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The Physics of Martial Arts

Fight Like a Physicist: Make Physics Your Advantage in the Ring and on the Street. By Jason Thalken. YMAA Publication Center, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, 2015. ISBN: 1-59439-338-9. 161 pp. Paperback, $16.95.

The martial arts field is many things to many people, and it often confuses not just the general public but also skeptics. What’s an outsider to make of a wide-reaching milieu that includes contact sports, historical reenactment, self-defense training, and New Age pseudohistorical mystical gobbledygook when all are labeled “martial arts”? This question brings us to a new book called Fight Like A Physicist: Make Physics Your Advantage in the Ring and on the Street, written by a PhD physicist. Although Jason Thalken writes well, footnotes carefully, and uses interesting analogies to explain concepts well, one has to ask what, if anything, does this book include that would be of interest to skeptics?

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