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Read/Download Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredib

Read/Download Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredib

Read online or Download Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredible Science Behind Martial Arts (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Jason Thalken


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594393389
Publisher:
Ymaa Publication Center
Publication date:
10/07/2015
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
198,409
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Overview

 

WINNER — SPORTS — USA Best Books Award 2015

Fight Like a Physicist provides an in-depth, sometimes whimsical look into the physics behind martial arts for sport and self-defense. Whether you are an experienced martial artist or a curious enthusiast, this book can give you an "unfair advantage" by unraveling the complex science of effective fighting techniques and examining the core principles that make them work.

In addition to breaking down the principles behind the punches, Dr. Thalken, a computational physicist with a long history of martial arts across various styles, applies the mind-set of a physicist to a number of controversial topics in the martial arts:
• Making physics your "unfair advantage," in the ring and on the street• Examining center of mass, pi, levers, wedges, angular momentum, and linear momentum for martial artists• Protecting the brains of fighters and football players from concussions• Reducing traumatic brain injury in contact sports• Exposing the illusion of safety provided by gloves and helmets• Overturning conventional wisdom on compliance during an assault• Busting Hollywood action myths• Giving the mystical side of martial arts a much-needed reality check
Dr. Thalken invites readers to take a scientific approach to training and fighting, and provides all the tools necessary to get the most out of their experiences and make their training count.

Editorial Reviews

Foreword Reviews, March 12, 2015 - Jeff Fleischer
Fight Like a Physicist is a cool concept that makes physics tangible for fans of fighting sports.
As a martial arts practitioner with a doctorate in physics, Jason Thalken has an interesting perspective on fighting sports, and he applies his knowledge of scientific principles to his chosen sport in Fight Like a Physicist. Though there probably isn’t quite enough material here for a full book, the early sections do a solid job explaining the physics in a relatable way that gives fighters some perspective on how to incorporate scientific knowledge to fight better.
Fight Like a Physicist finds a nice middle ground in terms of the material’s tone —the writing is simple enough for its target audience to understand and apply, while it still delivers meaningful scientific concepts. For example, the book uses levers as a way to explain the relationship between distance and force, and explains how the dispersal of force on impact can make particular blows more or less effective.
Thalken includes numerous charts and graphs throughout the book. Like many of the concepts he writes about, these visual representations will look familiar to anyone who took physics in high school, but may not have thought about the material since then. He throws in the occasional “math box,” to highlight mathematical concepts like the force curve or the center of mass, while using both equations and sample fight-based scenarios. Combined, these elements make Fight Like a Physicist both a useful primer and an enjoyable refresher.
Though the early chapters are strong, the book does lose its way a bit late, with chapters that seem shoehorned in. Thalken includes a chapter about brain injuries affecting football players (including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), and posits a theory about how applied force might manifest in such injuries. However, the author also has a patent pending on a new helmet—which he discloses honestly, but which does make an already tangential chapter feel like a sales pitch at times.
Other sections criticize practices like tai chi for their lack of scientific basis, or advocate fighting back against criminals in dangerous real-life situations, but these parts feel unnecessary, and the tone deviates from the book’s strengths. They don’t quite fit the fighting-sports theme, and the science in these chapters is less than clear cut, especially when compared to the universal principles discussed earlier.
At its best, in the early chapters, Fight like a Physicist is a cool concept that makes physics tangible for fans of fighting sports, and can just as easily get more science-minded readers interested in those sports.

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