Reviews and Interviews

Self-Protection of the Mind

myths of popular psychology

This is another archive piece I wrote back in my active reviewing days. “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology” was one of several excellent science-based books I read during my time teaching in London as a representative for Mo Teague’s Hard Target System and the security training firm Response Security Training. At that time I was travelling on a lot of public transport and used the monthly weekend commutes as an opportunity to cram important and relevant material to services […]

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Bring Me Cordelia (review of “Bright-Sided”)


Positive thinking is possibly the most popular go-to motivation of mainstream martial arts. In an act of cognitive dissonance,  martial artists who have ridiculed traditionalists for clinging onto pre-scientific belief systems have little qualms about embracing equally mystical New Age philosophies. Below is a review I wrote just over eight years ago about a book that challenged over-indulgence and reliance on the forced doctrine of positive thinking. I still see it as relevant today as it was back then…   […]

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New Year, New Trend? Old Idea, Past Mistake

fads and fallacies

I wrote this review on “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science” back in 2010 when it appears I had far more time at my disposal. Presently, it has been very difficult to write anything other than my lesson reports and podcasts. I hope 2020 will see me be more engaged in my book writing but what with the beginning of a new CPD course and increased teaching and need to produce more online content that might be wishful […]

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Sidekicking Sisters – No Longer a Footnote


The Martial Arts Woman is a labour of love that evolved out of a passion to produce a work that would serve as a testament, a celebration and a source of inspiration for the female fighter. That certainly appears to be have been its creator’s intention, but the work exceeds even this weighty self-mandate. This book undermines the arguments of those who are blind to the battles women have and continue to fight exclusively in the martial arts subculture.   […]

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A Victorian Blue Print for Modern Self-Defence Culture


What follows is a review of a 2011 reproduction of the collected works on Bartitsu, written by the art’s creator, E.W. Barton-Wright. This was a book I got round to reading as part of my ongoing investigations into martial arts subculture. I am currently in the process of writing a book on critical thinking martial arts subculture, “Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work”. I am sure you will see from my review, that despite E.W. Barton-Wright’s actual […]

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Mordred’s Victory and Other Martial Mutterings

Mordred's Victory and Other Martial Mutterings

  “Jamie Clubb is a polymathic writer with enthusiasm, insight and great talent- read his book!” – Robert Twigger, author of the award-winning “Angry White Pyjamas“   “I’m really pleased to see Jamie’s very impactive range of articles brought together in one book, ‘Mordred’s Victory’. “For many years we have always been pleased that we could publish some of these intriguing articles on the British Combat Association website as Jamie has been one of our leading Instructors and exponents of […]

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Rationing is Mindful Eating

A shopkeeper cancels the coupons in a British ...

A shopkeeper cancels the coupons in a British housewife’s ration book for the tea, sugar, cooking fats and bacon she is allowed for one week. Most foods in Britain are rationed and some brand names are given the designation “National” (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If you have read my article, “We Art What We Eat?” in the Martial Arts Scepticism series, you will be aware that the one system of controlled eating I found to be sustainable was “mindful eating”. Sadly […]

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Self-Defence on “Woman’s Hour”

Self-Defence on "Woman's Hour"

This morning’s episode of “Woman’s Hour” on BBC Radio 4 brought up a subject that seems to be burning away on my backlog of “to do” articles. This is the issue regarding self-protection and feminism. I won’t go into too much detail here, suffice to say that I have always seen myself as a type of feminist (probably one in the Mary Wollstonecraft to Angela Carter mould as opposed to ideas presented in the SCUM Manifesto), and I teach self-protection. […]

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“Transending a Genre” – A Review and Reflection of the Movie “Clubbed”

Film poster for Clubbed. Copyright 2008, © For...

Film poster for Clubbed. Copyright 2008, © Formosa Films (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At 6:30am on 15 November 2005 I found myself waiting outside Glen Smith's "Red Corner" gym in Coventry. It was dark and cold, and I was tired, and yet my diary entry reads like the blabbering of an excited schoolboy: "My day began with a dream come true!" It was for a very good reason. Until the middle of June the following year Geoff Thompson took in an […]

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Efficient habits for better parenting and a happier childhood

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It must have been sheer luck that "Superpowers for Parents" ended up on my recommended list. Of all the books on psychology and parenting, this has to be considered a standout piece. I teach self defence to children and through my studies and coaching experience I have found that building the right attitude is by far the most efficient way for children to learn. Dr. Briers' excellent new book is completely in line with my approach to teaching, which is […]

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A Life Truly Worth Living! – Review of Viktor Frankl’s “Recollections”

Cover of "Recollections: An Autobiography...

Cover of Recollections: An Autobiography Overview: "Recollections" is Viktor Frankl's little known autobiography. Frankl rose to academic acclaim in the world of psychiatry through his background in psychiatry and neurology forming the "third Viennese school of psychotherapy" and developing his own form of psychoanalysis known as logotherapy. Frankl rose to mainstream success with the publication of his book Man's Search for Meaning, which details his three years spent in four Nazi concentration camps. Recollections details Frankl's early life growing up […]

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Pure Heartfelt Inspiration


Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl (Photo credit: Pickersgill Reef) Man's Search for Meaning describes Viktor Frankl's reflections and psychoanalytic conclusions drawn from his time spent in a Nazi concentration camp. Being an Austrian Jew during the rise of the Nazis, Frankl and his family were all taken to concentration camps in 1942. He lost his wife and his parents to the camps. He even lost the only copy of his manuscript for his new book. Despite the […]

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Understanding Reasonable Force – A Review

"Understanding Reasonable Force" is the part of the self defence jigsaw that most people do not own. There are now plenty of books describing the elements of the pre-fight soft skills and more than enough giving their take on the in-fight hard skills. However, the issue of the law as it relates to self defence is often given sparse room. This is in spite of "self defence and the law" being listed on the majority of self defence courses and […]

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Comprehensive Self Defence Information – Archive Review of “Dead or Alive” by Geoff Thompson

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  The following is a review I wrote back in 2005 upon the re-release of Geoff Thompson's book "Dead or Alive". This book remains a constant on my recommended list for basic self-protection seminars. If you enjoy the write-up please order your copy using the Amazon link at the end of the article. Thank you – Jamie Clubb  Perhaps we shouldn't, as the old cliché goes, "judge a book by its cover" but, having just read Geoff Thompson's "Dead or […]

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Shooting Like Jack: Hock Hocheim’s Seminar in Telford

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"The truth is diversity, versatility. Preparedness. You simply fight where you have to fight. Learn it all, but don’t become any one thing! Don’t capture yourself as a ground fighter or a kick boxer. Be the bastard ! Study to learn how to defeat these things, not to become them. Be free! And then most importantly on top of that, cheat!" – Hock Hochheim   W. Hock Hocheim has a long standing global reputation in the teaching of efficient combatives. […]

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Times of Change and a Time to Change – Review of “Extra Chilli Sauce”

extra chilli sauce

  Overview: “Extra Chilli Sauce” is the autobiography of Loughborough’s most famous doorman, John Skillen. Today Skillen is best known as one of the UK’s top self defence coaches and a pioneering gym owner. Interestingly few in the martial arts community really know that much about his career before he exploded onto their scene. Many were bedazzled by the very obvious presence he exuded as the doyens of the British self defence community, Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine brought him […]

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