The Philosophy and Technique of The Martial Arts For Victory in Combat and in Life
Author: Marrese Crump, Mark Edward Cody
Subject: Philosophy/Training manual
Mark Edward Cody has trained in martial arts for over 30 years and owned one of the largest martial arts studios in Central Florida for almost twenty years. He has trained in a number of styles and has a 5th degree black belt in Wado Ryu Karate
Marrese Crump has studied karate, Muay Thai, kung-fu, capoeira, western boxing, Filipino kali, taekwondo and ninjutsu. He has received training from some of the greatest masters and grand masters of our time. Crump has appeared in “Tom Yum Goong 2” (also known as “The Protector 2”) alongside Tony Jaa and undertaken stunt work on films: “The Man with the Iron Fists” 1 and 2, as well as working as a fight choreographer on a number of other films. Marrese includes professional wrestling legend and actor, Dave Batista as one of his students and friends.
Read our interview with him here.
This book articulates and charts the life philosophy and techniques of Marrese Crump, a man who has dedicated his life to martial arts training. “The Warrior’s Journal” taps into the wisdom of warrior ways, inspired thoughts on life, martial arts, combat, as well as training techniques.
If you are unaware of Marrese and his insights and techniques, by the end of the book you will have a good grasp of both, leaving you with his philosophy to think about, as well as practical training to practice.
The book is effectively split into two main parts.
In the first part, we see a selection of Crump’s notes relating to philosophy and questions. These thoughts were collected by Marrese during his many years of training and give a great insight into the warrior mindset. Do not be fooled, they are not only thoughts on how to win battles, but also thoughts and questions on what it is to be a well-rounded warrior, a person as a whole – not just in war.
These notes are presented as short paragraphs and there are many of them. I found them to be very interesting and refreshing; showing Crump’s own thoughts, as well as drawing on sources he has studied and considered to help reinforce what he is saying. Some of them certainly made me think deeply and a number of them have stayed with me since reading the book.
The second part of the book starts with a brief introduction of many martial art styles, including kung-fu, silat, taekwondo, Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do and more. Crump provides a brief history and some explanation of the benefits of each.
Following this introduction we get to the techniques and application section. This second part of the book (which actually makes up approximately two thirds of the book) starts with Defensive Tactics and then follows a natural order of striking, kicking, grappling methods, etc. All are well explained and illustrated with photos. I will briefly review a few of these sections:
Defensive Tactics – Good explanation of body shifting and blocks. All of the techniques are well presented and good, in-depth explanations are provided, for example in a High Block, Crump states: ‘Note that the palm of blocking hand is rotated slightly upward. This is crucial to the integrity of the block. If the palm is not rotated in this manner, the bicep is not utilized in the block’. The explanation is continued in the book, but it highlights the level of knowledge Crump has and wishes to share, something that is not prevalent in all teachers. Also included in this section are explanations of triangular footwork and trapping hand techniques.
The next section is Striking Techniques and a wide variety of attacks are displayed, including knife hand, claw hand, finger and thumb strikes, jabbing and hook techniques.
The following section is dedicated to kicking and follows the same format as the others. Kicking techniques included are roundhouse, ax, front and back kicks, stomping and knee striking. After kicking. there is a section titled: Creative Methods of Attack (Thai knee strikes, head butts, arm jabs, etc.).
Marrese then talks about Jurus, which are short sequences of drills to help training, which is followed by an explanation of boxing as a combat system, highlighting styles, distance, fakes, drills and combinations, including examples for you to practice.
Grappling arts are next – an explanation followed by some throws, including break falls, then a roundup of key factors for locking and throwing techniques. Grappling is then taken to a lower level to highlight the basic elements of grappling, which includes grips and handles (Handles being a favourite of old school doormen here in the UK – great ways to manipulate the entire body and move someone somewhere else!).
After grappling, the book naturally moves to ground fighting, which often occurs in real life. Included in ground fighting are arm and knee bars, guards, a lot of counter moves, lots of locks, and 10 types of chokes.
Towards the end of the book Crump takes us to clinch techniques, still maintaining the quality of explanations e.g. for the Double Arm Wrap the description reads: “‘be sure to tuck in your chin so your opponent cannot counter with a head-butt, and no slack in the technique or you may be countered with a bear hug”. Counters to clinch techniques follow, including boxing counters, duck-under techniques, slaps, pulls and gouges. Counters to leg attacks, wrist, arm and head locks, chokes and strangles, throws, mounts – escapes, including the bear hug escape.
Lastly, Marrese covers conventional tactics, mostly to be used in sporting situations (particularly MMA style fights) and closes with unconventional tactics and fighting dirty techniques. These sections highlight how, by bringing sporting rules to life and death situations, you’re inviting your own destruction. Techniques in this section include improvised weapons (car chargers, cigarette lighters and using your opponent’s own clothes against them) and fighting dirty techniques such as biting, hair pulling etc.
This book is part thought and philosophy, part self-defense and training manual. Lots of different techniques and styles are thoroughly explained and demonstrated, highlighting the author’s extensive training and knowledge of many martial arts. It is informative, thought provoking and has enough material in it to aid almost any kind of martial artists training.
If you spend some time looking at what Marrese has studied, you’ll find that here is a compressed manual of his comprehensive knowledge, laid out in a clear and concise manner.
Overall this is an excellent book – I have it in PDF version, but plan to get a paper copy to add to my extensive library!
As two thirds of the book display and explain techniques, the below quotes come from the first third of the book, where Marrese explains a lot of his Warrior Philosophy:
“Goals in the martial arts are essentially long-term. Do not expect mastery without many years of dedication to your art. Set realistic short-term goals to help you attain your ultimate aspirations. When you attain your ultimate goals, you should then set your sights higher!”
“The value of consistent practice can never be overemphasized. When you have learned a technique or a skill, it is vital that you devote time to developing expertise. You should learn each technique until it becomes a part of you. No conscious effort should be necessary.”
“Do not forget, if you are on the correct path, those who wander aimlessly shall despise you. Jonathan Swift warns us, “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”
“A soft-spoken and polite demeanor is a sure sign of real strength and skill. Those who are truly strong and unafraid will reflect this in their respect for others. It is the weak and fearful man who constantly seeks to build himself up trying to tear others down. ‘He who knows does not speak and he who speaks does not know’.