Materia Medica for Martial Artists by Josh Walker - (Book Review)

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Book Review

書評 – Shohyo

Materia Medica for Martial Artists

 

Materia Medica for Martial Artists

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Every field of study employs its own language, words, and phrases that become an integral part of engaging with the discipline. In herbalism, one such phrase is “materia medica,” which comes from Latin and literally means “healing materials.” More specifically, a materia medica is a body of knowledge that describes how plants have been used therapeutically throughout the ages. These published works span from ancient times all the way to our modern texts.Agatha Noveille

Since this is the first (of hopefully many) book reviews that we will be publishing on the Kodawari Hombu Dojo website, we did want to explain the format we are using. Comments and suggestions in this regard are more than welcome (use the comments at the very bottom of this page).

We will lay out for you the full table of contents so you are able to see the full layout of the book. Then, we currently have a total of eight (8) review criteria that we assign a score to and then an overall total. We believe these are the most important areas to review. We then take each of those 8 review criteria and do a bit more of a deep dive into that topic and explain why it was that we gave the score that we did. Lastly, we will follow everything up with (where applicable) purchase or link to options, awards and any other information that may be necessary.

If you are relatively new to the concept of and training in iron palm (鐵掌 – tie zhang) or the Ryusei-ha Omoi Te (龍精派重い手 – Heavy Hand), I would suggest you add the following posts to your reading list as it might help you to understand everything a bit more:

 

Book Review Table of Contents

 

Quality books on Chinese herbology or materia medica1Materia medica is a Latin phrase that literally means “healing materials”. A dictionary definition would be something along the lines of the branch of medical science concerned with the study of drugs used in the treatment of disease: includes pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, and the history and physical and chemical properties of drugs. Common current usage refers specifically to herbs. are typically quite expensive. And, unless it is from a well known author, it can be a mixed bag with regards to the quality of the information you are receiving. Josh Walker is a VERY qualified author and his book is unique in that it is geared directly towards martial artists. No matter if you are looking for information on general dit da jow (跌打酒 – hit fall wine) for common injuries or iron palm dit da jow (鐵掌跌打酒 – tie zhang dit da jow), this dojo Best Choice recommended book will be the one you need to start your library with! Please just remember that while Traditional Chinese Medicine (中药 – Zhongyao) or TCM has more components, this book deals specifically with dit da jow related to Ryusei-ha Omoi Te or iron palm.2The uses of dit da jow can generally be put into three (3) main categories: pain relief, healing (the healing of bruises, sprains, strained muscles/tendons/ligaments, etc. from every day activities or sports participation) and conditioning (including the strengthening of any and all tissues that are affected by different type of impact such as the skin, muscles, various connective tissues, the bones, etc. as you would need in Ryusei-ha Omoi Te or iron palm).

 

Table of Contents

Materia Medica for Martial Artists - Table of Contents

SectionNamePage #
Acknowledgementsvi
Forewordvii
Disclaimerix
Part IOverview1
Section 1 - Antagonisms and Counteractions3
Section 2 - Understanding the Templates6
Part IIHERB TEMPLATES13
Chapter 1Herbs That Release Exterior Heat14

Book Review Score

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[taq_review]

Full Book Review

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Rather than just present a book, give it a quick score and then tell you that you should buy it and have it in your martial arts library, we wanted to do a full break down of all of the review criteria and explain why it is that it received the rating that it did.

 

Physical Quality

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The physical quality of Materia Medica for Martial Artists is about what you would expect for a book produced when it was and at the price point it is selling at. It is a soft cover book only. So the individual pages are glued to the spine of the soft cover. While the quality does appear to be there, I would have a slight concern as to how well it will hold up over time when under heavy usage. The paper quality of the individual pages is good. Again, only a slight concern, but this book is designed (for most folks) as a type of textbook. So, at least for me, using different color highlighters throughout the entire book can (and should) be expected. The concern here is that the ink from those might fade through the pages. So, for those considering a purchase, you might want to also look for the “highlighter pencil” types of tools in this case to prevent that.

Formats Available

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Unfortunately, Materia Medica for Martial Artists is only available in a physical format as mentioned above (soft cover). In this day and age, with a phone in every hand and a number of different tablet options available, eBook formats such as ePub and Amazon’s formats for the Kindle App, it is great to be able to load ebooks to them. Now, to be fair, Materia Medica for Martial Artists was originally published in 2012. So, things then were not quite the way that they are now. Electronic versions of books were certainly available then, but not in the way they are now (summer of 2022 as I write this).

Uniqueness of Information

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The uniqueness of information that Materia Medica for Martial Artists contains is really where it begins to shine! As was said earlier, books concerning Chinese herbalism (and for martial artists in particular) are few and far between.

Ease of Reading

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Mat

Author Qualifications

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Author Josh Walker
Josh Walker’s passion for Chinese medicine and martial arts led him to become the original founder of an herbal supply store in 2005. He currently runs the central U.S. chapter for Tabimina Balintawak group, a combative style of martial arts that originated in the Philippines. He is also the author of the Materia Medica For Martial Artists, a comprehensive reference on Chinese herbs for Dit Da Jow that is designed directly with the martial artist and TCM practitioner in mind. He is also the author of Excursions in Iron Palm that sets a beginner level path and knowledge set for training in the iron palm arts.

Price Paid

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Bang For Your Buck

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Intangibles

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  • 1
    Materia medica is a Latin phrase that literally means “healing materials”. A dictionary definition would be something along the lines of the branch of medical science concerned with the study of drugs used in the treatment of disease: includes pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, and the history and physical and chemical properties of drugs. Common current usage refers specifically to herbs.
  • 2
    The uses of dit da jow can generally be put into three (3) main categories: pain relief, healing (the healing of bruises, sprains, strained muscles/tendons/ligaments, etc. from every day activities or sports participation) and conditioning (including the strengthening of any and all tissues that are affected by different type of impact such as the skin, muscles, various connective tissues, the bones, etc. as you would need in Ryusei-ha Omoi Te or iron palm).

About Michael Davis

Michael Davis
Beginning his martial training almost 50 years ago, Michael Davis has spent almost his entire adult life attempting to internalize, add to and propagate the body of knowledge that makes up the principles and techniques of the life preserving combative arts and sciences. Michael has taught or assisted with the teaching of seminars and events in 17 US states and four countries. In addition to training every day martial artists, he has taught members of the US military as well as law enforcement at every level...from local LEOs to Federal Marshalls and US Secret Service agents (protective detail). He has co-authored a martial arts book, written numerous magazine articles that were published internationally as well as appearing in and assisting with the production of martial arts videos and other training materials.
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