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89 Reviews
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and useful
If you have been doing martial arts for a while you probably won't learn any new exercises but you will truly understand not only why they work, but more importantly how to make the most of them. Important anatomical information is distilled in a way that just about anyone can readily understand and use. This book is well laid-out and illustrated effectively to convey the...
Published on November 11, 2004 by L. A. Kane

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263 of 295 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
It's not a *bad* book about stretching, and does contain some 200 exercises--even if half of them are about as complex as 'lace your fingers together, palms out, and push your hands away from your body' (my paraphrase).

What really bothers me, though, is a pair of problems:

First, the book mentions almost casually that static stretching (touch your...
Published on September 24, 2005 by R. Jernigan


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263 of 295 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., September 24, 2005
By 
R. Jernigan (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
It's not a *bad* book about stretching, and does contain some 200 exercises--even if half of them are about as complex as 'lace your fingers together, palms out, and push your hands away from your body' (my paraphrase).

What really bothers me, though, is a pair of problems:

First, the book mentions almost casually that static stretching (touch your toes and hold the position) has almost no correlation with functional stretching (how high can you side kick?). In the next paragraph it states quite clearly that martial artists should be focused on improving functional stretching--that static stretching is largely useless except for rehabilitation.

Now, even if that *isn't* poppycock--which I'm not qualified to judge, but it does sound flaky--one would think that this book, intended for martial artists, would therefore proceed to focus on other kinds of stretching. No: the vast majority of the exercises are static stretches. So either the advice is flawed or the book's target audience is wrong.

A second issue is PNF stretching. The book goes to some effort to push PNF as the most effective, best stretching technique: over and over, the refrain is that one should work towards incorporating PNF stretching into your workout as soon as is feasible (it's not for beginners).

But just as soon as you've become convinced of the benefits of PNF stretching, the book goes on to state--and here I'll quote--"Because PNF stretching requires detailed hands-on instruction and guidance, PNF stretching variations are not included in the exercise descriptions". In other words, the book says pretty clearly, "This is what you want, and this book doesn't describe it."

I'm disappointed that I bought this book, and can't say I'd recommend it to others.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and useful, November 11, 2004
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This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
If you have been doing martial arts for a while you probably won't learn any new exercises but you will truly understand not only why they work, but more importantly how to make the most of them. Important anatomical information is distilled in a way that just about anyone can readily understand and use. This book is well laid-out and illustrated effectively to convey the information. It is holistic and thorough. Although at my age I will probably never be able to do the splits, it has measurably improved my flexibility. Great book!

Lawrence Kane
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, March 9, 2005
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This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
Ultimate flexibility is an excellent book for those who practice the martial arts, regardless of their current flexibility level. It's even great for those who don't. My wife (who doesn't practice martial arts) joins me for flexibility exercises and enjoys the workout quite a bit.

The book is divided to 3 main categories.

The first chapters deal with the scientific background. What are the mechanisms behind flexibility; what can be improved; what are the limitations; and what are the potential hazards for the un-educated, practicing flexibility. It details the major muscle groups and explains the benefit of having each flexible. It has good suggestions in terms of keeping workout logs and setting goals.

The second part has actual flexibility exercises, all clearly explained along with a photo for each. Some exercises are presented with a few alternatives-- easier versions and harder versions.

The third and last part suggests flexibility workouts. That is, what a workout should include depending on your background and goals.

Ultimate Flexibility has helped my flexibility tremendously. It's educational, clear and concise and most importantly, motivating. I now look forward for some time off so I can go out and practice some flexibility.

Bravo.

- Petel
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So worth it, September 4, 2004
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This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
My first time writing a review for anything on this website... But I felt that this book does not get the attention it deserves. I am no martial artist - I just wanted to find a book that would give me all the information I need about attaining greater flexibility.
This book has it all - advice, scientific discussion (and I don't mean a page filled with meaningless terms - the author really tries to explain it well), quick guides and sample workouts, and of course, a wide range of stretches with pictures. It even helps you optimize your stretching routines so you spend less time on it!
The only shortcomings I can think of are lack of information on PNF stretching, and perhaps not being really martial-arts oriented (although it's a positive for me)
Just don't forget - this book gives you the bricks - it's up to you to put in the time and make something out of them
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, October 31, 2005
By 
Jay Reid (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
When an experienced instructor teaches, he does it so simply that students understand the lessons without much difficulty. When I first opened Ultimate Flexibility for Martial Arts, I was firstly impressed not only by the variety of exercises and beautifully designed format but also by the author's efforts to show the big picture of the important elements necessary to attain flexibility without missing out on the details. I have been training various martial arts for over 34 years including 8 years in Okinawa, 4 years in South Korea, 3 years in Thailand. Wherever I was stationed overseas, I put my best efforts forth to gain firsthand knowledge from local masters. What I found is that a good teacher knows how to teach a complicated movement in a very simple way. With this book by Sang H. Kim, I feel like I am training with my masters again. He definitely put all his wisdom and experience into it.

Sang H. Kim is without doubt among the best writers about martial arts. (I thoroughly enjoyed learning from his Ultimate Fitness Through Martial Arts.) This book should be required reading for every martial artist who competes or wants to improve his or her performance regardless of style. Master Kim provides straightforward cautions and valuable tips to improve your flexibility and to prevent unnecessary injuries.

In Chapter Seven, he includes sample workouts for light contact and full contact, grappling and mixed martial art, boxing, weapon and high kicks. I personally liked his top 10 techniques. After turning 50, I realize how important it is to learn valuable wisdom from a true master. I have been adding a few new skills to my repertoire each week and use them whenever I can. I am getting quicker and safer in my Karate classes, and every class is more enjoyable.

Based on my experience thus far, I believe this book will help martial artists of any age, or for that matter athletes of any age, become more flexible and enjoy training for the rest of your life.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DVD Is Better, April 23, 2008
By 
This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
This book has a lot of different stretches in it but nothing tageted towards specific movements. I need to improve my Side Kick height but I can't really gather from the book what I should focus on. I also bought the DVD which has some workouts and is a better deal.

If you really want to work on your splits you should buy "Stretching Scientifically". That book is awesome and I must say very painful but the results are fantastic. It also explains exactly how all the muscles interact and how some of the strecthes in "Ultimate Flexability" are actually doing you more harm than good.

Bill 2nd Dan Black Belt TKD
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough, November 24, 2005
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This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
This is a comprehensive and well-organized book, with the perfect amount of description (how to do the exercises) and other informative information. The stretches in this book would be useful for ANY reader, although Kim does point out how they are relevant to martial arts training as well. I've examined a number of other books and was frustrated by their lack of "completeness" and usability. This is by far the best that I have seen.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book on Stretching, September 5, 2007
By 
A. DiPasquale (IL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
This book has helped me develop from a waist high kicker at best to a head high kicker within 6 months. The stretches and drills are invaluable then to top it off, the explanations and anatomical drawings are informative, but easy to understand. Not only is the information vital for you to know as a martial artist, but the author addresses different types of goals and how to set them and stick to them. Indispensable for the martial artist that wants to remain injury free and strong for many years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, June 25, 2006
This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
This book was definitely a good buy. Great sections on the theory of stretching and flexibility, and a good section on kinesiology. Lots of great stretches and it was great that they told you which stretches would benefit a certain muscle group. I was also really excited to find a section on improving kick height (the main reason I bought the book). Towards the end it gives lists of stretches the are good for certain kinds of martial arts (light-contact, full-contact, grappling, weapons, MMA, boxing, nd the author's favorites). Overall this book is very good.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for evry type of sporting activity, July 20, 2007
This review is from: Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts (Paperback)
A must have for participants of any sport. This book was so good that I gave a copy to a friend as a birthday gift. It gives detailed instructions for safe, effective, and most efficient stretching and flexibility. Pictures illustrate the actions very well, and the book explains not only the hows and whats, but the the whys of each exercise as well. exercises can be combined by groups of muscles, and by sport.

This is a very realistic approach that is sure to capture the interest and attention of anyone who desires a greater degree of flexibility than they now have, regardless of age.

I am 53 years old. I have used the methods in the book for a little over a year, and they have really worked well for me.
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Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts
Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts by Sang H. Kim (Paperback - January 10, 2004)
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