In the interests of full disclosure, I was given this book for review purposes
Title: Jeet Kune Do BasicsAuthor: David Cheng
Price: $9.99 Cover Price
Title: Kung Fu Basics
Author: Paul Eng
I'm going to review both of these books together, as I received them both together, and they both follow along similar themes. One of the hardest things to do is start something new. Martial arts may be one of the hardest things to start for adults. Most of us probably haven't been moving around being physically active for a while, and there's someone looking at you, judging you as you "perform." If you are interested in a martial art, there's a lot to choose from. So let's say, you're a Bruce Lee fan and have decided to study what he studied. So you want to study either Jeet Kune Do, the art he created, or Kung Fu, the art he studied first. Well... what now? Both of these books answer these questions.
Both of these books have many similarities in content. They both start out with the history of their art. Kung Fu, being a more generic term, explains the difference between kung fu, wushu, and then gives the generalized history of Chinese martial arts. Both also talk about the philosophical basis of Chinese martial arts. Which is important, as it is a large part of the art. It then goes into what to expect from a class, including what the art is based on. One of the more unusual things, is the Kung Fu Basics, at the end goes over what injuries you can expect, and how to deal with minor strains, injuries, and sprains.
These are great books if you are starting either kung fu classes, or enrolling in a Jeet Kune Do academy. Both provide the basic information about the art. They both mention the different branches that occur in the arts, but without being "my art is better than your art" type of dialog. They are also great if you practice another art, and are curious about kung fu, or JKD, and need a place to start your own research.
If you have a basic knowledge of what kung fu, or JKD is, then these may seem a little... well... basic. But to be fair, they did put that right in the title.
I would easily recommend these to anyone that was starting up their new martial path, and wanted to know what to expect from the kung fu that they signed up for, or even how Jeet Kune Do differs from other martial arts. If you're already in the class, and have been studying for a while, then these may not be the books for you. If I taught a kung fu, or JKD class, I might hand these out when any new student joined up. It gives them a good basic of the art. That being said, I'm going to give both of these books four out of five Ninja Stars. I think they're great for what they're for, learning the basics of either kung fu or JKD. But, beyond learning that, I don't know how useful they are to more advanced students.