T Nation

Martial Arts books

I just started taking classes to learn Jeet Kune Do. I was wondering if anyone had any input on this style. I like it so far. Also I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of any good martial arts books.

Jack, look for “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” by Bruce Lee. Also, any of his other books are good reference material. Have fun!

I studyed with Taki and Roy on what was then madison at the seattle club, I realy enjoyed it, JKD/Winchun has evolved quite a bit since the Tao of JKD was written, but the book is very useful

I thought Jeet Kune Do was a way of thinkg not a style. You should go for Brazilion jiu jitsu and boxing instead.

Hey Jack,

Good to hear you like your JKD class, JKD is a great system with many valuable philosophies. What makes a style is the effort you put into it and if you have a good relationship with a good teacher, if you have all that then you’ll do very well. As far as books when it comes to martial arts I don’t do much reading, I get my knowledge from doing the work on the dojo floor. However, there are several good books that come to mind one being “The Book of Five Rings” it’s more about martial arts philosphies and not a training manual as my Sensei would say a book you don’t read but study repeatedly. Also I would recommend Charles Staley’s “The Science of Martial Arts Training” this book deals with the physical aspect of training for martial arts and is second to none it can be found at www.myodynamics.com which also have several great martial arts articles. Also I subscribe to Dragon Times a publication on Traditional Martial Arts with very respectable contributors it can be found at www.dragon-tsunami.org And don’t forget the JKD bible “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” by Bruce Lee

Thanks everyone for your responses. I will go and pick up Tao of Jeet Kun Do. I will also pick up the book of 5 rings I have heard nothing but great things about this book. By the way which style have you studied Dustin.

Hey Jack,

I train in ~Okinawan Shorin Ryu KenShin Kan~ and have for 3 years now. The Federation website is www.kenshin-kan.com if you want to check it out. I can’t say enough good about this system it’s traditional karate at it’s best, it’s a very self-defense oriented system and I just can’t get enough of it. Thanks for asking. If you ever have any questions about karate post a message and I’ll do my best to answer.

All the best,


keep an open mind, if you are takeing “classes” for your own growth and because you enjoy it then hang in there you may eventually find what your looking for. if your “teacher” teaches anything else besides JKD, leave and never go back because he is not understanding what he is “teaching”. I think if Lee was still alive he would have nothing to do with JKD because it has become a “style” which is the opposite of what JKD realy is. when I say if he teaches another “style” what I mean is if he teaches a style and not just tech’s from that style than he can NOT also"teach" JKD. read Tao and you will understand. but if you are takeing classes for selfdefense there are systems out there that will teach you how to defend yourself in a street situation much better in a shorter period of time(most of the grappling systems). also the words traditional and selfdefense are opposites, you can only train optimally in one or the other, you can become OK at each but not great at either if you try to train for both

What are these other styles Het? Which fighting form do you dudes think is the quickest road to badassedness? What translates most quickly into “real world” effectiveness? Just curious.

What are these other styles Het? Which fighting form do you dudes think is the quickest road to badassedness? What translates most quickly into “real world” effectiveness? Just curious.

nothing like JKD but if anyone is interested - Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere is a good martial arts book.

Like I said earlier the best styles to know and the quickess to make you a bad ass is a combination Brazilion jiu jitsu and boxing.

I dunno if there is oly one fastest style to street lethality, but I do shootfighting (have done kempo, JJ, brazilian JJ) and I prefer it. I has effective techniques for all ranges. Though there are also others that can give you good results too

Badass? I started taking marital arts about 11 years ago and my base art is Tae Kwon Do. It’s not exactly what you would think of. Yes TKD is known for it’s vast arsenal of pretty kicks and could be considered fluffy at times but where I trained we mixed it up a lot. We did our traditional blocks, kicks, punches and katas but our teaching staff had a lot of influence from many arts. Whereas we progressed throught the TKD ranks, we always threw in Thai boxing and Kali, Silat and some ground fighting.

When we sparred we didn't do the Olympic style of TKD which is no punching to the face but you can kick in the head. We did what you would call free sparring or more like kick boxing. It was great to mix things into our TKD training, for example one of my friends and I spar every Friday night, where I kick a lot he is great at countering strikes and taking my butt to the ground when he wants to.

The reason for my background on my training is to answer your question about becoming a badass. I thought myself to be a good fighter, standing toe to toe or going to the ground. While in college I was introduced to a BJJ stylist. Talk about a humbling experience. He kicked my ass consistently. I was amazed at the BJJ system so I started training in it. I didn't totally abandon my TKD traing at all.

After college I started training under one of few instructors that is directly under Rickison Gracie. There white belts where twisting me up into a pretzel. Since 99% of fights go the ground I would say that BJJ or any kind of grappling would make you quite the badass. Being well rounded is nice, if you can strike, great, but if it goes to the ground it’s better to have some knowledge and be prepared to attack while in a grapping situation.

I start an Aikido class next week. I'm going into it with no expectations but excitement. I love to watch Segal movies but I just don't see how some of that stuff works, looks pretty fluffy to me. But as I said before some people might think TKD is fluff as well. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes. The dojo I'm starting at is at this site www.nippon-kan.org

Sorry I’m so long winded but if you want sheer power and the ability to take some one’s head off I would find a grappling art even thought I TKD will always be my first love.

Krak, forget about the aikido it is crap. It does not work in a real fight. The only way aikido will work is if the guy stands there and lets you do it. Segal got choked out by a judo guy. When Segal was out he pissed and crapped in his pants. Stick with Brazilion jiu jitsu. You don’t want to make the same mistake you did when you trained TKD. Before you get into how TKD can be effective in a fight I’ll tell you something. My friend was a provincial blackbelt TKD champ. He would get his ass kicked in a real fight.

jujitsu,wrestling,judo,boxing and as I said most of the grappeling “arts” will make you ready for the streets. I wrestled, boxed, and took TKD in highschool, the prob. was when we would spar the first thing I would do was take the other guy to the ground and try to choke them out, well guess what my instructor did, I was only allowed to spar w/the blackbelts( I was a yellowbelt at the time) well after takeing all his blackbelts down I was not allowed to spar w/anyone (I hung in long enough to get my brownbelt)point is REAL fights end up on the ground, to be proficient train for that. if you took a set of twins and had one go to a boxing gym and wrestle for his school and had the other one train in a traditional system for the same amount of time, the boxer/wrestler would KILL his brother. not trying to piss anyone off ,its just the trueth!!


While I do not prefer the soft aikido styles - I studied aikijutsu - your comment about aikido - they have to stand there and let you do it - is not accurate at all. Maybe you just had a bad experience with a junior or lousy student. My experience is that as you attack harder and faster the techniques become more devastating. The falls that occur in the dojo and in Segal’s movies are actually necessary for the attacker to avoid injury i.e. broken wrists, dislocated shoulders etc.

As for your comment about Segal being choked out by a judo guy. Ive never heard of Segal ever being in a match. I think this story about Segal is confused and merged with the account of an actual match that did happen some years ago in Japan, i believe. A journalist went up against an aikido practitioner. Maybe it was a charity match? The journalist had some boxing skills and it ended up with the aikidoka using a judo choke to end the match. Not the elegance or technique normally associated with aikido so from a superficial stand point some few it as a failure of the art.

Let me preface this with the following: I’ve studied in a few different arts in my time, some “traditional”, some “sport” and some that were mixed. Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, Gumdo (a korean sword art) and presently Submission Fighting. Out of these I favor hapkido and submission. If you are looking to be a “badass” or a street fighter, or even just to be able to adequately defend yourself, I don’t recommend studying a martial art. Look for a school that specializes in defense or reality fighting. And I don’t mean one that prepares you for a no-holds-barred fight. Because even those (and I am biased towards submission) still mostly train for sport. Pick up the latest copy of Black Belt magazine aptly entitled Reality Fighting & Self Defense…this post to be continued

(cont’d from previous post) There is an article entitled “The Mat vs. the Asphalt: How to turn sport grappling into street grappling”
Amongst the good information presented, there is a test to see if your system is really street oriented. Examine the following list of common characteristics of sport grappling:

  1. You are in an environment that is comfortable and predictable.
  2. You choose the time of day you train.
  3. You choose to go to the ground.
  4. You usually know who your partner is.
  5. You know how long you will grapple.
  6. You grapple on mats.
  7. You wear light protective gear.
  8. You do not strike, bite, or eye gouge.
  9. You do not risk serious injury by your partner.
  10. You are not injured.
  11. You do not have to defend against a weapon.
  12. You do not face multiple attackers.
  13. You do not roll with a drug-using partner.
  14. You do not wear clothing that hinders your movement.
  15. You rest and drink water between rounds.
  16. You control your emotions because its only training.
  17. You do not have to protect friends or loved ones.
  18. You can tap out whenever you want.
    (to be cont’d again…)

It wasn’t a match. Segal was giving Gene Lebell a hard time on the set of a movie. Segal said that he could not be choked out. He challenged Gene Lebell so they went at it. Segal got choked out easily. While he was unconcious Segal’s bladder must have let go.