Martial Arts Complete

Michael Finn, Author Overlook Press $14.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-87951-335-1
Although there is some useful information (``the misleading term `kung-fu' is in fact a Cantonese word meaning `an acquired skill.' It can refer equally to knitting or cookery as it can to the martial arts.'') in this disjointed mishmash of definitions and historical anecdotes, Finn ( Police Arrest Techniques ) has attempted to cover too much material in too little space. A repetitive, disorganized text offers the reader a superficial military and philosophic history of China and Japan, an examination of the evolution of Eastern weaponry and an introduction to a number of ``styles'' of martial artsjujutsu, karate, judo, aikido, etc. There are also chapters on the code and significance of the samurai, the ``giants of sumo,'' the arsenal of the ninja and the martial traditions of other Eastern countriesa paragraph each on the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Korea and, in tenuous comparison, ``the proud Zulu race,'' whose defeat Finn likens to that of the Boxer rebels. The photographs are of poor quality and do not always relate to the text. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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