Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Club: Manimal's Selection

Here at ijustwanttoconquerpeopleandtheirsouls I often discuss my dear husband, the Resident Manimal. One reason I enjoy our betrothal more than anything is observing his random obsessions. Avid readers of this blog (I am flattering myself here) will remember his Wunderkammer, but there are so many more things which intrigue the beast-man. The RM is sort of like a human magpie, accumulating shiny new things for his mental "nest". Recently, his obsessions have ranged from UFOs, pitbulls and painting to home wart removal, baseball gloves and treating leather with Mink oil.

Usually, the warning signs of a Manimal obsession begin with copious amounts of internet research and then a trip to Barnes and Noble. This ritualistic approach to learning prompted the idea for this very post: A Book Club.

Whereas I usually try to work my way through the back of a cereal box, or one free subway newspaper per week, the Manimal is a voracious reader. He is always jumping around from topic to topic, switching genres like a fat man switches corduroy pants. Our reading selections are also vastly disparate. Sometimes, I will pull out the big guns and delve into a Victorian, prompting much eye-rolling from my boo. We're kind of like Paula Abdul and MC Skat Cat:

Paula Abdul - Opposites Attract
Uploaded by val6210. - See the latest featured music videos.

This got me thinking. "Ronnie, why don't you and the Manimal become a modern day Siskel and Ebert, recommending books for the masses?" With our powers combined, there'll be something for everyone.

In this feature, I plan to discuss the latest additions to the our home library, provide interesting snippets and perhaps get some feedback from the man himself.  It'll be like Oprah, except with more cage fighting and eastern philosophies.

Yesterday, Manimal came home with the very book which planted the seed for the Club: Knife Fighting: A Practical Course by Michael D. Janich.

It's a shame that this cover is a little blurry because otherwise you would see the amazingness of the pictures.

Written by this man,
Knife Fighting aims to "allow a novice knife fighter to develop the skills required for today's combative streets'. It's full of helpful tips to help you destroy any jive-ass turkey who may try to jack you on your way home.

*An aside, Janich has an instructional video which also looks promising:

From a cursory glance I found this book to be chock-full of great advice. Janich opens with a few words on important psychological decisions like: "If you have no choice and are forced to face an opponent armed with a blade, expect to get cut". This way, Janich says, you can avoid the pesky "shock" which tends to accompany the knowledge that someone has delivered a punishing knife strike to your thorax, and keep on fighting.

He also tackles those nasty moral and legal problems that tend to come along with a mano-a-mano knife duel. If you find yourself about to engage in a battle, Janich says, you best make sure you have "made the decision that you might have to kill your opponent". If you haven't mentally sured up your capacity for homicide, your "chances of survival will be severely diminished". Luckily, I already decide who I would kill, and who I would spare every day as I walk to work.

Thankfully, if you do decide to kill a man just to watch him die, Janich is in your corner. Despite the "twisted legal system" in this country which frowns upon preemptively unleashing a physical blitzkrieg on a complete stranger, you can breathe easy about being prosecuted.  Janich helpfully points out that you can only be tried as the aggressor if "1) your opponent survives to press charges against you, and 2) your opponent is willing to contact the police". This book is full of great advice!

Once you have grappled with these ideas, you're ready to learn some bitching knife fighting techniques. The best part is that each move is accompanied by some sweet photo representations.

Finish him!

Great tips Mike! One should never become fixated on one's knife, we have plenty of other "body weapons"at our disposal. It looks like Janich is advocating my patented move: the "sissy kick". Also, he seems to be reminding us not to forget the powerful anti-thug protection of acid-wash dad jeans and vintage cop sunglasses.

So, to sum up: a great book if you're looking to practice slicing someone's throat, or become a masked vigilante. Thumbs up.

The Manimal did not care for it, however. When I asked him for a score, he gave it a "4 out of 10" because it wasn't "combat effective" whatever that means. Thumbs down.

As a final thought, I'll conclude with some wise words from Janich himself: "It's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6."


  1. Wonderful. I will ensure dress code compliance in all future back alley knife fights I come across. "Whoa there fellas, before we begin, this is just all wrong. Let's get those shirts tucked in."

    Rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6 was how every tough guy in the Army talked about hypothetically mistakenly shooting civilians. Bunch of clowns.

    Sorry for the rampant commenting. I'm unemployed, the last few weeks I've flooded the internet with postings.

  2. No! Never apologize! I love rampant commenting.

    I want wanton, uncontrollable commenting. I want Dustin Hoffman to have to come in a Hazmat suit to contain your comments!

  3. Combat effective? How many times has the manimal had to flash steel that he can speak to combat effectiveness? I'd be curious to hear his review of "Breath of Death." His knowledge of blowguns is legendary.

  4. Manimal will flash steel in the blink of an eye. He's dangerous.

    In fact, when the Boogey Man goes to sleep at night, he checks the closet for Manimal.