Fight Like a Physicist

The Incredible Science Behind Martial Arts
Narrated by: Michael Butler Murray
Length: 4 hrs
4 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 
  • Overturning conventional wisdom on compliance during an assault 

Dr. Thalken invites listeners 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. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2015 Jason Thalken, PhD (P)2019 Tantor

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OLD INFO- didn’t help with Martial Arts

This Author quotes old out dated research and fails to present current research from respectable Universities from around the world.
There are way better books out there that can teach the Physics of Martial Arts and be more effective at it. This audio book repeats itself a lot and spends a lot of time talking about denying the existence of Chi when it could have just simply been a 30 min audio book on frigging balance and center of gravity. It took forever to make his point and he complains endlessly. The narrator has a very nasal voice. I had to play it at speed- 2x so I could get through it. Very disappointed.

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Awesome Information

alot of great information in this book. I could have done without the tangent on disproving ki and mysticism and wish he would have focused more of the later chapters on the physics that make strikes locks and throws effective. the parts on traumatic brain injury were very good though I think they warrant their own book.

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  • Faryaad N.
  • 02-06-20

For strikers & grapplers alike

Some very key details about types of strikes & explanation of centre of mass make this book a must-read/listen for any serious martial arts student.

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  • S. Ainley
  • 01-27-20

A considered guide to the physics of martial arts

Well written book that intelligently outlines how basic physics principles apply to (& can be used to more effectively employ) various martial arts fundamentals (strikes, loss of balance, etc).

Also contains well researched sections on CDE (brain injury often found in high impact activities due to repeated trauma to the head), and self defence choices and their corresponding statistics in 'real world' situations.

Recommended reading if a considered understanding, and potential application of, the principles behind the techniques often taught in martial arts classes is of interest.