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Profile for Desmond J. Paroz > Reviews


Desmond J. Paroz's Profile

Customer Reviews: 6
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Helpful Votes: 13

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Desmond J. Paroz "Kengo" RSS Feed (Sydney, Australia)

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Enzan: The Far Mountain (Connor Burke Martial Arts Book 5)
Enzan: The Far Mountain (Connor Burke Martial Arts Book 5)
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another very good book in John Donohue's series of Martial Arts thrillers ..., August 17, 2014
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Another very good book in John Donohue's series of Martial Arts thrillers based on the character Connor Burke. Well written and brings in the traditional Japanese bujutsu/budo beautifully.

Okinawan Karate: A History of  Styles and Masters: Volume 1: Shuri-te and Shorin-ryu
Okinawan Karate: A History of Styles and Masters: Volume 1: Shuri-te and Shorin-ryu
by Christopher M. Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
7 used & new from $14.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful companion for karate history researchers, November 17, 2012
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There are relatively few books that have a detailed history of Okinawan karate in general (as opposed to one specific ryuha), and this author has made a big effort to research the detail of the Shuri-te lineage, from which styles like Shorinjiryu, Shorinryu, Shotokan, Wadoryu and others are descended.

The history of Okinawan karate is somewhat of a complicated affair with much of the history lost in lost records, the minefield of oral transmission and the legends that grow quickly in the Okinawan culture where ancestors (familial and lineage) are held in very high esteem. The author has done an impressive job of researching this often confusing history, and has put together the story in a way that is accessible to karateka wanting to learn more about the origins of their art. Its well written.

My only complaint is that some incorrect historical accounts or mistranslations have been perpetuated. For example, the master Asato Anko is referred to by the Japanese (mis)-pronunciation of his name Azato Yasutsune (instead of Azato Anko).

So the reader will need to recognise that this book (as with most) is not a definitive and perfect source in and of itself. With that said, it is a valuable reference that is highly recommended as a part of a karate researcher's reference library.

Scientific Karatedo
Scientific Karatedo
Price: $10.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best - and excited to see it on Kindle!, May 18, 2012
First published in 1976, this book remains one of the most comprehensive and scientifically valid books on the Okinawan/Japanese martial art of Karate.

Written by my former teacher, So Shihan Masayuki Hisataka (Hanshi, 9th Dan), this book is a brilliant text, and an indispensable aid for every practitioner of Shorinjiryu Karate, in particular, and any practitioner of the Okinawan martial traditions.

Although re-printed in 1995, it is a difficult text to get hold of (see the cost of second hand copies), so to see it launched on Kindle is brilliant. I will be recommending all my students to get a copy!

Des Paroz, Kengokan Dojo, Sydney

How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and Surviving Violence
How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and Surviving Violence
by Lawrence A. Kane
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.52
54 used & new from $2.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all who think violence is romantic...., October 4, 2011
Prolific martial authors Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder have done it again, with a brand new book targeted to young people (actually young men) helping them to win in physical conflict.

How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and Surviving Violence is purposely written and illustrated with a tone and layout that the authors hope will get the message through to a large audience who needs to hear that fighting and violence is hardly romantic, is generally not "fair", and rarely resolves the issue.

To get their message across, Kane and Wilder teamed up with veteran DC Comics artist/illustrator Matt Haley. The comic-book style imagery engages the mind and tells the story clearly and succinctly. With the popularity of comics in recent story telling (see TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, and even NCIS for examples), I applaud this approach, and really enjoyed the parallel approach with the detailed written descriptions.

I like it that How to Win a Fight takes a pragmatic view of violence, detailing how most seemingly random violence is unnecessary and is for the most part avoidable. The authors describe the pre-incident indicators that lead up to violence, and describe how to recognise these and (critically) avoid them!

The book continues into detail into escape and evasion techniques, then describes the mental and physical techniques that are vital if the encounter is unavoidable. Unusual for a self-defence book, the authors then describe what to do after a fight, including aspects of first aid and the need for first aid training, dealing with the police and possible legal problems and the post-traumatic stress aspects.

How To Win A Fight is a terrific book that tells a sobering and realistic story of violence, and is one that all karate and martial arts enthusiasts who study the defensive aspects of the tradition should own. It'll be on the reading list for my students at the Kengokan Dojo in Sydney, Australia. The message is important, and I love how Kane and Wilder have worked hard to get the message through to the group of people that most needs it.

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1.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor: An Expensive Rehash of Free Content, September 21, 2011
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As an instructor, practitioner and researcher into the history and technique of Shorinjiryu Karate, I of course would pretty much be guaranteed to purchase any material relevant to this style.

This book is a thinly veiled rehash of content freely available on Wikipedia. It is expensive, and many of its 100 pages are footnotes (copied and pasted along with the articles from Wikipedia).

There is ZERO original content on Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate, and in fact most of the content is generic articles of loosely related "stuff" - Wikipedia articles on Karate, Judo, Okinawan Kobudo, Japan, Aikijutsu, etc.

So there is nothing in this book you couldn't get for free, and of course, its instantly out of date as soon as its printed as Wikipedia is constantly updated as knowledge changes.

To be fair, the editors admit as much in the beginning of the book ("Imprint").

Anyway, buyer beware. There is, in my opinion, no value to be gained in purchasing this book.

The Detachment (A John Rain Novel Book 7)
The Detachment (A John Rain Novel Book 7)
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from End to End, September 20, 2011
The Detachment is the latest of Barry Eisler's series of thrillers featuring four gritty characters coming together for the first time as a single detachment (hence the outward meaning of the title). Rain, Dox, Treven and the particularly evil Larrison join forces to use their special "skills" to prevent a coup in the US government. When they find out they might unwittingly have become aiding the coup, things get murky.

The four members of the detachment each have their own issues and agendas, and before they can achieve the final goals, they need to survive working with each other.

From start to finish, The Detachment is a gripping tale. Author Barry Eisler brings realistic fight scenes to the story line, based on his own experiences as a martial artist. The spy craft is supposedly equally real-world, given Eisler's 3 years of experience in a covert role for the CIA. He marries all this together with his interest in politics and sociology to weave a story that is compelling and believable.

I have read all of Eisler's previous thrillers and 2 short stories, and now can't wait for the next instalment.

I also really liked the fact that Eisler is now writing with a contemporary audience in mind - The Detachment was released first as an ebook and audiobook, and will be released later as a printed volume. I somehow think the wait for instalments will be shorter with Eisler likely to release short stories in ebook form more regularly.

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