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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Catching Up

For a variety of reasons, I've been way, way, behind on my reviews lately. So, while I've tried to avoid doing this on this blog, I'm just going to do a quick catch-up post, and cover a bunch of stuff at once. Hopefully, it will actually work, and get me back on track with this.

Barney Ross

A fascinating look at the life of one of the great Jewish boxers, from a time period when there were a lot of great Jewish boxers. Douglas Century does a fantastic job of exploring Ross's seemingly contradictory life, and presents a very complete picture of a man torn between his upbringing, religion, and personal self. I, of course, am no Barney Ross, but the story of a Jewish boy pursuing a decidedly non-Jewish career resonated with me very strongly. Boxing fans should definitely read this one.

The Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body & Your Life

Interesting strength and conditioning book. Program seems solid, if rather equipment-intensive. Am now experimenting with the "preliminary" phase, as I'm coming off a two month injury. Will post about progress.

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

Gonzales has some very interesting insights into who survives desperate circumstances, and who doesn't. Gave me a lot to think about in regards to training, mindset, and life in general. While not directly about self-defense, anyone who teaches any kind of survival skill ought to read this (if for no other reason than its extreme popularity). Lots of good info here.

Mastery of Hand Strength

An older book, but a good one. If you have ever wanted stronger hands, for any reason (or no reason at all), there is plenty of good info in here. Aside from a few out-of-date comments (Kettlebells aren't the rare antique Brookfield describes), this one is very solid. Obviously great for combat athletes, martial artists, and other similar folks, but good for just about anyone who works with their hands a lot.

Sharpening the Warrior's Edge

I'm not entirely sold on Siddle's premises about heart-rate and performance, BUT, he does have some good ideas about using scenarios and simulations to  train people for high-stress events. Again, folks who deal with survival situations should read this, simply because of it's "classic" nature, but I think some of the assumptions are worth challenging.