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!