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Martial Arts
Solo Training: The Martial Artist's Guide to Training AloneSolo Training: The Martial Artist's Guide to Training Alone
Solo Training: The Martial Artist's Guide to Training Alone
Martial Arts Book Review

Anime fans are by nature, not a very social lot. Sure, we get together at a convention now and then, and there's some cliques of us that do hang out together, but generally, the large majority of fanboys and fangurls are by themselves... a lot. So too, can be that anime fan that is taking up the whole Japanese lifestyle; eating the food, watching the anime, learning the language, and taking some basic martial arts training.

Now there are dojos of some kind in almost every community in America, but still you often find yourself training alone, and alone can be utterly boring and un-motivating. It's hard to pry yourself off the couch if it's not going to be a fun activity.

However, this book shows you practical and effective training techniques you can perform on your own that won't have you bored out of your skull. Not only will you learn enough new training strategies and methods to keep you busy for years, but Loren Christensen's no-nonsense writing style will get you up and moving even on the days you would rather skip your solo workout. Packed with solid advice and kick-butt motivation, this book will become your favorite training partner.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, December 2009

Kill Bill (Volume 1)
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Kill Bill (Volume 1)
Kill Bill (Volume 2)

Martial Arts DVD Review

We can't think of film that pays homage to Asian Cinema more than Kill Bill. There's even an anime-segment! Like a live-action cartoon the action is fast and furious, with kicks, swords, thrown knives and everything else being a weapon. DragonBall Z never had it this chaotic and that includes the big pink guy.
Kill Bill
Quentin Tarantino, a Hong-Kong film fan, has created a wild & wacky movie maelstrom that Jackie Chan would be proud of — and much of the team responsible for shooting this film also worked on Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the more recently released Hero.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, February 2005

 Kung Fu - The Complete First Season
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Kung Fu:
The Complete First Season

Martial Arts DVD Review

Ah, Grasshopper! It was Bruce Lee's idea but David Carradine got the role. Regardless, Kung Fu has achieved mythical cult status and is required viewing.

Kung Fu!Meshing Chinese philosophy with the classic American Western, the morality tale plays out like a Shakespearean masterpiece, using timeless themes that transcend the boundary of mere TV.

Despite the age of the series, the stories are strikingly well-written, and the action still holds up (despite Bruce's absense). Kung Fu is simply one of the most engrossing, innovative sagas of all-time.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, March 2005

Enter the Dragon
Enter the Dragon -
Limited Edition Collector's Set

Martial Arts DVD Review

Some martial arts movies do not age well, they start to look hokey and the action looks bad by comparison to today's standards of film-making. This is NOT one of those movies. Enter the Dragon is still one of the best kick-ass flicks of all time, starring "the master" BRUCE LEE!!!!!!

Bruce Lee IS the Master! The man is so freaking intense in this film you will believe everything you're seeing. The last film completed by Bruce Lee before his untimely death, Enter the Dragon was his entre into Hollywood (not counting his stint as Kato in the short-lived TV series The Green Hornet). The American-Hong Kong co-production, filmed by American director Robert Clouse, stars Lee as a British agent sent to infiltrate the criminal empire of bloodthirsty Asian crime lord Han (Shih Kien) through his annual international martial arts tournament.

For Bruce Lee fans, this really is one of his best films — and for English speaking audiences, this is the best film you're going to get to see from the master. Bruce Lee was simply unbeatable in every respect and Hong Kong has spent the last 30 years trying to find a replacement for this incredible martial artist and actor.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, February 2003

The Way of the Ninja: Secret TechniquesThe Way of the Ninja: Secret Techniques
The Way of the Ninja:
Secret Techniques

Martial Arts Book Review

The secret, silent, invisible, deadly assasin — the Ninja is perhaps the most revered of all Feudal-era Japanese archetypes, and yet, at the same time, the most misunderstood. Overhyped by Hollywood, ninjas have been perceived as having almost mystical, supernatural powers.

Understanding the way of the Ninja is the key to understanding a great many other things as well, and it is important to realize that this understanding may not come easily, particularly if one has been poisoned by images which do not reflect reality. Nevertheless, this book is the key that shall open the door and allow you to enter their world. It is not just a fighting techniques book, it is a book which explains the philosophy, the history and the overall world-view of the Ninja lifestyle, as well as the techniques. Indeed, the techniques themselves are valueless without the understanding of the philosophy, and the understanding of the how and why of Ninjitsu.

Author Masaaki Hatsumi is the Grandmaster of the last remaining ninja school, with accolades from every possible martial arts society as well as the FBI, and this book is the most complete text available on the art of Ninjitsu. While there are conflicting books which detail the accounts of what the Ninja did, what services they provided and what lengths they went through to meet their goals, no one denies that this book is the starting point from which all ninja are created.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, January 2007

Complete Idiot's Guide to Karate
Complete Idiot's Guide to Karate
Martial Arts Book Review

Maybe you've watched enough episodes of Hukoto No Ken or Ranma 1/2 and you feel that you're ready to pull off some of those wonderful Martial Arts moves. Except that you're a complete klutz and tripping over your own feet. This book comes to the rescue. Although Karate is but one of the many martial arts, it's got the best overall workout, and will get you in shape enough to try some of the others.

This symbol means "the way"Even if you're already taking classes at a local dojo, this book will teach the things the classes might have glossed over, such as belt-rankings, how to tie the belt properly, proper foot stance, and always keeping your head protected. Furthermore, the book looks at the roots of the arts and the philosophy behind them — something you don't see at most dojos. It's an invaluable guide that may even save your life one day if you happen to get into a scuffle. Osu Sensei!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, May 2004

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