When was the last time you read a piece of martial arts history or taught something that made you think that what you are reading or hearing can’t be right?
Most of us have probably experienced this at one time or another. And promptly forgot all about it. Or as mentioned in a book on martial arts history its the practice that matters, not the history.
Martial arts history are riddled with inaccuracies. Don’t be surprised if it is laced with fiction as well. It doesn’t matter which country the style is from. Chances are any history you read have to be taken with a grain of salt. No, make that a huge tablespoon of salt.
Most practitioners don’t like to be told that their style’s history is probably partly fictionalized. Or may be not even that old to begin with despite claims of antiquity. Rare is the writer who would want to tackle such a topic because I mean, who wants to read that their style’s history is probably made up.
However, this has come to pass and a writer actually tackled this topic. The title of the book was not entirely enticing. It sounded like one of those books that tries to tackle a comprehensive topic with a general examination. But this was not what the book seems to be.
Its a fun read for sure, pointing out some of the things that are off base in the history and claims of some styles in Asia. The author didn’t exactly get some things right either when he wrote something about a topic I know something about. But its a small thing.
The usefulness about what the author wrote is not so much in the history because it is not an attempt to write about the history of various styles. Rather, it can be viewed as an alternative, semi-critical or as I would consider it a questioning, let’s slaughter sacred cows, approach to viewing the martial arts.
I’m still reading it. Its a temporary distraction from another book that I’m reading, a work on how experts become experts………
Oh, and the book I am referring to here ……….
Its a fun read if you are into this sort of thing.