Saturday, August 27, 2016

4 Ninja Stars for The Ultimate Guide to Unarmed Self Defense by David Erath Jr.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from the publisher for review purposes

Title: Functional Self Defense: The Ultimate Guide to Unarmed Self Defense
Written By: David Erath Jr.
Format: Softcover
Pages: 237
Cover Price: $29.95 (US) Softcover/$19.99 E-Book

    I'm inherently cautious of any book with the word "Ultimate" in the title.  There's just something wrong about claiming any book will be "the only book you'll ever need."  There's an underlying braggadociosness that seems unnecessary and, quite frankly, is usually wrong.
    That all being said, Mr. Erath does a good job in his book of not coming off that way.  He writes in a very matter of factly way, that is not trying to get you to buy anything, or even sample the free kool-aid.  


    The layout of the book, I think, is one of its strong suits.  The book has 10 chapters.  The first is entitled "Self-Defense vs. Martial Arts."  I think this is one of the most important topics when addressing self-defense, especially to people that are martial artists.  The first 66 pages go through the logic of what self-defense is, and what is required.  The second section, is interesting.  Its called "The MMA Base" which goes through the rough, easily learned techniques which are found in MMA, and why they're there.  Hint: It's because they work most of the time.  The rest of the book goes through sample techniques, and preventative measures such as fitness, diet, and the value of meditation.  The last section, is a FAQ which I found particularly useful in that it answered specific questions I had.


    I really liked the simple layout of this book.  It covers all the ideas in a logical and thought out manner.  It does good job of talking about why martial arts is not really self defense without being condescending or abusive.  It also talks about how a couple modifications can be used to take what you already know, and turn your martial arts into self defense.  I think that's a really important part.  The author is not saying, "abandon all you have learned."  He's saying "Incorporate this INTO what you have learned."  Mr. Erath also describes all the aspects of self-defense, and how to train them, not just mention them in passing as many other books have done.  Be Aware, and here's how to be more aware.  I also liked that he keeps in some of the other aspects of martial arts, like the meditative aspects of it.  


    This book is incomplete in that it doesn't contain anything to do with weapons.  However, he states very clearly that weapons was a big enough idea that it required its own volume, which is also available at the website.  


   Overall, most of the information in this book I've seen other places, there isn't much "new" here, but the collection of all the information into one place and the organization is superior to what I've seen before.  If you are a martial artist who, like I was, is trying to figure out how your martial art fits in with the ideas of self defense, then this is a great book.  You should start with this book, and then perhaps branch off into others.  That's why I give this book 4 out of 5 Ninja Stars.  Its really well put together, and deserves to be many people's first reading choice for self defense.

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