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  • By brucelee501
    Oct 15, 2009
    This book is mainly concerned with the practical application of the 8 Taegeuk forms It opens with a very well written and in my belief the most accurate Taekwondo history available. In many respects it is also the taekwondonised “Shotokans secret” written by Bruce Clayton as the author also presents his case of why there is possible more in the patterns than the kick, punch, block interpretations we normally see. He also makes his case of why the practical applications is not taught openly. The book also contains a section on how to analyse forms for yourself. I personaly feel that this section could be a lot longer, and that it could contain more specific concepts like in Iain Abernethys “Bunkai Jutsu”, preferably with examples from the poomsae itself, but then again the fokus in this book is to show the reader that there is more in the forms than what meets the eye using the authors own applications rather than a textbook on how to analyse forms like “Bunaki jutsu” is. A very... More > good explanation of what self defence actually is when compared to fighting, combat, and duelling follows the interpretation section. This is something that is lacking in many martial arts books and is one thing that sets this book apart from the vast majorety of Taekwondobooks out there (except the fact that it is the only book explaining the WTF patterns in a realistic way on the market). Many people get the terms mixed up and practise duelling while thinking that they are practising self defence.. This section is sure to open a few eyes out there (and we have not even come to the applications yet). Then at last what we have been waiting for: The applications themselves. This is the big bulk of the book. The author divides the patterns in 3 groups. “The Preliminary stage” (where the fight usually starts at talking distance), “The infighting and clinching” (when the preemptive strike, and the striking has failed and grips come into place) and “advanced self-defence”. Before each group of patterns there is an explenation of that stage of the fight and what the strategy of that stage should be. Then the patterns in that group follows. Each pattern is opened with a sumary of the movements, and a sumary of the key concepts and principles the poomsae/form is trying to teach the student. This gives a very good overview of each pattern and what you can expect to learn from it. The big draw back in the applications section is that the pictures are very small, and sometimes unclear. The illustrations could also have had some arrows to show the direction of the movements to help the reader. That being said, any serious student of martial arts should be able to understand the applications with a close look at the text and the pictures. The applications are mostly simple and highly effective The book also contains sections on pattern performance, some drills to help putting the applications into practise, and a very interesting section on designing a syllabus (for self defence, pattern applications). This book is absoloutly worth every penny.. I personally feel that the history section alone was worth the cost. It was so good to finally read a history of Taekwondo grounded in reality and not coloured by any political bias.. It seems very well researched and unlike most Taekwondo books it does not just repeat everything that has allready been written, but contributes with new (and interesting) facts. The applications are like I allready wrote simple and effective, with the only draw back being the small pictures. They are easily the best applications to the Taegeuk poomsae I have ever seen in a book.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
September 23, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.12 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
7.44 wide x 9.68 tall
Product ID
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