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21. Kung Fu, Tae Kwondo, Tai Chi,
22. Iai-Do: Japanese Sword Drawing
23. Iaidô : Le Tranchant du sabre
24. Iaido the History, Teachings and
25. Iaido 2 : Le Chemin du sabre
26. IAIDO. Der Weg des Schwertes.
27. Practical Handbook Martial Arts
28. Flashing Steel, Second Edition:
29. Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship
30. IAI: The Art Of Drawing The Sword
31. Flashing Steel: Mastering Eishin-Ryu
32. Japanese Sword Drawing : A Sourcebook
33. Classical T'ai Chi Sword (Tuttle
34. Strategy in Japanese Swordsmanship
35. Aikido - The Book in Between
36. Japanese Swordsmanship: Technique
37. The Shambhala Guide to Kendo:
38. The wind sweeps away the plum

21. Kung Fu, Tae Kwondo, Tai Chi, Kendo, Iaido and Shinto Ryu
by Fay Goodman
 Paperback: 128 Pages (2002)

Asin: B000F3JSBE
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

22. Iai-Do: Japanese Sword Drawing Techniques and Spiritual Training
by Teruhisa Nanno
 Paperback: Pages (2003)

Asin: B000UZPBLS
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

23. Iaidô : Le Tranchant du sabre
by Pierre Delorme
Paperback: 144 Pages (1990-01-01)

Isbn: 2857070888
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

24. Iaido the History, Teachings and Practice of Japanese Swordsmanship
by William de Lange
 Paperback: Pages (2008-01-01)

Asin: B002JYK96U
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

25. Iaido 2 : Le Chemin du sabre
by Pierre Delorme, Pierre Durix
 Paperback: Pages (1990-01-01)

Isbn: 2857071396
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

26. IAIDO. Der Weg des Schwertes.
by Titiaan Stuurman
Paperback: 94 Pages

Isbn: 3932902076
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

27. Practical Handbook Martial Arts
by Fay Goodman
 Paperback: 256 Pages (2003)
-- used & new: US$29.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1844770303
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
700 detailed photos tae kwondo karate aikido judo ju jitso kung fu tai chi iaido kendo shinto ryu ... Read more

28. Flashing Steel, Second Edition: Mastering Eishin-Ryu Swordsmanship
by Masayuki Shimabukuro, Leonard Pellman
Paperback: 352 Pages (2008-01-15)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$14.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583941975
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Flashing Steel, the best-selling and highly acclaimed book on iaijutsu (alternatively called iaido), is as much about bringing life into focus as it is about techniques of swordsmanship. Iaijutsu was the martial art of the samurai of feudal Japan who remain the most enduring of warrior icons, equally popular in the East and the West. Iaijutsu sword training has philosophical tenets that inform the warrior’s life, building compassion and self-discipline both inside and outside the dojo.

Shimabukuro Shihan and Pellman Sensei combine practical exercises, photographs, and historical and cultural context in a thoughtful guide to this most popular of Japanese sword arts. The book features Master Masayuki Shimabukuro’s renowned expertise and classical training, with Leonard Pellman adapting the information for a Western audience. Included here are dozens of kata (formal training patterns) that govern iaijutsu, with partner exercises applying the principles of the art in realistic attack and defense situations. These kata are also widely practiced by students of kendo, aikido, and other sword-based martial arts, giving the book a wider relevance beyond iaijutsu. This second edition of Flashing Steel includes new techniques, updated photographs, and theoretical explanations for both new and existing sword forms. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a full explanation of iaido system. First, the author talk about foundaments and I found this part of the book an actual jewel because he explains clearly concepts wich are difficult to understand if you don't have knowledge about buddhism. Then a full of pictures explanation about techniques, I found this part difficult to understand if you don't have previous iaido knowledge, but is very usefull for experienced teachers.

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome book
I was told to get this book from my sensei in martial arts class. I am studying Kendo and this book has everything you need to know about combat with katanas. The author of the book is known as the best living swordsman in Japan. He has a 10th degree ranking in almost everything. The book has a lot of pictures that help guide you through techniques without making you try and figure it out based on the words alone. I would recommend taking a class along with the book so someone can give you a rounded experience but the book works great on its own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beginner to Intermediate Level Iaijutsu
There is a lot of great stuff in Flashing Steel, but there are also a few things to consider before purchasing.The back cover claims, "Flashing Steel is the most comprehensive guide available in iaijutsu...." when in fact its not.It also says, "...with ten partner exercises applying iaido principles in realistic attack and defense situations."I personally wouldn't say they are realistic at all.All that aside, the book is really geared towards beginner to intermediate iaido practitioners and here it delivers.

If you are unfamiliar with Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaijutsu, it is a sword art that places tremendous emphasis on attention to detail and precision for mental and spiritual discipline.In fact, this book makes a point of clearly stating the art is not geared toward combat but rather on self-cultivation.

"The fact that you will probably never engage in a real sword battle may, paradoxically, be the greatest benefit of sword training!Those who train in martial arts that have obvious practical application...too often find themselves so involved in developing skill in the physical self-defense applications of their art that they overlook their mental and spiritual training." (p11)

This statement is both very honest and very accurate.The book continues, "...as a martial art that is highly ritualized, moderately paced, and without obvious street-application, iaijutsu provides an ideal environment in which to refine mental and spiritual discipline."Heijoshin is difficult to translate but is roughly equivalent to a 'serene yet fully alert state of mind'.This is the goal of this art.

As to the techniques and 42-katas shown, they are very basic and pretty much use the same Nukitsuke (drawing cut), Chiburi (blood removal), and the same Noto (resheathing).To be fair he briefly demonstrates the Chiburi/Noto variation preferred by Katori Shinto Ryu (and myself) but he does not use this in his kata.There is a decent but still slightly lacking description on Kokyu (breath control) and the waza (techniques) are shown from both seiza (kneeling posture) and kamae (stance).The two-man sequences take up a lot of space and the only real value to them from my perspective is to illustrate range, which could have been done with greater economy had that been the author's intention.

Beginners may have some trouble following the b/w sequence images for the waza as there are brief actions missing that may not be understood, but as far as martial art books go its not too bad here.I love iaido, but in practice if you are seeking spiritual development, less than a decade of diligent Ashtanga yoga will accomplish more than a lifetime of iaido.

Unfortunately the Search Inside feature is not up.The table of contents include:

1) History p1
2) Philosophy p11
3) Eyes of a Samurai p31
4) Sword Nomenclature p47
5) Progression of Training p51
6) Preparation & Etiquette p63
7) Fundamentals p85
8) Omori-ryu Seiza Waza p123
9) Chuden Tatehiza (crouching) Waza p151
10) Okuden Tatehiza Waza p175
11) Okuden Suwariwaza p209
12) Tachiuchi (standing) no Kurai p223
13) Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei Seitei Iai Kata p253
14) Tameshigiri (cutting) p223
15) Summary of Eishin-ryu p299
16) Promotion Guidelines p303
17) Tournament Participation p309
18) The Way to Victorious Life p317
App A: Samurai no Kokoro-e p333
App B: Supplemental Materials

The author has the correct positive martial message, and I was continually impressed by this fact.If you are studying Eishin-ryu or plan to in the future, this is an essential guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get this Edition
First let me start by saying the First Edition is a fantastic book as the other reviewers have said.With that said the 2nd Edition is that much better.I own both editions.Where the first edition might have 4 photos of a series, the 2nd edition has 16 to 20.This means that you can see what the intermediate positions look like.The first edition is ~270 pages while the second edition is ~335.Also, the second edition is physically larger.

Even if you already own the first edition I would recommend the second edition.Also, I would recommend Samurai Swordmanship Vol. 1: Basic Sword Program by Masayuki Shimabukuro as the author demonstrates what he describes in the book.The DVD does not match up perfectly with the book but is great for actually seeing and hearing how things are done.Also, it will help with your pronunciation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Written with a sharp, flashing-steel pen... SEVEN STARS
I have read many martial arts books over the years and found this one of the most satisfying. It is so well-written it was actually exciting to read. My yellow highlighter streaks nearly every page. The instructions and photographs are exceptionally clear. The first third of the book (of 338 pp.) deals with fundamentals--and I'm not talking about stance and strikes. The authors offer the clearest summary of martial arts philosophy I've ever read, covering its spiritual basis, attitude and a student's appropriate progression. For example, technique should progress "big-strong-fast-light," meaning get the basic form down accurately, learn to do it well (with power), then speed and lightness will come almost effortlessly and, with repetition will increase one's power and accuracy. These contextual explanations help considerably when doing the techniques.

The dual authorship by a Japanese and an American master, who have worked together for decades, greatly enhances the book's presentation. The use of annoyingly obscure (to us English-speakers)Japanese words and phrases is not overdone, as in many martial arts books and is always clearly explained. I don't actually do iajustsu or iado, but this book has helped considerably with my kenjustu practice and bokken workouts.

This book is so much better than Nicklaus Suino's "The Art of Japanese Swordship" (on the same Eishin-Ryu Iado), but that's another review.

... Read more

29. Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship
by Nicklaus Suino
Paperback: 112 Pages (2008-02-05)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$9.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0834803399
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
To become an expert swordsman, one must pay close attention to detail, be highly self-critical, and practice diligently every day under the guidance of a good teacher. Unfortunately, contact time with a worthy mentor is limited for most. Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship fills this obvious gap in the training of the modern swordsman by providing bokuto (wooden sword) drills to supplement the formal class activity of forms practice. Both single and two-person drills are presented, some common to iaido and kenjutsu, others extracted from iaido forms by the author and used to teach his own students the proper ways of drawing, parrying, and cutting. Each drill is illustrated with step-by-step drawings to help students hone their techniques; together they provide a comprehensive system of general skills development for anyone interested in using the Japanese sword. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Practice Drills for Japanese Swordmanship - Nicklaus Suino
There is a reviewer that doesn't like this book because it has drawings instead of pictures.
It is true what he says about the drawings, they are small and do not convey the movements of
Iaido very well.However, the point about needing to practice the basics comes through load
and clear.Finding a good teacher is also essential to learning how to handle a true Samurai

The book is not trying to be anything more than a companion to training and to the importance
of practicing the basics.Sensei Nicklaus has written a fine book that, anyone wanting to someday
Master the Art of the Sword, should add to their library.It's a good introduction until you
can find a good teacher.

Sensei Nicklaus style is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido, the same style that I have just started
however, the drills in this book pertains to any style.I give this book four stars because
of those drawings but use the practice drills as often as possible.

4-0 out of 5 stars Can-do Kendo
Really good book.Helpful since i learn Kendo in Chinese and don't get much explanation for the moves.To be honest though, you really can't practice at home.You really have to go to class.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of Time and Money
This book had basic moves which is good, but never went into further detail. The illustrations were stick figures from a side view; there was no way to infer anything from them. I would not have gotten this book for my son if I had known the "true" lack of knowledge it contained.

3-0 out of 5 stars Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship
I received the book in a timely manner and in new condition.I didn't expect that it would be printed with stick people.I find it difficult to follow but I'll figure it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful Guide
I have found this book to be a very useful tool in developing training drills and improving our basic techniques. The diagrams are easy to follow and textual information clear. Well worth having in the library. ... Read more

30. IAI: The Art Of Drawing The Sword
by Darrell Max Craig
Paperback: 280 Pages (1991-06-15)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$6.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804870233
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

To the Japanese, the sword is a spiritual weapon, possessed of a kind of divinity, a self reflective of the soul of its maker, owner, and user. Around its mystical powers has grown a centuries-old ritual and a fascinating, intricate discipline. This unique guide unlocks the mysteries of this ancient ritual practice, explaining the history and significance of swords in the samurai culture, and documenting the the techniques of swordsmanship, as no other book in English does. Black and white line drawings and photographs enliven the narrative; a glossary of sword terminology closes the text.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Some Very Good Stuff
I can appreciate some people's criticism of this book.Many of the techniques are very basic, but from a practice point of view the book is better suited to experienced practitioners who understand what they're looking at.I have not studied Mugai-ryu so I can't comment on that.

For the beginner there is a lot of good information including history, technical terminology, sword care, basics like how to use a hakama, and while there may not be tremendous practical applications, opening up an awareness of things like sword testing and the procedures for Seppuku are certainly valid.

For experienced people, there is a lot of good stuff here.For example Happo no Kame (8-directions), while it may seem basic to some, is a very advanced awareness that requires a lifetime of study.Bunkai is also covered, which is another high awareness dealing with periphery.So many books overlook these concepts you begin to wonder if the writer even knows they exist.This book deserves credit for this.

The section on the 47 Ronin is nice, but at 15-pages it is very abridged.Better to read the john Allyn version to get the full story.This book has some good illustrations of the events.I particularly like that Craig included copies Yoshio's farewell statement, a map of the grave layout, and the rubbings of the tombs at Sengakuzi Temple (Tokyo).

As to the waza (techniques) shown, they are very basic, which in the scope of this book feels totally appropriate.In the absence of a good teacher, someone with the tools, the desire, and a good copy of Go Rin No Sho (Book of 5-Rings) could build a personal practice using this book.

Having done martial arts most of my life, I believe the art of the Japanese sword is perhaps the most difficult to master, if that's even the right word for the skill level most reach.It is unrealistic for people to teach themselves classical sword techniques from a book.Regardless of skill level, this is a great book to own that can offer something to everyone.I like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun book - great blend
While I was hesitant to buy a book on sword play because it would take away from my sword play time, I am most pleased with the investment.

An excellent blend of tips, history and philosophy makes for a read that makes you want to go out and practice what they teach.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Starter for Sword Lovers
This book provides a wealth of great information and diagrams on everything from the history of Japanese swords and coverage of several famous sword stories such as the 47 ronin to cleaning and care.There is good detail on the proper way to wear Hakama.

The beginning of the book provides a complete anatomy of the sword which is a great reference.Mr. Craig explains the making of a sword, and the ritualistic formal examination of a sword and how to assess its quality and craftsmanship.After explaing how to wear the Hakama, he then proceeds to the basics of preparing for Iai-do practice and drills.

Overall a very well done book!I very much enjoyed it!

Kevin Brett
Author: The Way of the Martial Artist: Achieving Success in Martial Arts and in Life!
CEO: Kevin Brett Studios, Inc.
The Way of the Martial Artist: Achieving Success in Martial Arts and in Life!

5-0 out of 5 stars Craig's best book
Well laid out and informative. Unlike other reviewers I really liked the illustrations. They are simple, but easy to understand and more than adequate to reinforce the commentary. This fascinating book covers everything from understanding the terminology to selecting and purchasing a sword, to caring for your weapon, to etiquette, to technique. It even shows how to fold your uniform. I especially enjoyed the historical vignettes scattered throughout. The section on sword testing was also captivating. If you want a solid education in the fundamentals of iaido this is an excellent resource. It is not really aimed at advanced practitioners but is well written for beginners and intermediate students. I learned a lot from this excellent tome.

Lawrence Kane
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction

4-0 out of 5 stars Oldie, but goodie
I say "oldie" because the All Japan Kendo Federation has added several new kata to its regimen since the book was published. But the description "goodie" still fits! There's a bit of something for everyone in this book: stories, history, philosophy, and practical tips.

As always, I'm grateful for the many thoughtful reviews here on Amazon. I'm surprised, however, that so many folks think a BOOK is the way to learn any martial art, especially a traditional one like iaido. If you're serious about learning iai (and not just reading about it), find a qualified, respected instructor and practice, practice, practice. Then buy this book as a supplement to your education. ... Read more

31. Flashing Steel: Mastering Eishin-Ryu Swordsmanship
by Shihan Shimabukuro, Leonard Pellman
Paperback: 270 Pages (1995-04-07)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$13.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883319188
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book is much more than an introductory guide to Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu Iaijutsu. It manages to emphasize a melding of the Eastern philosophy and the technique of the art, in a marvelously eloquent yet concise manner. Flashing Steel describes and pictures forty-two kata (formal training patterns) which govern this system, with ten partner exercises applying iadid principles in realistic attack and defense systems. These kata are also widely practiced by students of kendo, aikido, and other martial arts which use swordsmanship. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent basic guide to Eishin-Ryu swordmanship.
This book used in combination with the author's video series on Eishin-Ryu Iaido makes an excellent course in Japanese Swordmanship.As a life time student of the martial arts, including kendo, kenjutsu and iaido, I found this book to be a great help in my own personal training.Even though nothing can take the place of personal instruction with a sword master, this book when used in combination with Master Shimabukuro's video series on Eishin-Ryu Iaido will provide a solid basic guide to this martial art.Rating: 5 Stars.Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Martial Art Myths, Season of the Warrior, Wakizashi-Jutsu manual, Tanto-jutsu manual, Samurai aerobics: Use of the Sword for total fitness, Monandock Defensive Tactics System, Use of the Monadnock Straight Baton, Never Trust a Politician).

5-0 out of 5 stars Get the Second Edition
First let me start by saying this is a fantastic book as the other reviewers have said.With that said the 2nd Edition is that much better.I own both editions.Where the first edition might have 4 photos of a series, the 2nd edition has 16 to 20.This means that you can see what the intermediate positions look like.The first edition is ~270 pages while the second edition is ~335.Also, the second edition is physically larger.

Even if you already own the first edition I would recommend the second edition.Also, I would recommend Samurai Swordmanship Vol. 1: Basic Sword Program by Masayuki Shimabukuro as the author demonstrates what he describes in the book.The DVD does not match up perfectly with the book but is great for actually seeing and hearing how things are done.Also, it will help with your pronunciation.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating book for all martial arts enthusiasts
I am no expert whatsoever in Iaido, although I have taken classes in it as part of my training in Aikido; in my school of Aikido, Iaido is integrated with the Aikido.

The first 60 pages of the book covers the philosophy and ideology behind this martial style, at the time I did not know much of samurai ideology, which is very different from Aikido's, so it was very fascinating to read about it.

The rest of the book describes techniques of Eishin-Ryuu with text and pictures.

I wouldn't refer to it as an complete instructional book, you really need a teacher for learning any traditional martial art.
That said, if you already know some Iaido beforehand you could learn from this book, assuming you have the gear.

You will gain the most from this book if you actually take classes, or have taken classes, in Iaido...because sword training really should be experienced to feel the joy and mental depth of it, not just read about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference For Iaijutsu!
This book is an excellent reference for anyone studying Iaijutsu! It does not however replace the proper instruction of a qualified Sensei.See www.jikishin-kai.com to find a qualified instructor in this style of Iaijutsu in your local area today!


Shimabukuro Sensei will teach a seminar in Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu Iaijutsu in Pensacola,FL on March 6, 7 and 8, 2009. The seminar will be held at the dojo (Big Green Drum Japanese Martial Arts.)

We will have more details up on our web site soon.

For more information about Shimabukuro Sensei, see [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Iaido!
I recommend this as a reference for anyone interested in Iaido/Iaijutsu. One word of caution, though: there's many schools of Iaido, so some of the materialpresented herein will or will not apply to your particular school. However, the background and philosophy material are applicable throughout. ... Read more

32. Japanese Sword Drawing : A Sourcebook
by Don Zier
Paperback: 220 Pages (2001-06)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$14.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865681627
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Japanese Sword Drawing is a complete guide to this esoteric aspect ofsword fighting.Written by a sword-drawing scholar, this volumedescribes the techniques and katas of Muso Shinden Ryu, one of iado'sbest-known schools.Many of the techniques and katas presented herehave never before been available outside of the inner circle of theMuso Shinden Ryu school!Muso Shinden Ryu was founded by the greatmaster Hayashi Jinsuke Shigenobu in the 16th century.Since thattime, a succession of masters have guided the progress of the school,often adding katas and modifying techniques as their experiencesdictated.Illustrated with nearly 800 photographs, this book recordsmany iaido forms that thus far have only been orally transmitted.Itdocuments the three styles of sword-drawing taught in the Muso ShindenRyu system: shoden (first tradition), chuden (middle tradition) andokuden (interior tradition), each of which is actually a complete artof sword-drawing in itself.In addition, the sei tei kata (officialforms) of the All-Japan Fencing Federation and the All-JapanSword-Drawing Federation and described in detail. This volume is amust-have classic for practitioners of not only the Japanese swordarts, but sword arts the world over. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Cannot Recommend
This is a quite poor Iaido book mainly because the photos illustrating the iaido kata movements are almost without exception wrong, incorrect and totally misleading. Anyone who is practicing Iaido under proper instruction (i.e., qualified instructor/sensei) and using this as a reference book will be disappointed and will be mislead. Anyone who is practicing on their own (actually they should not as they will always get it wrong) will not be able to learn properly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have For Iaido Practitioners
A wonderfully illustrated book which also provides excellent detailed instructions on the correct use of the Japanese sword.This book is quickly becoming a classic and I regard it as THE best book on the subject of Iaido (in English) written to date.

2-0 out of 5 stars Japanese Sword Drawing- a critical overview
I was very disappointed once I`d had the chance to examine my copy of Mr Zier`s offering.
To be fair, the manual is presented as a "source book for Iaido students" and not a "how to" book. Never the less I suspect that even longtime practitioners of these forms would be hard pressed to follow the fairly rudimentary instructions. Apart from making it almost impossible to re-enct the forms correctly (possibly intentional, a book is no substitute for a good teacher) it also fails to present a convincing picture of the art. Perhaps footwork diagrams would make it a little easier to follow the action.
The kata are variously performed by Mr Zier and 2 of his students, sadly the form displayed is less than perfect. Am I being overly critical? I don`t think so. I think it reasonable to expect anyone who is presented as "a noted master" to at least display decent posture and to ensure that his representatives do the same. After all if this is a source book then surely the material therin should be technically flawless. Anything less would simply lead to still further degeneration of the art.

Curiously, Mr Zier offers no details of his teachers and his own instruction in the art he now represents to us.

In the final analysis I don`t believe that this book would be of any real use to any practicing students of Iai who are fortunate to have access to a decent certified instructor.

Students of Iai looking for more indepth reading on their art might do well to locate a copy of "Japanese Swordsmanship" by Gordon Warner & Donn F. Draeger.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wealth of IaidoInformation
This book is probably the most in-depth book on Japanese swordsmanship I have ever read. There is enough information in this book to work on for years literally with time and patience. I have been involved in the martial arts for close to six years and have had exposure to numerous arts, and I have always supplemented my training with videos and book material. This book lives up to its claims in every way and is a huge step forward in the preservation of Japanese swordsmanship. I recomend it to any student of the Martial arts regardless of style. ... Read more

33. Classical T'ai Chi Sword (Tuttle Martial Arts)
by Chiang Tao Chi, Petra Kobayashi, Toyo Kobayashi
Paperback: 176 Pages (2003-05-15)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804834482
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Learn the art of exercising with a sword. T'ai Chi Ch'uan teaches exercise, meditation in motion, and self-defense. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Clean and well organized
This book has its positives and negatives as follows:

Cons -
Some poor translations, a lack of detail on some of the applications, incorrect applications here and there, and the picture sequences in some of the techniques are missing useful information on getting to the next move.

Pros -
This is probably one of the best books I've seen on Tai Chi due to the organized manner in which it was assembled.It may not be 100% accurate in all regards but there is a definite wealth of information provided in this book that was not included in other previously published documents on this art.

There is a break down of the sword itself, basic history, the 13 sword techniques, a list of which techniques are used in what move (not always accurate but a fair attempt), and a foot weight/position diagram included at the bottom of each move which is thoughtful.

This book is certainly not the be all and end all of Tai Chi Sword but it has it's useful pieces of knowledge - beginners as a tool, experienced practitioners as a research source.

4-0 out of 5 stars Straight Forward and Concise
Unlike the other reviewers I was looking for a very short and concise book on Tai Chi sword. This book fits the bill perfectly. Gives very good high level overview of the aspects of Tai Chi sword, but the majority of the book is the sword form in step-by-step pictures that are done very well with directional arrows. I use it with a Tai Chi sword DVD and it makes a good complement to my training and study.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the subject
I think the previous reviewers are overly harsh. This is a well written and organized book that gives valuable insights into the history, development and practise of Tai Chi Sword. It answered a lot of questions I had in how the various teachers and styles relate to each other and provided a complete explanation of the relationship between Wu Tang Sword and Tai Chi Sword. The addition of graphics for foot positions, hip positions and sword position are very clever and useful. In addition, directional curves and lines are drawn over the photographs to depict transitions and movements.

As I practise and study tai chi sword I have purchased several books on the subject and done extensive internet reading. This is so far my favorite book/resource on the subject. Buy it and decide for yourself!

1-0 out of 5 stars Save your money!
I also agree, don't buy! A book, which might have been acceptable 30 years ago. It seems the 2 authors have not evolved since they first brought Taiji (ZMQ-Version, 37 step) to Germany. Their writings and teachings aren't up to modern standards, like nothing was learned in all those years. The sword book is not only flat in contents, there are also a lot of translation faults, it shows, that none of the 2 speaks Chinese, and Japanese is not good enough, sorry! Save your money or better, get Dr. Yang or Mr. Rodell's works

1-0 out of 5 stars Very thin...
I have to agree with the previous review, this book offers very little. Many of the "Chapters" are little more than a few paragraphs. Honestly, this booK is little more than an illustration of the well known public Yang Style Taiji Jian form.

Those really interested in Taiji Jian and traditional swordsmanship will find Scott Rodell's book, Chinese Swordsmanship, more useful than this book. ... Read more

34. Strategy in Japanese Swordsmanship
by Nicklaus Suino
Paperback: 256 Pages (2007-12-31)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$6.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590304896
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
After years of practicing persistently and developing technical prowess, advanced students in the Japanese sword arts need to cultivate a strategic mind if they are to advance to the rarefied level of master swordsperson. Rather than passively absorbing the sword techniques, an ambitious student needs to focus more directly on the two ultimate goals of the art—to cut the opponent while avoiding being cut and to move toward perfection of character.

In Strategy in Japanese Swordsmanship—the third volume in his invaluable series on Japanese swordsmanship—Nicklaus Suino, one of the most respected swordsmen in the United States, clearly and concisely presents a tactical approach to training, grounded in these two objectives. He provides a framework for learning strategy in swordsmanship, and demonstrates techniques and drills that help put the strategies into practice.

Some of the topics that Suino covers include:


the nature of strategy, timing, and distance

sword handling

the importance of vision and state of mind

timing and distancing 

reading an opponent’s intention

Suino shows how through careful consideration of the technical issues, consistent practice, and ceaseless reflection, a diligent student can cultivate a strategic mind and learn how to achieve mastery over any opponent.

To learn more about the author, Nicklaus Suino, go to www.artofjapaneseswordsmanship.com.

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image. 

Page 135
Page 135

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful advice
This slim volume contains a career-full of good advice, not only for the kenshi but for all students of martial arts.His exercises are simple but well thought out and prepare the student sequentially for more and more insight into an opponent, his strengths and weaknesses, and his strategy.Suino's books are among the best available. ... Read more

35. Aikido - The Book in Between
by Mario-Gunter Frastas
Paperback: 390 Pages (2005-01-31)
list price: US$43.02 -- used & new: US$43.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1412033608
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The first thing that that this book promises is that it makes no promises. Instead, it invites the reader to re-consider and to re-value his views and priorities about life, motivating him to become a promising person. Not just by reading this book, but through practice.

The tool of practice given here is the martial art called Aikido, a method of self-defense and discipline that goes back to Japan's Samurai training.

Aikido-The Book In Between does something daring. It sticks its 'nose' just about everywhere, refusing to "ignore" issues of life just for the sake of being politically correct. Divided into three parts (The Art, The Code, The Way) it stretches to all walks of life: politics, economics, religion, philosophy, command, and also ethics, friendship, love, death, movies, driving... All of it, given from the martial artist "point of view" that separates fairytale and myth, from the "true magic" of the Art.

This book has no doubts. But it leaves the reader the benefit of his doubt, offering knowledge above persuasion. You will not read anything about "diplomas" "ranks" "titles" and "recognitions" of the author. Only a series of his photos appear, that will absolutely stun you!

So, is this book some kind of "Samurai code" re-written? Is it maybe the modern's practitioner philosophy guide? No, it's neither!

Discover for yourself why this book was named "The Book In Between".

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The book in between
If you're looking for a technical martial arts book, then "The Book In Between" is not what you are looking for.
On the contrary, this remarkable book offers a theoretical analysis of the most important aspects of life, from simple "daily routine" subjects,to more philosophical and esoteric ones, from the perspective of an Aikido teacher.
I must confess that in the beginning I was quite reluctant of reading a book of this kind, written by someone who refuses to refer to his background and rank in martial arts. I thought "who is this guy anyway?" That is, of course, until I saw the pictures! In these black and white photos, the author is demonstrating a series of very impressing Aikido techniques, some of them rarely seen nowadays.
As for the text, the author develops his point of view and ideas in various subjects such as nutrition, sex, money, ethics, etc. He is also daring to "touch" sensitive personal and social matters such as religion, politics and death, without neglecting martial subjects such as the Japanese sword, chain of command and how a martial arts' school is to be run.
His opinions, no matter how strict and cynical they may seem are surely reflecting the way of the warrior in modern, daily life. Whether you agree or disagree with him, you will find his ideas quite objective and very down to earth, not at all driven by some sort of fanaticism.
The "vehicle" the author uses to get us to his point is a very "original" writing style (one that sometimes looks like poetry) with a lot of proverbs.
Although you will probably need to read the book more than once to get to the point, it is a "must" at your private library.
By the way, this guy also has a site (marioaikibook.com)
Check it out!

Herman-Matthias Schenker (Mechanic)

5-0 out of 5 stars Our personal Ithaka

Our personal Ithaka

Homer's Odysseus, after twenty years itinerancy, returned to Ithaca, filled with experiences and knowledge. He fought bravely in the Trojan war, faced Cyclops and Lestrigons, escaped from angry Neptune, and did not get lost in the Faiakas island. Ithaca was not for Odysseus just a destination, but the main reason for the outward journey to life and knowledge.
The author of "The Book In Between" calls us on a journey with him, through AIKIDO, a Japanese martial art. He wishes the reader not to be just a passenger on the boat, the plane or the spacecraft, but the Captain, something extremely difficult.
So this book stands between us and our personal Ithaca. A book that can be read more than once, and still feel like the first time.
"Bon Voyage" and don't be in a hurry to finish it. The further the travel holds, the richer the experiences and knowledge acquired.
Just like Odysseus...

Delis Taxiarchis
MBA Kobe University JAPAN
TEI of Piraeus, Greece

1-0 out of 5 stars Save your cash...
Sorry, but this book REEKS.Although I'm sure the author spent considerable time writing this ponderous volume (most of it in a delusional state, probably), it is an enormous, overpriced collection of disjointed, preachy, and largely irrelevant thoughts.There was just no understanding it.It's the worst Aikido book I have ever seen, and the only reason I gave it 1 star was because Amazon wouldn't let me give it a ZERO. ... Read more

36. Japanese Swordsmanship: Technique and Practice
by Gordon Warner, Donn F. Draeger
Hardcover: 296 Pages (1979-10)
list price: US$29.95
Isbn: 0834801469
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This book offers a wonderful introduction to the martial artist who has been exposed to limited swordplay in a martial arts class and wants to continue learning separately. Illustrations and explanations of the moves and forms help readers fully learn each lesson. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book on Japanese swordsmanship by a true master.
There are numerous books on the market today on the Japanese swords arts of kenjutsu and iaido.However, this book is one of the best and most authentic volume of Japanese sword techniques.It covers all the basic grips, postures, movement, drawing and cutting methods.The author is a legend in the field of Japanese martial arts.The late Don F. Draeger had lived and trained in Japan and earned black belts in numerous Samurai arts, one being the use of the Japanese sword. In conclusion, if you are seeking an authentic guide to Japanese swordsmanship, you will want this book.Rating: 5 Stars.Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Wakizashi-Jutsu official manual, Samurai Aerobics official manual, Combatives Vol. 1,2, Martial Art Myths, Use of the Monadnock Straight Baton, PR-24 Police Baton Advanced Techniques, Season of the Warrior, Never Trust a Politician).

4-0 out of 5 stars good theory and practice book
This book gives a nice overview. It has history and practice.
Is all illustraded with good pictures. The techniques and the katas are good to follow. This is a real must for everybody who practice and want to practice Iado.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for Iaido beginner students
Hello, I enjoyed the book very much and I been practicing Iaido at my dojo for 3 months and I think it is a great Art. I agree with most of the reviews below and I would like to know if any of youiaido students would recomend any good tapes/dvd on the subject (being able to see in detail how is done would be a grat help) as Magellan mentioned in his review but unfortunately there was no link or name of any tapes. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. thanks neokanobiATyahooDOTcom

5-0 out of 5 stars Important classic
Although a little outdated as the book now has only 10 of the 12 new Setei kata, which were added after the book was published, this is still an essential classic on the history and practice of Iaido. If you need info on the katas and practical techniques, however, there are better sources these days than a book--such as the many videos that are often available used for less than the price of this book new--so if it's that's what you're interested in, I would refer you to those. However, for an in-depth study of the history of the Japanese sword, the different styles and periods of craftsmanship and how they differ, the practical aspects of sword making, and many of the other cultural aspects surrounding the practice of the Japanese sword, and so on, Draeger's book is still the best one I know out there.

I did have one other comment to make. Draeger comments that, especially since WWII, as a result of various changes in the teaching curriculum of Iaido it has become a more formalized, aesthetic art and has lost touch with the original combative, samurai aspect of the art. While I certainly respect Draeger, and his redoubtable skill, knowledge, and opinions in many arts, I would point out that this problem isn't unique to Iaido. It's a problem with all the martial and combative arts of both the east and west.

For example, students of karate have the same problem. A student, even a skilled black belt, can do all the point sparring he wants, but unless he actually puts on the full-contact gear and risks getting his head bashed in, he isn't subjecting himself to the ultimate combative aspect of his art, either. So the problem isn't unique to Iaido. So although I respect Draeger and understand that his concern is genuine and arises from that fact that he's a sincere, hard-nosed traditionalist on this issue, I would point out that it's not really practical to do this anymore.

The samurai of old practiced and trained in the discipline of Iaido in the dojo because their lives depended on it, and then their skills were ultimately tested and forged on the crucible of the battlefield and in individual duels and combat. As I said, this is no longer the case and is no longer practical, either. So although I might agree with Draeger that perhaps something has been lost, nevertheless, unless one is proposing to recreate much more realistic but impractical sparring practices I don't see any remedy for the situation.

So overall, a fine book on learning about this fascinating art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still the best book for ZNKR Iaido kata .
My Sensei recommended this book and the recommendation holds true 20 years after it was published.It is now outdated as it only has the first 10 of the now 12 Seite kata of the ZNKR(All Japan Kendo Federation). These kata are used around the world as a standard for grading no matter what ryu (school) you study.But the rest of the book is timeless!

This book is for the study of Iaido. If you want to learn what that is, buy this book. It includes chapters on tradation and history vital for an understanding of the practice of Iaido. It should be used as a supplement to study with a qualified Sensei. ... Read more

37. The Shambhala Guide to Kendo: Its Philosophy, History, and Spiritual Dimension
by Minoru Kiyota
Paperback: 272 Pages (2002-04-16)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$2.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570629277
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Kendo is the art of swordsmanship that was cultivated by the samurai in medieval Japan and it is an increasingly popular martial art studied in the West today. While most books on kendo focus primarily onkata, or the traditional movements or forms,The Shambhala Guide to Kendo provides a succinct overview of the art as a whole: its historical significance, spiritual teachings, and how it can be used by practitioners today as a means of strengthening the body and mind.

The Shambhala Guide to Kendo (previously published in hardcover asKendo: Its Philosophy, History, and Means to Personal Growth by Kegan Paul International, 1995), covers everything from the details of practice—such as strikes, shouts, and stances—to the history and philosophy of Japanese swordsmanship, including an overview of bushido, the code of the samurai. The author also demonstrates how the development of Buddhism influenced two important schools of Japanese swordsmanship.

The Shambhala Guide to Kendo includes discussions of:

   •  Kendo as an expression of complete body-mind integration
   •  The historical development of kendo from the twelfth century to today
   •  The cultivation of the "mind of no-mind" in kendo, a state of egolessness and fearlessness
   •  The Buddhist "infrastructure" of kendo
   •  The practice of kendo meditation
   •  The significance of the dojo, or hall of practice

The Shambhala Guide to Kendo also provides a useful glossary that includes the Japanese and English rendering of key terms and an informative list ofryu (or school) lineages. This accessible overview of the art will appeal to students of traditional Japanese culture as well as kendo practitioners. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice intro to the history, philosophy and art of kendo.
Actually my sensei's book! He doesn't teach the swordfighting techniques to kendo in the book much at all, this is to learn about the philosophy and discipline of kendo as well as the history and the different schools that have evolved. Great if you are thinking about taking a course and learning Kendo. Kendo is about mind and body integration, TRUST ME, you need both to really learn it well. If your sensei doesn't teach you the philosophy and discipline, get a new one. I only give it four because perhaps I am spoiled in comparison, but there is even more depth that I think should have expanded the book. Great if you are interested or brand new to kendo, but still useful read even if you've been practicing for a while.

1-0 out of 5 stars A misleading title
Only a very very general information on Kendo. You can easily get that much information from the net. No chance that you can get any serious hands on infromation.The title is misleading, the book could have been a short informative newspaper article.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Background Book
This book is very informative, and gives a clear background into Kendo practice. I highly recomend it to all who are intrested in Kendo, and Asian practices. ... Read more

38. The wind sweeps away the plum blossoms: The principles and techniques of the Yang style Tʻai chi spear and staff
by Stuart Alve Olson
Paperback: 106 Pages (1985)

Asin: B0007BGTE8
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Previously unpublished, first time in print. Ancient Yang-Style approach to Tai Chi Spear and Staff. This is a workbook intended to be reviewed and studied many times over, to extract the basic principles and the subtleties of the art. This is likely to be the most comprehensive staff and spear Tai Chi book in print. Includes photos, ancient illustrations, and authors own diagrams. ... Read more

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