Martial Arts Book Review – Real Fighting by Peyton Quinn

Being the author of several books on the martial arts and fighting, I am always looking for books of exceptional quality to add to my library. If I have a book in my library, it’s definitely worth owning. One such book is Peyton Quinn’s, “Real Fighting.”

On a personal note, I found it quite interesting how certain people’s paths can cross without either one knowing about the other. A case in point, Peyton relates a story about a massive brawl which took place at a very prestigious bare-knuckle karate tournament in Denver, Colorado. Which just so happened to be the very same tournament that I competed in and also had the misfortune to witness the very disgusting behavior of a certain so called martial artist and his friends. I often wondered if he recalled seeing me compete.

I found Peyton’s book to be a very good “reality check” for those of you out there that think that your “martial art” is superior to everyone else’s. Well guess what, its not! As every person who has more than a passing resemblance to a human being will tell you, there are no superior martial arts, just superior martial artists. One particular quote that I really had to agree with was, “Concepts are more important than specific techniques.” Boy did Peyton hit the nail right on the head with this one. From that one quote alone, I knew that he definitely knew what he was talking about.

The most important thing to remember when reading this, or any book dealing with self-defense techniques, is that the principles behind the technique are far more important than the technique itself. Peyton does a great job of this, and you would do well to sit down and read this book from cover to cover several times in order to grasp what he is trying to teach you.

Another important point that is brought out in this book is your need to develop your own personal awareness of yourself and your surroundings. By being aware of what is going on around you, you can avoid a lot of potential problems and be able to spot the preliminary signals that are always present before the first blow is actually thrown.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed what Peyton had to teach in his book, I must admit that I am not a big fan of the generalization that seems to take place when people compare “real fighting” to the martial arts. It seems that a lot of the martial arts are pigeonholed into the prevalent “McDojo’s” that seem to be so popular these days. That simply is not the case.

Peyton is one of the few “self-defense” authors out there that seems to realize this. He not only respects the teachings of the martial arts, but also understands their overall purpose and the benefits derived from them for those of us that study and live the martial way.

Peyton does do a really good job in differentiating between the “sport” mentality that seems to be so prevalent in many martial arts these days, and the “self-defense” mentality that has all put disappeared from all, but a few martial arts schools in existence today.

I am a traditionally trained martial artist in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do, as well as being ranked in several other disciplines. However, unlike a lot of schools that seem to have degenerated down to teaching a diluted “sport” version of these arts, I was fortunate enough to be taught the practical version of each technique alongside the traditional version.

A lot of traditional martial artists may find the information contained in this book a little disheartening, but take it from me, if you have one ounce of sense you will buy this book and study it. And when you think you’re finished and have learned everything in this book, take it off the shelf and read it again.

Finally, this book gives you a great overview on Peyton’s scenario based training principles in which he utilizes his Bulletman(TM) suits and instructors. Although you will never get the full effect of this type of training from this book, you will get that which is most important, the concepts behind it.

I think we would all do well to remember that the most important element that the martial arts teach you is not technique, but respect, self-control and self-discipline!

How to Choose a Martial Arts Club

If you are trying to find the right martial arts club, whether it’s for you or your child, there are some things that you should keep in mind while you look. In most cities and towns there are plenty of martial arts clubs to choose from and making the wrong choice can sometimes mean that you or your child will lose interest in the martial arts.

Below are some tips for you to follow when you are ready to find the perfect school that’s right for you.

Keep it Close – If you sign up for the area’s best dojo but it’s a thirty minute drive and nowhere near your work or school, then over time you will decide to skip one lesson. Then another. And another. Before you know it, you’re basically just throwing money away. Sometimes it’s better to go with the club whose instructors don’t have as many awards or accolades if they happen to be closer.

Take an Introductory Class – Many local schools are offering free introductory classes to entice people to sign up with them. Take advantage of these great deals when you can. Not only will it give you more insight into what you or your child should expect from the workouts, you’ll also get a sense of the instruction style as well as the instructors themselves.

Use an online Martial Arts Finder. There are plenty of online resources that can help you find the right style of club that’s near to you. You’ll also be able to read some reviews that previous or even existing customers write about them. Often you can gain a great deal of insight from these kinds of open and honest reviews.

Don’t Go Beyond Your Pace – Some schools and classes can move at a pretty good clip. A karate dojo or takewando dojang will tend to move as fast as their better athletes, rather than at the pace of their slower ones. This kind of flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but it works. If the class begins to move beyond your abilities to keep up and you’re serious about learning and becoming better, then talk to the instructors about taking extra classes or working out with them during their free time. Many instructors will be more than willing to help out those who show a serious interest in the arts.

Are You Going for Self-Defense? – If your purpose for learning martial arts, determine whether you’re more interested in self-defense or if you are truly interested in becoming a skilled artisan. If you only really want to learn self-defense, there are special classes that many martial arts clubs offer that cover this and the rates tend to be much lower than their regular karate classes.

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing the right martial arts club for you or your child is being comfortable with the instructors. There are many different styles and personalities out there and that means there will be at least one close to you that is the perfect fit. Don’t just settle – find the right martial arts club for you.