Martial Arts Book Review: Pool Cues, Beer Bottles, and Baseball Bats by Marc "Animal" MacYoung

Shawn Kovacich
 


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Being the author of several books on the martial arts and fighting, I am always looking for books of exceptional quality to add to my library. If I have a book in my library, it's definitely worth owning. One such book is Marc “Animal” MacYoung’s, “Pool Cues, Beer Bottles, and Baseball Bats. "

As you may well know from my previous reviews of Marc’s books, one of the things that I absolutely love about his style of writing, is his no-holds barred direct approach to getting his point across. There is never any sugarcoating or politically correct terminology is his books. He simply tells it like it is, whether you like it or not. Marc’s method of writing reminds me of the comical rants of George Carlin. You may be offended by what he says, but by golly it’s the truth. And yes, sometimes the truth hurts.

Once again, Marc gives you a no-holds barred look at the reality of fighting and surviving on the street. This book focuses on the most common types of weapons you are likely to encounter during an altercation on the street. For the most part, Marc leaves out the two most common ones, guns and knives. The reason for this is because these two are deserving of book all of their own. One of which I know Marc has addressed, as that particular book is on my “To Do” list.

In the preface, Marc discusses the intent of his book, which is for you the reader to use the knowledge contained within to keep yourself safe and out of trouble. It is not intended nor implied for you to go out and start causing it. As I was making notes to do this review, it occurred to me that what Marc and others like him are trying to teach you is similar to what the late Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin was trying to teach all of us that watched him work with animals.

First, that these are wild animals (violent and unpredictable individuals) and need to be treated with respect. Secondly, if you know the “ins and outs” (what to look for when dealing with this type of person) of the animal, then you will be able to identify and avoid a possible dangerous confrontation.

This last part is strictly Marc’s and others like him, and is not Irwin’s by any stretch of the imagination.

And finally, when unable to avoid a confrontation, what options you have to inflict as much damage upon your opponent as you can while sustaining minimal damage to yourself.

In the first chapter, Marc talks about the vital importance of awareness not only of your surroundings, but also of yourself. He teaches you some of the subtle and not-so-subtle cues that people tend to give off when preparing to attack. He also goes into patterns of trouble, which are a series of events that seem to always follow one after another on a one way course to trouble. With you usually right in the middle of it. One of the ways to avoid these things is to be aware of it. Hence, the lesson to be learned in this section, taking the time to work on your awareness.

The next chapter deals with long range weapons you are likely to encounter. Things such as pool cues, staffs or poles, shovels, etc. The remaining chapters in this book are broken down into various sections that focus on a wide variety of weapons, such as swords, sticks. Marc also goes into quite a bit of detail on impact weapons such as; wrist pins, brass knuckles, rings, saps, etc. Marc even has a chapter dealing with flexible weapons such as chains and ropes. As with all of his books, and this one is no exception, Marc gives you a real good understanding of the principles behind the techniques that he discusses and demonstrates in his books.

Marc’s final chapter in this book deals with diversions and distractions that you are likely to encounter during a street altercation. Some of them are obvious, while others are not so obvious. As Marc is fond of saying (and completely right) awareness is the key to survival. Buy Marc’s books, read them, study them, learn from them, and then use that knowledge to stay safe and live longer.

Shawn Kovacich has been practicing the martial arts for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of 4th degree (Yodan) black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Shawn has also competed in such prestigious full-contact bare knuckle karate competitions as the Shidokan Open and the Sabaki Challenge, among others. In addition to his many accomplishments, Shawn is also a two time world record holder for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Shawn is the author of the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence™ series and can be reached via his web site at: http://www.kickingbooks.com

Marc can be reached via his web site at: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com

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