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The Martial Arts Encyclopedia

The Martial Arts Encyclopedia (cover)Amazon.comWhile we have included entries from this book in our terminology section, we cannot recommend the book as a first reference. There is some interesting, occasionally informative, entries. The biggest problem with the book is it's layout and poor editing. By breaking the booking to ("General", "Schools and Styles", "Forms and Techniques", "Weapons" etc.), information that might be grouped together in a more conventional layout is scattered. Worse, many entries are duplicated, but the text may, or may not, be the same. For example, De-ashi-harai is defined in three places: as a seperate entry (with a dictionary definition but no description); under Judo Throwing techniques; under Sweeps. The last two entries give identical descriptions of the techniques. In other cases different locations will produce slightly different definitions or descriptions. Finally, the book fails in what it does not provide. For example, "Sode" is defined only in terms of armor.

If you will only have one (or two or three) reference book, there are better choices. For a first dictionary, try Kim which is more complete or Frederic which is more in depth.

Jennifer Lawler
Masters Press
1996