This is the book I recommend if you want a single volume on martial arts history based on sound evidence and sourced research. I highlighted so many sentences in my Kindle edition that I ran over Amazon's limit! . . . it's an absolute steal and would make a great gift for any martial artist.
[Clements'] final conclusions surprise . . . leaving the reader satisfied as well as educated.
I defy anyone to come away from this book without a deeper knowledge of all martial arts.
A detailed study of the interaction between folklore, nationalism, religion and politics in the east Asian martial arts . . . refreshingly frank.