“Taekwondo Defense Against Weapons: Weapons, Sparring, and Patterns from Taekwondo’s Technical Founder” by Kim, Bok Man is a republishing of this classic 1979 text. With over 400 pages and thousands of photos, this book catalogs the essence of the fighting art of taekwondo as it was originally intended. This book is a must for all serious taekwondo practitioners and anyone else interested in the weapons curriculum of this Korean art as presented by a recognized authority of taekwondo.
The first chapter contains a brief history of taekwondo that links it back to the three kingdoms of Koguryo, Baek-je and Silla. Much better histories of taekwondo are available, but that is not what this book is really about.
The next chapters are technique driven, and contain many photographs with descriptions. As far as picture technique books go, this book is done very well. Even though many of the pictures are small, so a number of them can fit on one page, they are clear and you can see what the author wants illustrated. The descriptions are brief but explanatory.
These chapter focus on defense against weapons, (knife, baton, pole, sword, bayonet, and pistol); sparring, (releases, throws, and free sparring); patterns, (Silla, silla knife, and silla pole); and training (exercises, principles, hand and foot techniques, and the use of the bag). The appendix contains parts of your body, stances, and vital spots.
I do not want to get into the practicality of the techniques shown, or a debate regarding can you learn taekwondo from a book. Suffice it to say that there are some techniques illustrated in this catalog of techniques that I would not consider practical for street defense, and I do not believe a person is going to learn taekwondo from this book or any other.
With that said, I do believe taekwondo practitioners, and all martial artists, can compliment their life instruction through books and DVDs. In that realm, this book is excellent in that it provides a large catalog of techniques that the taekwondo practitioner can refer to when practicing things already learned, or when combining things already learned into different combinations or defenses. I also think it is a valuable reference for the history sake of the art. (The 20 or so pages near the end that contain old pictures and information about the author are very interesting from a historical point of view.)
I highly recommend “Taekwondo Defense Against Weapons” to all serious students of taekwodo who wish to learn about the history of the art and have a catalog of many defenses against weapons.