This post reviews a terrific book called ” The Book of Martial Power” by Steven J. Pearlman.

Cover of Martial Power by Steven J. Pearlman

I just finished reading a terrific scholarly work called “The Book of Martial Power” by the aforementioned author, published in 2008. A synopsis of this book, located on the back binder, states:

“Different styles of martial arts offer contradictory information, philosophies, and techniques for the body in combat. A practitioner of Judo might advocate grappling, reasoning that most fights converge into close range after a short time, while an advocate of Tae Kwon Do might argue that one should strive to maintain one’s distance in an encounter that would allow one to use the legs, the most powerful weapon on the human body. A lifelong student and teacher of multiple styles of martial arts, Steven Pearlman has sought to distill from these disciplines not a fusion of techniques, but rather a compilation of fundamental principles that can guide the individual martial artist to the ideal action. Through his exploration of a set of basic principles that range from the physical (spinal alignment, the triangular guard, breathing) to the spiritual (the void, the body-mind, the character), Pearlman arrives at a system open to all martial artists without bastardizing the techniques of the original disciplines.”

Among the topics covered in this book include breathing, posture, the triangle guard, the centre line, the primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axes, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, triangulation point, centrifugal force, centripetal force, live energy, dead energy, natural and unnatural motion, weak link and many other martial topics. The author has put considerable thought with respect to these topics and has done a terrific job in explaining some of the aforementioned topics. This book does not tout any particular martial style/system but instead explores what makes for effective martial technique by exploring various bio-mechanical principles underlying common self defense techniques. These are accompanied by graphics illustrating the bio mechanical principles, thus rendering the text easily understood. In short, this is one of the best martial arts books I have read and intend to read over and over in order to deepen my understanding of my martial arts studies, particularly in the area of Filipino Martial Arts.

I highly recommend this book for your martial arts library!

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