ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Campfire Tales From Hell: One Very Unique Martial Arts Anthology Book

Updated on December 20, 2020

Front cover


Musings on Thuggery

Campfire Tales from Hell: Musings on Martial Arts, Survival, Bouncing, and General Thug Stuff remains a unique book. Categorize the work as a martial arts title, but that is a somewhat loose description. Yes, there are chapters on self-defense and the martial arts, but this book comes off as a stream of semi-consciousness no different than some of the odder science-fiction anthologies I read as a wayward youth.

What do you, the intrigued reader, get with this book? You receive an odd collection of tales from the edge. Several different authors come together to present their prose reflecting on experiences in martial arts and self-defense situations. This is not to say these tales are over the top, fantasy land stories of street fighting glory. They are not. They are a mix of different charters on different topics written by different authors. A number of these chapters contain excellent advice, and others seem to ramble.

Overall, the book itself remains an excellent read and a good addition to your (hopefully growing) martial arts library.

Putting the Reality in Reality-Based Self-Defense

One of the main problems with books on self-defense is they are not about self-defense. They revolve around fighting in one form or another. In some cases, the fighting they are teaching does not very well directly apply to reality-based self-defense.

Even more troubling with numerous martial arts books is the fact they fail to offer a clear perspective on real-life criminal assaults. This is often the case because the person writing the book is a martial artist, but not someone familiar with person protection or, simply put, is not someone who ever lived in a rough neighborhood surrounded by many bad people.

This point brings us back to Campfire Tales From Hell.

Top Authors Present and Accounted For

Several well-known names are present in this volume, such as editor Rory Miller, the author of the seminal classic Meditations on Violence, Lawrence Kane, author of the intriguing traditional martial arts tome Way of Kata, and Marc MacYoung, author of the excellent work The Secrets of Effective Offense. All three of these authors/martial artists have written several worthwhile books to add to your library.

The book does contain several chapters written by folks that wish to remain anonymous. Some of their tales are a bit off the wall, such as a full chapter on how to survive in a UK hospital's psychiatric ward or how to deal with a martial arts cult.

Discussing Self-Defense

Not every writer is offering obtuse subject matter, either. Some segments offer basic, practical, and straightforward advice on how to deal with violence.

Among the more lucid chapters would be an excellent one by MacYoung that discusses the need and necessity for avoiding violence due to the unfortunate results that can occur when you mistake fantasy fights for reality. Alain Burrese delivers a very simple chapter on the topic of how merely being nice and polite can keep you out of a lot of trouble. A section on how to use losing in competition as a path to further improvement and why it is futile to look for secrets in the martial arts offers solid training advice.

The Personal Approach

Among the more interesting aspects of Campfire Tales is the book comes from many different perspectives. Writers range from those who lived on society's fringes to those who faced violence in the form of war action. The material is unflinching at times, humorous at others, but always personal. The uniquely unique approach to writing is what helps the material stick with you.

While Campfire Tales From Hell, like all anthologies, is a bit uneven, it still remains an excellent read for those interested in different martial arts and self-defense perspectives.

The weird tales in this book likely have a bit of exaggeration to them, although, quite honestly, the gnawing feeling presents that the strangest of these tales are likely the truest ones.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)