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Thread: Books To Miss

  1. #1
    kenshorin Guest

    Default Books To Miss

    OK we have a thread open about recommended reading. How about books to pass on? I'm not just talking about Ashida Kim-style "Budo Fun" books either... I mean the ones that are supposed to be some serious book and either provide the most basic information that one night in a dojo could provide or instead focus on how awesome some particular style or person is.

    The one I'd like to provide for this list is "Zen and the Art of Streetfighting" by Jack Sabat. I got this book as a Christmas present, and even though the picture of the "commando-man" on the cover sent up a red flag for me, I figured there might be something worthwhile inside, since authors don't have control on the cover art generally. I think I got through the first five or six chapters until I decided "to hell with it!" The whole book is written in this arrogant tone, where the author basically tries to tell us how awesome he is for sticking with martial arts for so long. He trained in a Vietnamese jungle! yippee for him. To quote a review on this book from Barnes and Noble's website that I thought fit - "egotistical, abrasive, and a writing style that is illogical and poorly edited." I couldn't agree more.

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    Aikido: Techniques & Tactics by Gary Bennett.

    I don't know what it is that Bennett demonstrates in his book, but it ain't aikido.

    I love some of the reviews posted on Amazon for this book. One is titled "If you hate someone, give them this book!"
    Bill Menker

    "I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." -Thomas Carlyle

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    Anything by Scott Shaw.
    Nulli Secundus

    Ed Chart

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    Although many people regard it highly, a search in the e-budo archives will reveal some of the many questionable elements of
    ZEN AND THE ART OF ARCHERY. Too bad, because I used to like it.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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    Default Steer clear of this one..

    "A Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings", by 'Hanshi' Steve Kaufman

    Very irritating, since it is a very loose interpretation of the Go Rin No Sho. I guess this wouldn't be too bad if it was written in a 'here's what Musashi actually said, and here's how I think it could apply' type format. But the entire text is rewritten as if the text was Musashi's exact words.

    Note that this book is his interpretation from reading English translations of the text - not from the Japanese! It becomes quite apparent that he doesn't speak Japanese when one realizes that the name of his dojo -Dojo no Hebi- means "snake of the school", not "school of the snake", his intended meaning.

    I wish I still had the transcript of the interview which someone from e-budo sent me a long time ago. His replies and eventual frustration with the questions rivalled the hilarity of any Sokemon in the Bad Budo forum.
    David F. Craik

  6. #6
    kenshorin Guest

    Default Re: Steer clear of this one..

    Originally posted by Soulend
    "A Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings", by 'Hanshi' Steve Kaufman

    Very irritating, since it is a very loose interpretation of the Go Rin No Sho. I guess this wouldn't be too bad if it was written in a 'here's what Musashi actually said, and here's how I think it could apply' type format. But the entire text is rewritten as if the text was Musashi's exact words.

    Note that this book is his interpretation from reading English translations of the text - not from the Japanese! It becomes quite apparent that he doesn't speak Japanese when one realizes that the name of his dojo -Dojo no Hebi- means "snake of the school", not "school of the snake", his intended meaning.

    I wish I still had the transcript of the interview which someone from e-budo sent me a long time ago. His replies and eventual frustration with the questions rivalled the hilarity of any Sokemon in the Bad Budo forum.
    I read that one before! It was, errr, interesting. I also read his "A Businessman's Book Of Five Rings" (I'm a glutton for punishment). That one was worse. I didn't know how it could possibly get worse, but it did. And even with my poor Japanese skills, I caught the -Dojo no Hebi- thing too. Sometimes people don't get that Japanese is a real language, that people actually speak.

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    Default Funny you should mention it

    Originally posted by Menker
    Aikido: Techniques & Tactics by Gary Bennett.

    I don't know what it is that Bennett demonstrates in his book, but it ain't aikido.

    I would have to agree. In one of the printings he claims dan ranking in Yoseikan. Funny, seeing that noone in Yoseikan awarded it to him. The former President of our National Organization (United States Yoseikan Association) actually had first hand knowledge that the guy never made it past brown belt.

    The publisher, after receiving a letter from our organization, was informed that Yoseikan Budo was copyrighted and that the author had not gained permission to use it and did not have the rank proclaimed. They have stated they would leave those claims out of any future printings.

    By the way, these techniques he claims to teach were "borrowed" in a large part from Yoseikan. He didn't even bother to change the names! Now, PLEASE don't mistake what we DO for what is pictured in the book!!!!

    I would stay away from this book.
    Robert Cheshire
    Yoseikan Teacher
    www.yoseikanbudo.us
    www.fagri-igraf.org/

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    I had one of my students ask a couple of weeks ago about this book to buy for her son who is also a student of mine. She could tell by my cringe before I even said a word that it was "no." I told her Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere would be a better choice.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had to steer students away from Bennett's book or other bad books.
    Robert Cheshire
    Yoseikan Teacher
    www.yoseikanbudo.us
    www.fagri-igraf.org/

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    The Rattis' book has its detractors, too. See, for instance, http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...ht=oscar+ratti .

    See also "Budo books that suck," at http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...ght=scott+shaw .

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