Wrong Fu by Jamie Clubb
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This unique collection of essays, provides a prequel to Jamie Clubb’s multi-volume work, 'Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work'.
Turning the critical eye inwards, Jamie asks vital questions that highlights how far irrational thought has permeated the martial arts subculture. Other essays focus on logical fallacies that are often used to promote individual styles or schools, the dangers of narrow-mindedness, the many mistakes of martial arts documentaries, the cult of many so-called reality-based combat systems and finally the power of embracing one’s mistakes when training in martial arts
Number of Words: 35000
Published: May 2018
Genre: Martial Arts
"This book is fantastic! In just under 70 pages Jamie Clubb manages to identify and address many of the, often unnoticed, problems in martial arts today. I really admire Jamie’s objectivity and deep thinking. The book is so well written too. This book will entertain and educate. It will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your martial arts too! Taking the time to read this concise book is one of the best investments you can make for your martial arts and self-defence training. I love it!"
- Iain Abernethy
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"In the never ceasing brains-versus-brawn argument, it is rare to see someone comfortable in both realms. Sceptical instructor Jamie Clubb, par excellence, has the moves, tactics, knowledge, experience and skills needed for modern, urban self defense, but he has something else: A sharp and inquisitive intellect that is able to cut through the weeds and get to the substance of martial arts. A newcomer might be overwhelmed at competing training routines and stylistic differences, but Jamie's insatiable thirst for truth allows him to research and get to the core of the matter, presenting optimal methodologies free of clutter and trivial nonsense. If I were just starting out in martial arts training, I would hope to encounter such an instructor as Jamie Clubb. With Jamie guiding the way, I would have moved through a minefield of distracting theories with ease and arrived at efficiency and efficacy. I highly recommend this and other works from this brilliant mind."
- Ron Goin of PUMA (USA)
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“Wrong Fu by Jamie Clubb is an examination of martial arts through a questioning lens. It is a reminder that at times self-preservation and unproven long time traditional theories become martial art truths, to the point that you unequivocally believe in them.
Jamie’s interesting circus, fairground, and wrestling industry background have always fascinated me. I believe these experiences give him a unique perspective on people and human nature that he brings forth into deciphering some of the martial art myths and codes that exist today.
As Jamie notes in the book, the martial arts subculture is everywhere. The strong Asian influence that once existed has waned. Today, a ridge exists in the connection of the past and present in martial arts. Something old does not mean it is better; something new does not mean it is relevant or more applicable to the modern world.
“Another disconnect forms because the modern world still holds tight to an age of martial art systems that are held in high regard, despite the advancements of combat technology. Yet, reality-based self-defense systems have evolved, defined by fear-based scenarios. These are almost two different extremes, albeit a similar purpose, to defend.
“Some martial art institutions teach you to accept the words of your teachers without question. To investigate or experiment with these beliefs can lead to a better understanding of what exactly you are learning and why. There are certain aspects or elements of your chosen discipline that may be based on erroneous assumptions. That is why looking for the flaws in your style will help to validate what you are learning and why.
The examination in this book that really caught my attention was that of pious fraud, as I have witnessed it first-hand as a martial art writer myself. Pious fraud in martial arts is a “white lie” for self-preservation. White lies can turn into full-blown lies or situations where you can no longer backtrack into the truth.
“Back in the day, there was no way to document all the fights, tournaments, and formal or informal martial art battles in the ring. Those who were drenched in the martial art competitions of the bygone era have few pieces of documentation of what did and did not happen, of who did or did not win, and rely on their memories. In some cases, there are witnesses who can corroborate their wins, but not always.
What they have told themselves happened becomes the reality that they believe and share. How can it be reality if more than one claims the same exact thing? In some cases, there are only a handful of photos from events, and a few magazine articles. Some such history is based on memories and well-rehearsed pious fraud.
“As always, Jamie does not disappoint when it comes to looking beyond the facade of martial arts. This book is a well-intentioned examination designed for you to validate your own martial art practice. He encourages you to be proud about investigating the true history of your martial art, and not perpetuate myths that you know to be untrue. These topics may or may not be significant to your personal practice. The questions, however, are always worth asking.”
- Andrea Harkins, 'The Martial Arts Woman'
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First let me make clear that Jamie and I have never met, we have corresponded and talked but not in person, and no money has changed hands. I have read, quite literally thousands of books, I am pretty widely read. I have reviewed many, many books, most I have enjoyed, some that have been more than that, 'Wrong Fu is one of the latter'.
I edit Conflict Manager Magazine and work closely with a couple of the people mentioned in this book. I teach Ju Jitsu, I have graded to 4th dan and I run the Academy of Self Defence. I know my mMA and my SD are different creatures, there is a little overlap so I just about completely agree with the messages delivered in this book.
The amount of research and underpinning knowledge necessary for Jamie to write this is extraordinary. I was once an academic, I was immersed in a world where opinion was fine but needed to be based on evidence. Jamie draws on some fantastic sources and refers to many theoretical models to identify and argue against all the major problems that exist in the MA/SD world.
However, it is not a rant. This is an incredibly concise observation of some quite complex issues and fallacies, they need challenging and this book contributes to that process. I loved it. Like any great read I will let this swish around and return to read it again another time.
I am looking forward to Enter the Bull, (even though I have trained with Master Ken and did the tiger pose, I use the pic to make my students laugh).
Final point, when I took over the teaching of Ju Jitsu nearly 4 years ago the first thing I did was scrap the use of the 'Sensei' title, our students call me Garry. Stop the bowing, scraping and kneeling in rank order, we still bow with a nod but stood in a circle and make it clear we did this for fun, we are not warriors, failure is inevitable and should be embraced as much as success. We are growing steadily. The MA/SD world would improve more if people listened to Jamie Clubb.
- Garry Smith, editor of “Conflict Manager” Magazine.
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Jamie's books and profile: Click here