Fight Like a Physicist

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-10-07
  • Publisher: Ymaa Pubns
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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.

Author Biography

Jason Thalken has a PhD in computational condensed matter physics from the University of Southern California, and bachelor's degrees in physics, mathematics, and philosophy from the University of Texas. He is the inventor on eight patent applications for data science and modeling in the financial services industry, and one patent application for protecting the brain from trauma in such sports as boxing, MMA, and football. Jason has studied and competed in numerous martial arts styles since 1995 and has a black belt in hapkido under Grand Master Ho Jin Song. Jason Thalken resides in Seattle, Washington.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Fight Like a Physicist
Section 1: Internalize the Basics
Chapter 1: Your Center of Mass
Chapter 2: Energy, Momentum, and the “Hit Points” Myth
Chapter 3: The Number Pi and Glancing Blows
Chapter 4: Levers, Wedges, and Free Lunches
Section 2: Protect Yourself with Knowledge
Chapter 5: Knockouts and Brain Damage in Athletes
Chapter 6: Foam or Knuckles: Navigating the Illusion of Safety
Chapter 7: Brain Damage: Do Helmets Even Help?
Chapter 8: Guns, Knives, and The Hollywood Death Sentence
Chapter 9: Chi and Pseudoscience in the Martial Arts
Conclusion: You're Only Getting Started
Works Cited

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