arts that most people, that are going to be reading this, have more in common with culturally than the Asian martial arts.  There is a rich heritage of fighting arts from Europe that made its way across the Atlantic with many of America's (and I assume Canada's) immigrants.
    The chapters by Col. Monstery are surprisingly well written, and can still be followed very easily.  With a little bit of practice, I think they can be very easily worked out what the techniques are, and what the principles behind them are.  With my background in Asian martial arts, I could easily follow the descriptions and illustrations.  Especially the staff section, as it shows how transferable this knowledge is.

Cons

    I really have no faults with this book, except maybe it is too short.  It makes me want to go out and learn more.  I think there needs to be more written, perhaps in defense of, about these European martial artists.

Conclusion

    The easiest thing to point out about this book is how very similar it is to the older writings about both Chinese and Japanese martial arts that I've read.  If you take out the Buddist or Taoist philosophy that often creeps into those texts, the way of explaining the respective martial arts is very similar to the way Col. Monstery explains his arts, and philosophies behind them.  One thing I was really struck with, was how the Col. kept talking about how the fighting/combat methods bred better people, how it was a source of self-development.  It was remarkable how alike that is to the older writings on budo.  I have a feeling that if Funakoshi, Kano, and Ueshiba were sitting around a table, they would invite Monstery in as compatriot of martial arts (wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation?).  I really cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone that has even a passing interest in European martial arts.  That's why I'm going to give this book the rarely received 5 out of 5 Ninja Stars.  There were no faults in the book, except that it was too short, and that just means I read it too fast.  Oh well, I guess I can re-read it now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Episode XXVI- Podcast=mc^2

Episode XXVI-Podcast=mc^2



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Intro:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri

Introduction:
Interlude Music: She Blinded Me with Science by William Shatner (featuring Bootsy Collins)

Interview: Dr. Jason Thalken
  Contact Information
    Book of Five Rings
    John Wick
    Facebook Page: Fight Like a Physicist
    @jasonthalken

Interlude Music: White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic

This Week in Martial Arts:  March 23th,
  Akira Kurosawa's Birthday (3/23/1910)
    Sanshiro Sugata (Judo Saga)
    Drunken Angel
      Toshiro Mifune
    Rashamon
      Quentin Tarantino
    The Seven Samurai
      The Magnificent Seven
    Throne of Blood
      MacBeth
    The Hidden Fortress
    Yojimbo
      Fist Full of Dollars
    Kagemusha
    Ran    

Contact Information
Twitter Acount: @martialthoughts
Email: martialthoughts@gmail.com
Atemicast Youtube Channel
www.thinkingmartial.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/martialthoughts

Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna