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Odds and ends about how this book came to be


Posted by the Authors

  • Who had the original idea for the book?  The idea for this book started with Ulysses Press and was offered to Lily Chou as a project.  Lily was chosen in part because she had edited a number of books for Ulysses and also due to the success of her previous book, The Martial Artist's Book of Yoga (Ulysses Press, 2005)Lily, in turn, asked Norman Link to work with her on the book.  Norman was chosen in part due to his medical background and martial arts experience.

  • Why doesn't the book concentrate on just one martial art?  It was decided by the authors very early on that the book should be as broad natured as possible.  It is hoped that this broad selection of material will help a wide spectrum of martial artists. It was also important to the authors that the models be of high caliber, broad backgrounds, both genders, and of a wide age range.

  • How were the models chosen?  The University of California Martial Arts Program (UCMAP) at Berkeley was founded in 1969 and has had a total of seven martial arts clubs running under  its auspices.  These clubs are: Hapkido/Yongmudo, Judo, Karate, Kendo, Taekwondo, Taichi, and Wushu.  Seven of the models are alumni or active members of this program and Sensei Matsueda runs a Kendo school in Berkeley.  The models were chosen for their diverse backgrounds and superlative skills.

  • How were the techniques chosen?  From the beginning, Ulysses Press felt that this book was a bit of a risk and so they decided to limit the length of the book to 136 pages.  It didn't take much in the way of calculations to realize that with all the additional components that were required to make this book a complete work that we were going to have to limit the number of techniques.  We then decided to group the techniques by category.  Once categories were selected we tried to populate them with mostly basic techniques but we also added a few more challenging techniques (e.g. butterfly kick (page 9 overview only) and handstand brick break) to illustrate more complex combinations of kinetic chains.  In the end we found that we were limited to the following 50 techniques.

    • 12 Hand strikes and blocks

    • 13 Kicks

    • 9 Throws

    • 6 Groundwork techniques

    • 6 Rolls and falls

    • 4 Weapons techniques

  • Will the book be expanded?  Given the opportunity we would love to see this book expanded.  The fifty techniques we originally chose just begins to scratch the surface of the topic.  We would love to add more techniques and vastly expand the exercise and stretching portions of the book.