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Martial Arts Book Review – A Bouncer’s Guide to Barroom Brawling by Peyton Quinn
Being the author of several books on martial arts and combat, I am always looking for books of exceptional quality to add to my library. If I have a book in my library, it is definitely worth owning. One such book is “A Bouncer’s Guide to Barroom Brawling,” by Peyton Quinn.
The most important thing to remember when reading this or any book related to self defense techniques is that the principles behind the technique are far more important than the technique itself. Again, Peyton does a great job of this, and you’ll have to sit down and read this book cover to cover several times to understand what he’s trying to teach you.
So without further ado let’s get started.
1. Ambush: Awareness and Avoidance
An important point the author tries to get across to you in this section is that fighting has serious legal and medical consequences and should be avoided if possible. Remember, nothing is easy to do unless you are willing to do it first. Also, learning to avoid potential collisions is probably the most important “trick” you can learn. This is extremely important and should be considered your first line of defense.
2. The reality of combat
Here are just some of the points of interest that are discussed in this section.
A. The powerful assets of the sucker that he uses are as follows; Confidence, experience, competence and strategy.
b. Some very real features of “Real Fights” are; Real fights are actually very sloppy compared to the ones depicted in movies, most fights last only a few seconds, most fights are decided by punches to the head, most real fights are some punches, kicks (especially above the waist) are not very effective in a real fight.
Now I have to admit that I’m not too fond of statements like the last one that hurt the kick’s effectiveness in a real fight. I for one trained kicking extensively and used it successfully in “real fights”. However, having said that, I freely admit that the point the author is trying to get across here is actually pretty good. Most people not only don’t know how to kick properly to begin with, but have no idea how to practically apply them in a “real fight”.
c. Author’s observations on martial arts vs. real combat; Peyton, in my opinion, is one of the more realistic self-defense writers out there today because he takes a realistic and practical approach to the effectiveness of traditional martial arts when it comes to self-defense. Unlike other writers out there that bash any and every form of formal martial art out there, Peyton freely acknowledges its importance and value not only in self-defense, but in every other area of your life. He provides some really good “food for thought” in this section and it was a real pleasure to read.
3. Tool box
This section begins with some great advice, “Learning how to avoid being hurt effectively is more important than learning how to hurt effectively.”
The author then describes various hand strikes and how to execute them. This particular section is really good and provides some very practical and worthwhile advice.
I particularly enjoyed the author’s poignant story of one of his sparring sessions with a Tae Kwon Do 4th degree black belt. It’s quite a funny and interesting story, and one that you can learn a lot from, if you know how to read between the lines. The author then concludes this section by further discussing hand, elbow, and knee strikes.
4. Defense policy
What the author suggests in this book is, “The principles and ideas behind the strategies are more important than the techniques themselves,” or something along these lines. This is something I have been saying for at least 20 years, since I first started teaching. Several principles of blocking and striking are discussed in this section.
5. Fine points of mobility, location, encounter, and stay out of jail
This section covers proper positioning, use of footwork, and maintaining proper distance between you and your opponent.
6. Grasping, throwing and running away
This section has a lot of good information about jerks and throws. I really enjoyed the information in this section and that alone is worth the price of this book.
7. Choosing an appropriate martial art for your personal study
I found this to be one of the best sections of the entire book. Here the author gives an honest, fairly well-informed look at the various martial arts and the numerous factors to consider when trying to decide which one to study.
Overall I found Peyton’s book outstanding and am proud to have it in my own personal library. I find Python’s approach refreshing and honest and personally hold it in high regard.
I strongly recommend that you buy this book and read not only the words Peyton wrote, but perhaps more importantly what was written between the printed lines.
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