Julie Black Belt – Book Review

julieblackbelt.pngOk, quick disclaimer. This particular review and this product is really directed at parents of young children who are in the martial arts, or instructors of children. So if you’re not interested in illustrated books for children, then take a scroll through some of our other reviews, that cover things like self-defense and traditional martial arts books, or our ever popular Nutty Buddy review.

This review really covers both books, even though the publisher originally asked me to review the sequel. The first book, entitled Julie Black Belt – The Kung Fu Chronicles is the first book and it takes our young protagonist Julie, and teaches her that it takes focus, patience and hard work to make progress in the martial arts.


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Book Review – Aiki-Jujutsu: Mixed Martial Art of the Samurai

aiki-jujutsuMartial arts instructional books are generally written along one of several different lines; they’re written to address a specific topic and give you another tool you can add to your current martial art. They can tackle philosophy, or they can provide an overall solution, a martial arts system, acting as a textbook.

I recently received a copy of Cary Nermeroff’s Aiki-Jujutsu: Mixed Martial Art of the Samurai.

This is a Textbook

I have nothing against textbook style martial arts books, but they are more difficult to review because there is a danger that I’ll end up passing judgement on a martial arts style rather than the book itself. While this book is entitled Aiki Jiu-jitsu, it really seems to be an overview book of Fukasa-Ryu Bujutsu Kai, the style created by the author. At the end of the day, you can’t learn a martial art from a book, but you can gain insights into the art, and hopefully with an open mind, gain insights into your own. (more…)

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My Experience As a First-Time PAWMA Camp Teacher & Student

This past weekend, I had the privilege of participating in the PAWMA (Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists) annual training camp, both as a teacher and as a student. I have had a lot of experience teaching Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu at martial arts training camps over the years, but all of them were for Jiu-jitsu organizations and open to everyone, men and women, from a variety of dojos. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this event with nearly 100 women martial artists of all different styles, from all over North America in attendance. What I experienced completely blew me away.

PAMWA Camp 2013 Teacher Line-up


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Can Young Children Really Do Martial Arts Training?

Can Young Children Really Do Martial Arts Training?I have always been hesitant to offer martial arts training for really young children. I’ve baulked at the idea of “Tiny Tigers” or “Little Dragons” programs in the past, based on the idea that the martial arts are too subtle and complex that there is no way a young child can really learn them effectively. And I still believe this. That being said, there are other ways  to introduce the martial arts to young children in a manner that is more appropriate for their current level of physical, mental, emotional and social development.

A few months ago Steve Hiscoe Shihan showed me his Ready-Set-Kiai program for young children that introduces some basic concepts of martial arts training, but with a stronger emphasis on teaching fundamental movements skills that all children of that age should be learning so they can participate in sports and develop confidence using their bodies, with a strategic balance of basic martial arts skills that helps them to more seamlessly transition into more complicated martial arts skills later in their development. The program is based around 8 specific skills, which are introduced in more basic forms then built upon with more difficult versions as they master them. (more…)

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Jiu-jitsu Zombification & Other Off-Mat Dojo Team Building Activities

Everyone has different reasons for joining a martial arts school beyond learning the skills being taught. Some want to improve their fitness. Others want to meet new people. Some just want to get out and try new things. Others want an adrenaline rush.

At our dojo, we like to create opportunities to expand our students’ horizons by doing different types of activities outside the dojo together. This past weekend a group of us took part in “Run for Your Lives,” a zombie-infested 5k obstacle race. We put together a team of people who have trained at our dojo and completed the race together. We also played the roles of “Jiu-jitsu zombies” for some of the later races, when runners came face to face with our “undead dojo” many paused to re-group and psyche themselves up to make the run through our group, making the zombie experience that much more entertaining.

Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu Zombies (more…)

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Book Review: Self-Defense Tips Everyone Should Know

Neil martin book

Self-Defense Tips Everyone Should Know by Neil Martin is the compilation of the views and thoughts of Neil Martin, a martial artist and doorman. I think the title is actually a little misleading, to the book’s detriment. The content is so much greater than that.

I said in a previous review, self-defense oriented books tend to go either with the physical aspects of training, or focus more on teaching avoidance, awareness, and de-escalation tactics. This e-book is an exception, not falling into either of these categories.

This book isn’t a list of tips for self-defense, but more of a compilation of the author’s blog into a single coherent methodology for how to approach developing a full self-defense strategy and mindset.

Unlike most books I review, I ended up reading it through twice, as I received a draft version of the book originally, so in order to give it a fair shake, I read it again and I’m glad I did.  (more…)

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Bruce Lee – The Coffee Table Book Edition: A Review

Brucelee 00111667

I recently received a copy of The Treasures of Bruce Lee: The Official Story of the Legendary Martial Artist to review. When I was first asked to review it, I was pretty excited as the book looked pretty cool. Splashed across the cover is Bruce Lee in flying form, with notes about how there are 5 posters and 15 rare facsimile documents and items of personal memorabilia.

I’m a casual Bruce Lee fan. Not a crazy nut, but I do own the box set, and I enjoy watching the fight scenes from the movies on occasion. This book is full of the usual iconic photos that most casual fans have already seen, or will remember from movies, as well as behind the scenes shots from filming & premiers. What I found new and enjoyable were the shots he had demonstrating techniques, and pictures from his classes when he was teaching.


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The Making of ‘When the Fight Goes to the Ground’

Since high school, one of my life goals has been to become a published author. I recently completed that goal when my new ground defense book/DVD, When the Fight Goes to the Ground, was published by Tuttle Publishing, a well-known international martial arts publisher that’s been in the business since 1948.  (more…)

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New Ground Defense Book Available in February 2013!

When the Fight Goes to the Ground Jiu-jitsu Strategies and Tactics for Self-Defense CoverI’m happy to announce that this month my new ground defense book/DVD, When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-jitsu Strategies & Tactics for Self-Defense, will be available online and in retail stores all over the world.

I started working on this book on contract for Tuttle Publishing back in January 2010, and now, 3 years later, after countless hours of work writing, doing photo/video shoots, making edits, etc, it has now been published and will soon be released to the world. I always had a goal of one day becoming a published author, and that day has now arrived! (more…)

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Merry Xmas from Master Ken

Even Master Ken gets into the holiday spirit! 🙂 We at Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu don’t simply hand out belts as Christmas gifts (there are better sales on Boxing day!). 😉 Hope you are all having a restful, rejuvenating holidays season. Happy holidays, everyone!

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