Friday, December 31, 2004

Book Review: Armlocks For All Styles

This book by Iain Abernethy is worth the purchase. What is unusual is that he links the various wrist, elbow and shoulder locks to movements within the traditional hard style forms. The pictures are good for a martial arts book (but not excellent as there are no close-ups and they are in black and white) and the content is good-to-great although improvable. It is street-worthy in its presentation. What is missing is how to transition from one lock to another - an almost universal absence in martial arts instructional media.

**** (out of 5)

The Future of Combat Training

As we enter 2005, the nature of martial arts training appears to be splitting into three camps; 1) traditionalists, 2) semi-traditional, and 3) reality-combat. The traditional schools focus on character and spiritual development along with preserving historically formal approaches towards training and protocol. Some of these traditional schools do produce terrific fighters who can withstand tremendous punishment while producing fast and powerful attacks. Semi-traditional schools mix traditional and modern approaches towards training and techniques. They often keep the Gi's, mats, and forms but also include some modern tactics and training approaches. The reality combat approach eliminates forms and gi's preferring to focus solely upon training simulations based upon modern attacks. Each of the three approaches offers a mixture of pros and cons. As always, the quality of the student and teacher may often be much more important than which martial art is being taught.