Martial Arts Fiction discussion

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message 1: by Goran (last edited Aug 17, 2010 01:14AM) (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
I've been studying martial arts for over 35 years and today I teach and train in Goju Ryu karate in London, England. I loved reading Shogun in the 70s and enjoyed the guilty pleasures of Eric Van Lustbader's Ninja in the 80s, but martial arts fiction went a bit quiet in the 90s. In recent years there's been something of a resurgence that's allowed my own work to be published, along with some exciting new material from a crop of authors. I look forward to sharing the best in martial arts fiction, new and old, on this forum.

Goran Powell


message 2: by John (new)

John | 9 comments I've been training in Japanese martial arts for 30+ years. I've been writing both non-fiction (academic analysis as well as general audience material) and figured that fiction was a more effective way to communicate something of the wonder of the Asian martial tradition to a larger audience. My novels Sensei, Deshi, and Tengu have been pretty well received by martial arts readers.John Donohue


message 3: by Charmaigne (new)

Charmaigne | 8 comments I trained in Shaolin Kung Fu as a child and in Goju Ryu karate since 1992. I am a now a 2nd Dan. I work for a library service which is great because I love books!!!


message 4: by Bert (new)

Bert Edens (bedens) | 11 comments I've only been training in martial arts formally for 11 years and am fortunate to have achieved 3rd dan in taekwon-do (but we practice all other things such as groundfighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, weapon defenses, etc.).

As a kid, I was always around martial arts movies and loved anything I could get my hands on. Actually learned to use some heavy wooden nunchaku by trial and error as a teen. Not recommended. :)

My main areas of interest in martial arts, other than teaching, are sticks, knives and joint locks. I also have a passion for teaching martial arts to students with disabilities. My 3rd dan thesis was on adapting curriculum for students in wheelchairs.

Good to meet everyone!


message 5: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments I found this group because I was thinking of starting one just like it. So glad it's already up and active!

I wish I could say I started training in martial arts since I was 5, but we didn't have the money and my parents didn't think it wise to send an already tomboy daughter to learn karate. Instead, I watched way too many martial arts movies, and in and after college, when I could do what I wanted, I took Wu Dang sword dance, kung fu, shotokan karate, tae kwon do, Yang style tai chi, and wushu. I'm not a master of any of those forms nor am I any good at fighting.

I just published a martial arts fiction book myself [The Legend of Phoenix Mountain], and it seems to fly best with preteen and teenage boys. Have yet to get my marketing campaign into full swing, but it's getting pumped up. I'm looking to connect with other Martial Arts fiction authors and start a scene!

My great tragedy is my Chinese is not good enough for me to read Jing Yong books, the greatest martial arts fiction writer of all time. My mom splurged one day and bought the whole set of his books (28 in all I think), and when I tried to read it, I could pronounce a lot of the words but could understand zip. She's apparently a HUGE fan (one wonders why she wouldn't let me take martial arts as a child). I hope one day I'll have the time and skill to not only read Jing Yong books but also translate them into English so the English world can enjoy when the Chinese have enjoyed for so long.

I'm looking forward to exploring and promoting martial arts fiction in English and have at least four more novels to write for this genre.

Glad to join this community and I hope to help it grow!


message 6: by Bert (new)

Bert Edens (bedens) | 11 comments Welcome, Tinabot! I have added your book to my wish list and will definitely check out the first few chapters, as shown on your profile!

Best of luck with your writing! Wish my Chinese was good enough to Jing Yong's books, but unfortunately I'm much better at Korean. :)


message 7: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments Bert wrote: "Welcome, Tinabot! I have added your book to my wish list and will definitely check out the first few chapters, as shown on your profile!

Best of luck with your writing! Wish my Chinese was good en..."


Thanks! I wish I knew more Korean than what I've learned form watching that Korean drama "Full House". I'm sure there's some awesome martial arts fiction in Korean, too.

In terms of martial arts movies, Volcano High was a fun.

Yeah, if you get a chance to read any part of my book, I would love to hear what you think, positive or negative. First 6 chapters are free at ninjapueblo.com

Thanks!


message 8: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Welcome Tinabot! It's great to have a few more martial arts fans on the group!!


message 9: by Bert (new)

Bert Edens (bedens) | 11 comments Tinabot, you should check out more KDramas... "Full House" was fun, but there are so many other good ones!

"Volcano High" was also pretty good! I was amazed at the difference between the English and Korean versions. In the English version, they had a lot of "internal dialog" dubbed in that wasn't part of the original Korean version. It was almost like they were "dumbing down" to us Americans, as if we couldn't figure out what people were thinking by their facial expressions and actions... :(

That said, it was a very good movie.


message 10: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments lol yeah the English version of Volcano High wasn't as cool. I also didn't like the hip hop soundtrack because I thought the original more rock metal one was more fitting. I like hip hop, I just didn't think it fit. ^_^ Thanks for adding my book to your to-read!


message 11: by Bert (new)

Bert Edens (bedens) | 11 comments Oh yeah, I forgot about the music on "Volcano High" too... I like the music, but it didn't fit as well.


message 12: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments Goran wrote: "Welcome Tinabot! It's great to have a few more martial arts fans on the group!!"

Hi Goran, Thanks for starting this group. I just got a nookcolor and bought your "Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces his Ultimate Test". Will "Sudden Dawn" be a nookbook soon?

I'm going to check into the nookbook thing for my book and hopefully have it up soon. ^O^


message 13: by Bert (new)

Bert Edens (bedens) | 11 comments Tinabot, off subject, but what do you think of your nook color?


message 14: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments Bert wrote: "Tinabot, off subject, but what do you think of your nook color?"

Just got it yesterday and love it so far. I'm an on-the-go teacher so it's great to have a whole library in my wallet--literally. Books are always the heaviest part of my luggage, so this is making a big difference.

Originally I was going to get the e-ink one because of the super long battery life, but when I went into the store to try it out, the user interface on the old nook was just too hard to figure out and the nookcolor just had like a million more functions (music, video, color, pictures, interactive childrens books, facebook twitter posting, etc.).

I can read my amazon and b&n books on my Sprint Evo phone, which works, but that thing runs out of battery too quickly if I read on it and the screen isn't as big--too many page turns. Nookcolor has 8-10 hours battery life, not as good as the e-inks, but perfect to last a whole day and have a recharge at night.

NookColor is getting an update in 2 weeks and will have the newest Android OS soon, so it'll be like a full Android touch pad (7inches). The size is perfect for reading; it's like a medium pocket paperback. My friends with iPads say it gets way to heavy and cumbersome to read off the iPad. Also, it beats having to lie in bed with a laptop open (since you can read all those ebooks on PCs too).

The price was pretty sweet, too, around $250. My Sprint Evo was $200 with a phone plan, and the iPad is over $500.

Being able to see a book I want (i.e. "Waking Dragons" by Goran Powell) and being able to download it in 5 seconds and read it right away is pretty awesome.

Although I LOVE holding a book in my hands, smelling it (sign of a true booklover, right?), and flipping the pages, the ebook reader is just too practical to not have. Nookbooks overall are cheaper than their paper versions, too.

I'm looking forward to a WHOLE lot more reading ^_^


message 15: by Bert (new)

Bert Edens (bedens) | 11 comments Thanks for the great review. I am definitely thinking about getting a Kindle or NookColor soon (if someone doesn't get one for me for Christmas, since they are on my list) :) Kinda torn between getting the cheaper model as a starting point to see what I think or getting The Latest And Greatest because, well, it's The Latest And Greatest :)

Thanks for the great review, and happy reading!


message 16: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Hi Tinabot, thanks for your interest in my book. A Sudden Dawn is available as a PDF from the publisher, although I'm not sure if that's OK for a Nookbook?? Here's the link if you're interested:

http://www.ymaa-store.com/fiction.html

BTW have you seen The Monkey King's Daughter by Tod de Bonis, it is a similar genre to yours.


message 17: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments Goran wrote: "Hi Tinabot, thanks for your interest in my book. A Sudden Dawn is available as a PDF from the publisher, although I'm not sure if that's OK for a Nookbook?? Here's the link if you're interested:

..."


Thanks for the suggestion! I looked high and low for more books like mine, so I'm definitely going to check it out and hopefully work with the author.

I'm very much enjoying Waking Dragons! Out of the many book son my Nook right now, it's the one that keeps my attention the longest. I think it's just really easy for me to relate to because I too went through checking out different schools of martial arts, although not as intensely as in the story. I'm also on a fitness upswing right now, so all the more the book speaks to me.

I'll definitely try out Sudden Dawn after I finish Waking Dragons. The Nook does read pdfs, but the ePub format flows easier on it (the text fits into the shape of your screen).


message 18: by Russell (new)

Russell Brooks (russellbrooks) Hello, everyone.

I thought this would be a cool place to hang out, so I'm here. I took Karate classes while in university but stopped because I was doing track. I intend to start back one day.


message 19: by Wuxia (new)

Wuxia Wanderings (guanzhong) | 8 comments Hey everyone,

I haven't really studied martial arts, except for one month of Taekwondo last year.

But I like wuxia and I figured that would overlap here. Also, I recently started an online literary journal dedicated to wuxia and other Chinese historical fiction. I'm trying to get the word out and find people who would be interested in such a publication. Hope this message isn't seen as spamming. If anyone is intested, the site is at http://kunlunjournal.blogspot.com

Thanks


message 20: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments Hey John,

That's a pretty cool concept you got there. I've read a few Chinese historical fiction myself and hope to write some in the future. How'd you get that subscribe by email button? I need one for my sight lol. I subscribed!


message 21: by Wuxia (new)

Wuxia Wanderings (guanzhong) | 8 comments The subscribe button came with the template I used. If you use feedburner, just go to the publicize tab in your account and click on email subscriptions. Copy the code there and put it into your website.

Thanks for subscribing!

tinabot wrote: "Hey John,

That's a pretty cool concept you got there. I've read a few Chinese historical fiction myself and hope to write some in the future. How'd you get that subscribe by email button? I need ..."



message 22: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments John wrote: "The subscribe button came with the template I used. If you use feedburner, just go to the publicize tab in your account and click on email subscriptions. Copy the code there and put it into your we..."

awesome, thanks!


message 23: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Welcome John, I have subscribed to your magazine, it looks very exciting! One question, any chance it'll become available as a kindle format? if not, no problem, i can read PDFs

Good luck with it

Goran


message 24: by Wuxia (new)

Wuxia Wanderings (guanzhong) | 8 comments I want to make the first issue available on Kindle as a free download, but I haven't really looked into making that happen yet. The introductory Issue 0 will remain in PDF and EPUB format. But I hope to have the first issue on the Kindle.


message 25: by Wuxia (new)

Wuxia Wanderings (guanzhong) | 8 comments Goran,

I uploaded a .mobi file of Issue 0 to my site: http://kunlunjournal.blogspot.com/p/i...

There are some paragraph formatting issues because of how I originally designed the issue. So there are no spaces between the characters, and the indentation has been ignored. Pretty annoying. I will have those issues fixed for Issue 1, but you can give this one a try to see kind of what it will be like.

I can't upload it to the Kindle store without charging for it, but .mobi is the same format that Kindle uses, so it should work on your device.


message 26: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Will give it a try, thanks for this!


message 27: by E.P. (new)

E.P. Shirleyjack | 2 comments Hi all,

I have studied American Tae Kwon Do and American Kempo over the past 5 years or so. I have a newborn fascination in Krav Maga since taking a workshop in it a few months ago, but there's not a Krav Maga school in my town.

I also write a bit of fiction. I have one story that's not a martial arts story per se, but the protagonists are karate students at an inner city dojo, and their martial arts background plays a central and specific role in their actions and decisions, and of course the plot resolution hinges on the outcome of a fight scene or two, and a lot of hard work:)

The Association 1 President Park Incidents by E. P. Shirleyjack


message 28: by tinabot (new)

tinabot | 18 comments Stemplehair wrote: "Hi all,

I have studied American Tae Kwon Do and American Kempo over the past 5 years or so. I have a newborn fascination in Krav Maga since taking a workshop in it a few months ago, but there's n..."


Welcome!

I heard about Krav Maga watching "How I Met Your Mother" and recently saw some youtube videos on it. It's intense! There's a school here in LA, but I can't fit the classes into my schedule.


message 29: by E.P. (new)

E.P. Shirleyjack | 2 comments I remember that episode. It was ineffable!:) I think that show is more insightful than your average sitcom


message 30: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Hi Dutch and welcome. James Clavell is truly the master....


message 31: by Philip (new)

Philip (rainmaker) | 3 comments Been involved in cross training martial arts for 15 years or so now with a few broken noses for my troubles :)
I am an avid reader and really enjoy martial arts fiction. Eric Van Lustbader got me started with the adventures of Nicholas Linnear, then the Rain series and more recently Sensei and The Cutting Season. I have been able to add a lot more books to my "to read" list already just form joining this group so thats an immediate plus for me.
Philip


message 32: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Hi Philip, great to hear from you!


message 33: by Lady (new)

Lady (xladybirdx) | 1 comments Hello, my name is Karianne. Girly name, not so girly history. I was a wrestler in high school but got folded in half the wrong way and rotated a vertibre. So after some PT I went into Shotokan Karate and have been training where I can ever since. I've drabbled in several other styles, including Jujitsu and Aikdo. Just starting up some Krav Maga because the intense nature is pretty appealing having come from upper levels of Shotokan.

By day I am actually a massage therapist. I went into the field after I broke my back and found that knowing anatomy was the best supplement to martial arts there could ever be. I know most every point in the body that can bring someone down with minimal pressure and I learned it from massage. I've created my own style of fighting based off of this knowledge. It's painful though, and rarely do I use it on friends unless they ask for it (literally, they have to make the request verbally if they'd like my true fighting style).

I love reading, and I love martial arts, so I am excited to see the two combined. I hope you can all introduce me to your favorite reads. ^___^


message 34: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
Hi Karianne, good to meet you here. It's always surprising (and a bit annoying) how much you learn about your body through injuries, isn't it!!


message 35: by Philip (new)

Philip (rainmaker) | 3 comments Welcome Karianne,
Browse through Goran's books he has some great ones on there. I just finished up The Cutting Season and Quiet Teacher and both are gripping combination's of Martial Arts and anatomy which you might enjoy!
Peace


message 36: by Sunflower (new)

Sunflower (indeplady) | 12 comments Hi! I am an avid reader of martial arts. I am also a publicist for a martial arts publishing company. If you are looking for some good reads in martial arts ficition, I strongly recommend, A Sudden Dawn by Goran Powell, A Cutting Season and Quiet teacher by Arthur Rosenfeld. And Jonh Donohue's new book, Kage will be out in June. John's book is the fourth in his Connor Burke series. I don't want this to look like a laumdry list of books, but I have read each one of them and found them to be fascinating. Each author has a writing style that won't let you put the book down. Really good stuff.


message 37: by Goran (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to Kage - BRING IT ON!!


message 38: by John (new)

John | 9 comments Goran wrote: "I'm looking forward to Kage - BRING IT ON!!"

Goran

Currently reading A Sudden Dawn and really enjoying it. Glad to hear that you;re looking forward to Kage's release. I'm anxious to see what people thnk of it.


message 39: by Goran (last edited May 20, 2011 07:08AM) (new)

Goran Powell (goranpowell) | 31 comments Mod
...in the withered and unforgiving landscape of the Southwest, Connor Burke works to pierce the cloud of mystery surrounding Westmann...

The blurb's certainly got me excited, and I think Charmaigne will like it too - she's a fan!

Glad you're enjoying Sudden Dawn, please post a review if you have the inclination.


message 40: by Jim (new)

Jim Lee | 4 comments This is an awesome group. I've always loved martial arts fiction ever since I read my first wuxia novel.
I'm an avid martial arts enthusiast. I trained in shaolin kung fu when I was a child, then stopped for quite a while until I picked it back up years later, then stopped again. Nowadays it's muay thai, brazilian jiu jitsu, savate, jeet kune do, and kali/escrima/panantukan. Unfortunately I don't have high ranks in any of this stuff, but I'm working towards it ^^.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Greetings and well met to the group. My name is Craig, a sporadic and inconsistant student of Yang style taijiquan, muay Thai and muay Boran, as well as having dabbled in tae kwon do, shotokan, and judo.


message 42: by Jacques (new)

Jacques Antoine (jacquesantoine) | 34 comments Hi, everyone. I've been lurking in this group for a while. I haven't practiced martial arts for years. I used to do judo as a kid, and then kempo as an adult. But I blew out my knee a few years back, so I've had to sit on the side line. But in the meantime, I've enjoyed watching my 12yo daughter's interest in shotokan flourish. She's a purple belt now and really loves doing weapons katas. The trunk of my wife's car is a veritable arsenal of practice weapons. She used to like sparring and chanbara too. But her interest in those things has faded a bit recently.

I was so moved by her experience with karate that I wrote a YA martial arts novel, in part for her. It's called Go No Sen. I was struck by the experience that lots of girls have in karate dojos. They tend not to like sparing with the boys, because boys at that age are rambunctious and don't pay much attention to control. It's not that girls are afraid of getting hit--I know my daughter isn't. But they are offended by it. It's against the rules to punch through the target. But if the sensei doesn't enforce the rules they are really bothered by that. So I tried to imagine a girl who would overcome that obstacle, and she eventually became the heroine of the book.

Go No Sen (Emily Kane Stories) by Jacques Antoine


message 43: by Rick (new)

Rick Kirkham (kirkhamsebooks) | 4 comments Hello hi everyone I just chilling and I am doing this by voice on my cell phone so I'll keep it short. My name is rick I'm an author and have been in martial arts since 1973. I look forward towards reading everyone's ideas and thoughts on books in martial arts.


message 44: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Forsythe Hello everyone...is this thread even still active after 6 months? I guess I'll find out. I joined a few weeks ago, but didn't have the heart to write the awkward "hi I'm Sadie" post. It must be done though.

Hi, I'm sadie. A one time (and hopefully again) student of aikido. (Sometime those pesky breeding years are so inconvenient.) I'm always on the lookout for an interesting read and am looking forward to getting to know everyone.

Oh...and hi Jacques. Him I know. I'd recommend his books by the way.


message 45: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Forsythe Dutch wrote: "Hi Sadie! Welcome!"

Thank you Dutch.


message 46: by Jacques (new)

Jacques Antoine (jacquesantoine) | 34 comments Hi, Sadie! You, I know! It's a sleepy group, but some interesting folks show up occasionally. Welcome


message 47: by Loren (new)

Loren Christensen (lorenchristensen) | 30 comments Happy summer, everyone. I haven't checked in since...I don't know when the last time was.

My book Dukkha: The Suffering has been out as an e-book for a while but the publisher hasn't pushed it yet, as they're waiting to do that when the book is released in paperback this December.

The second book is completed and in the editing stage, and I'm about 260 pages into the third.

The books follow Sam Reeves, a Portland, Oregon police detective and martial arts instructor. The first book takes place in Portland, the second book is set in modern-day Saigon, Vietnam, and the third is set back in Portland again.

After 45 non fictions, I'm finding fiction to be fun and challenging.

Happy summer and drink lots of water.

Loren


message 48: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy Hello MAF. I'm just following a friend into this group.

I'm sure a lot of authors and readers in this group have read Violence: A Writer's Guidebut if you haven't I highly recommend it. It sheds a lot of light on how to read and write about the preparation, experience and consquences of violence in a wide range of genres.

If anyone has opinions about this book or recommendations of similar books, please let me know.

Have fun.
G


message 49: by Jacques (new)

Jacques Antoine (jacquesantoine) | 34 comments Loren W. wrote: "The second book is completed and in the editing stage, and I'm about 260 pages into the third.

The books follow Sam Reeves, a Portland, Oregon police detective and martial arts instructor. The first book takes place in Portland, the second book is set in modern-day Saigon, Vietnam, and the third is set back in Portland again. ..."


Congratulations, Loren. You've been very busy. I can't wait for the 2nd book to come out, not to mnetion the third.


message 50: by Jacques (last edited Jul 09, 2012 09:22PM) (new)

Jacques Antoine (jacquesantoine) | 34 comments Gamal wrote: "Hello MAF. I'm just following a friend into this group.

I'm sure a lot of authors and readers in this group have read Violence: A Writer's Guidebut if you haven't I highly recommend it. It sheds ..."


I haven't seen it before. I just read the sample on Amazon. It's very informative. I'll probably download it at some point.

It looks like it could be really helpful, though perhaps not exactly in the way the author intends. He is probably right that books and movies often don't depict violence realistically. But realism is not the only, or even the main reason to write about violence.

If you're writing fiction, you're engaged in a work of the imagination, which means that you can't be limited only to what happens in the real world. Of course, you can't depart entirely from "the real," but neither can you be completely constrained by it. It's a balancing act in the best cases.

Another way to put this: merely realistic, straightforward accounts of violent encounters would not interest many people. But imaginative extensions of realism open up a whole new world to the imagination of your readers, and a whole new market of customers.

There's tons to think about in the question of the role of violence in story-telling, as well as of the relationship of fiction to reality. And, of course, lots of room to disagree.

I think this book will be helpful to me, and other writers who depict violence. Even if we reserve our right to depict violence imaginatively.

One last thought, based on nothing more than reading the sample (so perhaps not entirely fair): the author occasionally seems to have an axe to grind. He's had considerable first-hand experience with violence, in the military, in law enforcement, etc. He knows what he's talking about. But occasionally he sounds like he thinks that what he knows is the central truth of human life. If you don't understand violence the way he does, then you are decidedly ignorant about life, and not just about writing.

As a consequence, I shudder to think what he has to say in the chapter on gender differences (not included in the sample). That is, I expect he will describe violence against women as wrong and ugly, but also as a social reality that women need to understand, and when they don't (and become victims) they are somehow at fault for failing to know what he knows. As I said, this is probably an unfair concern, but it is what the sample suggests. When I get around to reading the rest of the book, I hope I am pleasantly surprised to find I was mistaken.


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