Book recommendations


  1. out of 5 – don’t bother
  2. out of 5 – some interesting points
  3. out of 5 – read it. Its good, but not great
  4. out of 5 – definitely read it. Some really good stuff
  5. out of 5 – without a shadow of a doubt, buy it now!

Books that I am currently reading:

  • Four Shades of Black by Gavin Mulholland
  • The Art of Just Sitting by John Daido Loori
  • Solo Training by Loren W. Christensen


Watch My Back [Paperback]

  • Author: Geoff Thompson
  • Paperback:608 pages
  • Publisher:Summersdale (5 Jan 2009)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ISBN-10:1840247169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840247169

DrDolittle’s rating: 5 out of 5

DrDolittle’s review: This book had me transfixed, from the first page to the last. The descriptions of his fights are superb and his light-hearted banter puntuates the brutality of his infamous KOs in typical doorman-like fashion. But what impressed me most is Geoff’s description of his battle with his demons (physical and spiritual) and his unswerving determination to fulfil his dreams. A must read for anyone who wants to better understand fighting – in the body and in the mind. Excellent.  

The Art of War [Paperback]

  • Author – Sun Tzu
  • Paperback:68 pages
  • Publisher:Filiquarian (1 May 2006)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ISBN-10:9781599869773
  • ISBN-13:978-1599869773
  • ASIN: 1599869772

DrDolittle’s rating: 4 out of 5

DrDolittle’s review: This short book is uber profound. It’s the kind of thing you need to read 23 times before you start to grasp the complexity behind the writing. And it is the kind of book that reveals different layers to the meaning as your knowledge and experience of martial arts progresses. A cornerstone of a book.

A Sudden Dawn: A Martial Arts Novel: [Paperback]

  • Paperback:500 pages
  • Publisher:YMAA Fiction; 1st edition (30 Sep 2010)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ISBN-10:159439198X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594391989


DrDolittle’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

DrDolittle’s review: This is a really nice work of fiction, covering the story of Bodhidharma’s journey from India to China, in order to spread the word of Buddha. Bodhidharma (or “Da Mo”) is credited with establishing the Kung Fu method in the Shaolin temple. This is a well written book – full of lots of really good stories and insights into the culture of India and China. It delves into some of the Buddhist way of thinking, too, which is intriguing and captivating. Some of the gentler stories are punctuated with moments of adrenaline filled action, but some of the characters and plots are a bit shallow for my liking. This book has inspired me to find out more about Buddhism and the zen teachings of Bodhidharma.

Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test [Paperback]

  • Author: Goran Powell
  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Goran Powell; 2nd Updated edition (3 July 2006)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1840245131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840245134

DrDolittle’s rating: 5 out of 5

DrDolittle’s review: I think this book is a work of honest brilliance. I simply could not put it down – it had my heart racing from the very first chapter and numerous times throughout. I nearly missed my train stop because it gripped me so much! It was like I was in the Dojo with Powell, not to mention the Field of Truth. This book is more than just a book about one particular style of martial art (it covers many, by the way!), but about a man’s personal battle to conquer fear. Powell makes it real and understandable – the training, his work, the sparring, but the single-most exciting aspect of this book is the authors wonderful depiction of the Thirty Man Kumite (sparring). This book is for you if you have an interest in martial arts (any level, any style). I am off to start reading again…

The Way of Sanchin Kata: The Application of Power [Paperback]

  • Author: Kris Wilder
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: YMAA Publication Center (1 Jun 2007)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594390845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594390845
  • ASIN: 1594390843

DrDolittle’s rating: 4 out of 5

DrDolittle’s review: This book has given me a much better understanding of the theory behind Sanchin kata and plenty of food for thought. I am reviewing this book from the tender perspective of a yellow belt Goju Ryu karate-ka. And I must say that I am mightily impressed by the contents. It is clearly written, has excellent diagrams and lots of explanations that provided me with plenty of ‘ah-haa’ moments? My only criticism is that the book is written in a very formal, almost text-book-like style and could do with lightening up at times. The reprieve however, is in some very nice personal examples that punctuate the more profound parts of the book. 


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