Book review: Wheel Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 2) by Shawn Kovacich

Time for another book review, this time it’s “Wheel Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 2) by Shawn Kovacich

Here’s the review:

Book review Wheel Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 2) by Shawn Kovacich

Click this image to buy “Wheel Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 2) by Shawn Kovacich”

The book starts with an introduction and some words on how to use the book to get the most out of it. Next up are a chapter on the muscles and joints involved in the kick as well as how to stretch and warm up before you start practicing.

Then we get into the meat of the book, the basic principles of the wheel kick. Shawn covers topics such as: [Read more…]

Book review: Back Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 1) by Shawn Kovacich

A while ago, Shawn Kovacich sent me a truckload of his books for so here’s the first review. It covers his first book: “Back Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 1)” of the kicking excellence series. The review was supposed to auto-publish while I was abroad but WordPress apparently swallowed the post. So I rewrote the review quickly. Here it is.

Shawn Kovacich Back Kick

Shawn Kovacich

Back Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 1)” starts with a preface, covering some good info on kicking techniques and specifically the back kick. Shawn then gives some pointers on how to use the book to learn the most from it.

The first chapter covers the anatomy of the back kick, which muscles and joints are used and how they interact. The author provides plenty of clear pictures and drawings to explain everything. Good stuff. Then he explains how you should warm up and stretch for practicing your turning back kick. He moves on to describe many important factors of a successful back kick: timing, distance, targeting, balance and loads more.

After you’ve digested this preparatory information, it’s time to get into the meat of the book; how to do a turning back kick and it’s many variations. In the next chapter, Shawn covers in extreme detail and step-by-step how you should perform this technique. He not only gives you a clear description but you also get pictures, drawings of how to position your feet at each step and a pictorial guide at the end. I particularly enjoyed this last one as it gives you a quick summary of the kick, perfect for when you don’t want to read an entire chapter and only want a quick refresher.

The next part of the book goes into the same amount of detail for several variations on the turning back kick: [Read more…]

Book review: Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad by Paul Kirchner

Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad by Paul Kirchner is the closest thing to a biography there is of one of the most famous law enforcement officers of the last 50 years. Jim Cirillo is one of the few who survived over 17 shootouts. Aside from his police work, he also taught his firearms knowledge to others as an instructor. Tragedy struck when he died in a car accident in 2007.

Here’s the review:

book review - Jim Cirillo's Tales Of The Stakeout Squad


Tales of the Stakeout Squad

The book begins with a short review Cirillo’s life: growing up in a working class family, getting married and having kids, his career as a police officer and firearms instructor. This chapter is perhaps shorter than I’d personally have liked be but most readers will probably anxiously skip through it to get to the “juicy” part: information on the firefights he was in.

In the following chapters, the author describes Cirilo’s life as a rookie police officer, his work with the Stake Out Squad, Emergency Service Unit, his life outside of the job and his competition record. In the last chapter, people who knew him reminisce on his life and tell some stories of how they remember him. [Read more…]

Book Review:Street E&E by Marc Animal Mac Young

Book review: Street E&E; Evading, Escaping, and Other Ways to Save Your Ass When Things Get Ugly by Marc “Animal” Mac Young

Marc “Animal” Mac Young is what you could call a “reformed streetfighter”. He grew up in the wilder parts of Los Angeles and was confronted with violence and death early on in his life. He has made numerous books and videos on these topics. His focus has always been on debunking myth’s about martial arts/self-defense and stress the importance of awareness and avoiding conflict. That’s why I chose this book of his to review first.

In the introduction of Street E&E, there is a basic outline on the reality of street violence and some pointers on situations to avoid. This brings you the proper perspective and in the right mindset that are needed for Street E&E.

Marc and I having a beer in Leuven, Belgium

Marc and I having a beer in Leuven, Belgium, a long time ago.

The first two chapters of Street E&E show an important flaw in most self-defense training: Evading and escaping street violence is something few people actually consider in a practical way. They have a vague idea of what to do in an extreme situation, but no specific game plan. They have fighting techniques, but no larger frame to use them within. They say they will run away when attacked in a certain way, but fail to recognize the specific stages and techniques that are involved in this.

Marc also shows the 9 angles of attack and how you handle them with both counter attacking and running away in mind. The concept of the 9 angles is dealt with in more detail as in how to avoid getting hit along these angles. There is some sound advice regarding multiple attackers, starting an escape and couples confronted with violence.

[Read more…]