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1. Kendo: The Definitive Guide
2. This is Kendo: The Art of Japanese
3. Looking at a Far Mountain: A Study
4. The Shambhala Guide to Kendo:
5. The Heart of Kendo: A Comprehensive
6. Kendo: Elements, Rules, and Philosophy
7. Kendo (Martial Arts)
8. The Way of Kendo and Kenjitsu:
9. Complete Kendo (Complete Martial
10. Kendo
11. Master of Kendo (Choose Your Own
12. Kendo (Collins, Paul, Martial
13. Kendo
14. Kendo
15. Kendo (Blazers)
16. Zen Combat: A Complete Guide to
17. Kendo No Kata: Forms of Japanese
18. Personal Growth Through Martial
19. Kendo (Martial Arts in Action)
20. Anatomische Studien Uber Wichtige

1. Kendo: The Definitive Guide
by Hiroshi Ozawa
Hardcover: 244 Pages (1997-07-31)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$21.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 4770021194
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Kendo - the Way of the Sword - is one of the oldest of Japan's martial arts and the one most closely associated with the samurai. Kendo: The Definitive Guide is the first book in English to provide a practical and truly comprehensive approach to the subject. Everything that the novice needs to know, from basic information about purchasing, wearing, and maintaining essential equipment to competing in international tournaments, is explained in simple, straightforward language. Step-by-step explanation of fundamental techniques needed to be mastered to attain black belt level is illustrated in easy-to-follow line drawings. With appendices giving the rules at international competitions and important information about Kendo clubs outside Japan, Kendo is the definitive guide for all non-Japanese Kendoists. A special section about the history and development of this martial art and guidelines for running practice sessions also make it a unique resource for all teachers of Kendo. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Basic, Clear and Useful
Excellent source of information, a very good source to correct the technical details and vital support for those who practice Kendo

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide
Excelent book.It contains all the basics of etiquette as well the Kendo techniques and katas.

The book is plenty of good drawings and explanations, and it covers the way to put the bogu (armor) on,
how to tie it, how to behave in a Dojo, the current rules, a japanese glossary, and so on.

A perfect reference book for a kenshi and for a sensei.
A great work of Mr. Hiroshi Ozawa. I consult it every time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kendo!!!!
Great book.Hard to do on your own.You relly need a class and a great teacher it is all just self-taught, poor technique that will get you disqualified.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
This book presents all kendo basics and some interesting techniques. Further, it shows each kata with details. I gave it 4 stars cause I would like to see more wazas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Pure Kendo--Bushido at its best!
Having lived in Japan for 13 years and studying at a Dojo in Okinawa, I can honestly say that this book is the real deal.Ozawa-san presents the information in a no-nonsense, easy to understand format.Beginners in this time honored sport will find all they need to know to get started.Advanced Kendoists will even find this book useful, especially if they are thinking about teaching their skills to others.From simple stretching techniques to Kata, practice sessions to match refereeing, proper Gi (uniform) storage to honorably overcoming your opponent...this book has it all.If you are going to practice Kendo, you need to have this book! ... Read more

2. This is Kendo: The Art of Japanese Fencing
by Junzo Sasamori, Gordon Warner
Paperback: 160 Pages (1989-12-15)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$6.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804816077
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A fully illustrated introduction to the traditional art of Japanese fencing--its essential nature and its basic techniques. The first book in English to describe and analyze this famous sport. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great introductory guide to learning about Kendo.
This was the first book I ever purchased on the Kendo.At that time this book was the only text in English on this sword art. Now there are numerous excellent books on Kendo. From my own experience studying Kendo, this book really helped to clarify some important points in this wonderful martial art.The material covered is clear and highly informative.It explains how Kendo began, how it developed into an art, the role of the Bushi and bushido, the refinement of Kendo, the equipment and basic rules of the sport.This fully illustrated text shows the various sparring techniques and practice sessions involved in the art of Kendo.It only hints at the work it takes to achieve any level of skill.I can tell you that it is a very grueling and exhausting sport.I wished I would have been younger when I began my training in Kendo.In conclusion, this is a great basic guide when combined with actual hands-on training in Kendo with an instructor(Sensei).Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Samurai Aerobics: The Kendo/Kenjustu workout, Tanto-Jutsu Manual, Wakizashi-Jutsu Manual, Monadnock Defensive Tactics (MDTS) System, Use of the Monadnock Straight Baton, PR-24 Police Baton Advanced Techniques, Martial Art Myths).

4-0 out of 5 stars The sport of Kendo
This is a good book if you are interested in the "sport" of fighting with shinai.If your are more interested in the "art" of Japanese sword fighting; I would go with "Flashing Steel" or a book on Kenjutsu.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
Being a new kendo enthusiast I found this book very good in presenting all the basic information. Excellent history backgrounder too, how kendo developed and what it means in Japan. Precise information on all major aspects, such as equipment, etiquette, forms and practice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelent
Outstanding book, both for advanced kendoists and begginers. Pay close attention to everything those two authors and masters kendoists have written and you'll not regret.

5-0 out of 5 stars on my second copy.. .
nothing can replace dojo when it comes to learning kendo, however, this book provides good over view about kendo. i do have number of different kendo books in my collection at this point.. however, this was my first book in english on kendo, and i still find it endearing. ... Read more

3. Looking at a Far Mountain: A Study of Kendo Kata (Tuttle Martial Arts)
by Paul Budden
Paperback: 128 Pages (2000-11-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804832455
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Derived from the ancient Japanese warrior art of the sword and imbued with the principle of Zen Buddhism, kendo has now gained worldwide popularity for its appealing combination of sport and meditation.In Looking at Far Mountain kendo expert Paul Budden explains the essentials of the art by offering:

* An extensive history of the kendo tradition

* Technical specifics such as form, positioning, and breathing

* Detailed explanations of the kata

* A listing of kendo schools

* A lineage chart of the great kendo masters

This comprehensive volume-endorsed by the premier Japanese kendo body-is sure to imporve and perfect the practice of kendo for students of all levels. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good, clear instructional manual
After many years of undertaking other martial arts, I've found myself having the opportunity to study Kendo. The club where I train has an emphasis on kata from the start of your training, and Budden's book provides nice clear illustrations of how to proceed with the long and short sword forms.

The pictures are clear, and the points of note useful when atempting to refine your practice. Overall a much better (and understandable) coverage of the kata than Ozawa's "Kendo: The definitive guide". The page lay-out includes both shidachi and uchidachi as they enter and exit, though I would have liked to have seen movement arrows (a la Yang, Jwing-Ming). Overall though, this has been a very useful purchace, and I recommend it for anyone interested in learning and refining their kendo kata.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you want better information you need to go to Japan
This book contains detailed information on the kendo katas.It has all the notes one would like to have on how to perform each one.With this I do not need to worry about taking notes after classes and I can focus on performance.I especially like the shidachi and the uchidachi shown in opposing pages, so one can view the complete sequence at a glance.It also have interesting historical information with pictures.This book is a "must have" to practice far from Japan.

4-0 out of 5 stars great details on kata
but.. i would rather suggest dvd rather than trying to read and learn from any book. best way to learn kata is, of course, from sensei at dojo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kendo Kata
This is a very informative book for those kenshi studying the Nihon Kendo Kata.Most do not devote enough time to the study and practice of the kata and this book is a valuable aid for this purpose.

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for all kenshi.
I found this to be a wonderful book.I recommend it for all kenshi who do not read Japanese but want to make a throrough study of kata.The author lays the groundwork for understanding the theory and spirit behind the kata as well as deatailng the movements. ... Read more

4. 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

5. The Heart of Kendo: A Comprehensive Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of the Art of the Sword
by Darrell Max Craig
Paperback: 256 Pages (2002-12-24)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$4.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590300149
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"The martial arts, if taught correctly, are limitless journeys with no final destination," writes martial arts master Darrell Craig. "They are a way of life." He begins that journey here with the basics: sitting, breathing, and the all-important bow, orrei. He describes kendo equipment and its care, then progresses to some of the basic features of a kendo practice session: warm-up exercises, assuming the proper stance, grip, strikes, and positioning. Only then does he move on to the seven long-sword forms, orkata, that are the foundation of kendo practice.

But Craig's teachings go far beyond mechanics. Through stories and actual recorded conversations with his sensei, Harutane Chiba, thirty-seventh generation of a famous clan of samurai swordsmen, Craig brings you into the presence of a true legend from Japan's imperial dojo. He presents the history of kendo kata, including stories of the kendo duel of old and an appendix describing thegoshi, or country samurai, about which little is known today even in Japan. Throughout, Craig emphasizes and demonstrates the respect, restraint, and discipline that lie at the heart of kendo, where the most important opponent to vanquish is oneself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Source of Informaiton
This book does a good job in explain the basic techniques, moves, some lessons, and history of kendo. The author does a good job in balance their own experince and mix it with research that they gather from other source. Perhaps the best feature of this book is diagrams and pictures that show how certain kendo moves are suppose to be form, sword techniques, and ways on how some of execrise lesson are suppose to be performed. I would recommend use book if you need to write a paper for high school in Japan or for college research paper in Japan. The company from where I order my book sent in the condition as describe Used-Very Good, and arrived in a timely matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Heart of a Samurai
Peace be upon you...This book was excellent, it really gives you the heart of what Kendo is all about and the heart that lies in every Warrior and in this case that of the legendary Samurai.I have used this book as a reference to read about the details of the katas I learn in my dojo.It is a good companion book and has a good spirit.I come from a noble heritage myself and can appreciate the views expressed by Harutane Chiba Sensei during his conversations with the author of the book.Long live the fighters!

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have - highly recommended.
There is a lot to learn from this extremely informative book.It also provides an interesting perspective as the author relates his relationship with his sensei over the years.Many diagrams - shows correct and incorrect movements - so you have to read the text so that you know which diagram is illustrating a correct vs. a incorrect, wrong movement.I annotate the illustrations with pencil markings to indicate the correct vs. incorrect ones. Depicting both is actually quite informative and helpful.
Must have book for your Kendo library.

2-0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title
I am rarely as disappointed in a book as I was with this one.

Mr. Craig has a lot of love and respect for his teacher and his art(s) that come through in his writing. His reconstructed conversations and other stories are entertaining, but focus more on his personal growth inside of his art (a specific branch of Kendo practiced in few schools in the US) rather than as "A Comprehensive Introduction" to anything. I think this book would have been stronger as a memoir of his own philosophical development in the larger arena of the history of Kendo.

The "Practice" section is just as abysmal as other reviewers have mentioned. The line drawings are unhelpful and often misleading. In one instance, there are three drawings of foot positions which the text describes differently, but there are no obvious differences between the second and third drawings. Drawings of the kata seem to exist solely for filling up page space, as they fail to illustrate anything useful about the techniques themselves. Some sections were better than others, but the layout is so counter-intuitive that it makes finding anything impractical.

Not that finding anything is going to be a problem for me. I will probably reference it a few more times before I find a book to replace it. Personally, I was so turned off by the execution of this book that I am steering clear of the other manuals written by Mr. Craig in other disciplines. I do not recommend this book as a manual, but rather as an interesting read for one man's perspective on the philosophy and history of his art.

3-0 out of 5 stars The structure of the book is mediocre, but decent book
I tend to agree with what was written in the "spotlight review". Darrell Max Craig appears to be highly competent in his many arts, of which organizing instruction doesn't seem to be included. There are plenty of good facts, cultural explanations, and the records of his dialogs with Harutane Chiba Sensei were great additions, but unfortunately it just wasn't well thought out for the purposes of instructing beginners.

Luckily, I bought this book for the philisophical explanations and to get an idea of what the "heart" or ideals of kendo was. The book does a fine job describing the history and ideals, and gives some direct testimony from the modern equivalent of a samurai.

The poor aspects of this book are the step-by-step instructions, which were very difficult to follow. The instruction didn't flow in many of the kata and technical instruction, and barely got the point across in the easier ones. I agree that real live pictures would have helped a bit, while the "3 column outline" would be ideal for most martial art book layouts. By 3 columns, think of one column being the shidachi, one the uchidachi (each of which are participants of the kata, and the last column for the word format of instruction. I also wonder why most kata include only about 8-12 picture and expect you to be able to follow adequately. I know that a book isn't the preferred way to train (especially to start), but I don't have any kendo school within 5 or 6 hours of my city. I just think it would be nice to include a picture for each and every step. if it's a long stroke (like a full sword swing) then maybe even a middle position picture would help. Instead this book shows a picture for every 4-6 steps in some instances, then shows a numbered diagram of footprints with arrows tracking all over the place. Some of these make absolutely no sense with the wording in the text, so one must be wrong!

I would suggest this book for a newer kendoka (kendo practitioners or students) who already has (or is about to have) a sensei they train with. It is really most helpful when seeking instruction in the history, philosophy, and motivation of traditional practitioners. Don't get this for the starting instruction on how to bow, and perform kata.....there has got to be a better way to learn that! Also, the writing is pretty well done, and the book is attractively put together, and thankfully, includes a glossary of all the new japanese terms, which gets used often. ... Read more

6. Kendo: Elements, Rules, and Philosophy (Latitude 20 Book)
by Jinichi Tokeshi
Paperback: 312 Pages (2003-07)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$23.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824825985
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
All students of kendo--the formal art and practice of Japanese swordsmanship--will welcome this manual by an advanced practitioner with a deep understanding of the martial art. The work begins with a history of kendo in Japan, followed by a study of basic equipment and its proper care and use and a detailed description of forms and rules--essential aspects of any martial art. Beginners will find this section particularly helpful because of the close attention paid to fundamental techniques of kendo, including the rare two-sword form (nito ryu), largely unknown outside of Japan. Each technique is accompanied by clear, easy-to-follow instructions. The Nihon Kendo Kata and Shiai and Shinpan rules and regulations are useful references for those learning the Kata and participating in matches. The author, who is also a practicing physician, is attentive throughout to injury prevention and safety--concerns often overlooked in martial arts manuals.

The elements of kendo philosophy, which can mystify even experienced practitioners, are explained in simple terms to aid understanding. The manual concludes with biographies of Japan's most celebrated swordsmen, an extensive glossary of kendo terms, and a history of kendo in Hawai'i, where it has been practiced for more than a century and where some of the world's top practitioners can be found. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise Reference
Jinichi Tokeshi's book is a great supplement to the modern kendoka. However, I would recommend getting Kendo: The Definitive Guide by Hiroshi Ozawa since Kendo: Elements, Rules, and Philosophy is not as thorough with its waza and keiko.

This book has concise and understandable vocabulary, making it easy for many people to read. It simplifies most of the concepts in the book. Tokeshi-sensei starts off with the history of kendo, which was rather segmented. He then proceeds to introduce the equipment necessary for kendo: the shinai, gi, hakama and bogu. For each equipment, illustrations are provided on how to maintain them or wear them.

The waza and keiko in this book are explained in paragraphs, only giving the reader an overview. There are illustrations in many waza and keiko that can help one reference back. Tokeshi-sensei also provides some insight and tips on waza.

Just like the rest of the book's contents, the philosophy was concise. He cut straight to the chase, and I have yet to see any personal bias he wrote regarding the philosophy.

In all, this book is a great reference.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent new addition to the English Kendo Library
I am a beginner in Kendo so take this all with a grain of salt.

I thought this was a tremendous book.Well written, clear, and thorough.I think it rivals "Kendo: the Definitive Guide" as one of the two best Kendo books.Particularly interesting, though not useful unless you're already a sandan or so, are the sections on Nito and Jodan.I haven't seen info on those kamae in English anywhere else.

Good book and a worthy addition to your library.

4-0 out of 5 stars Exactly as the title states
The book is exactly as the title states. It explains the philosophy, history, and rules of Kendo. It also has illustrations for the techniques so you can learn them. You still need to study Kendo in person to learn it, but this book is good as a reference book in case you haven't practiced something in awhile. It also has the terminology, which is useful to know as a student.

5-0 out of 5 stars this book is really useful
Dr. Tokeshi's book is great.It covers everything from the philosophy and history behind kendo to waza (techniques) and the basics of equipment care.Not to mention the comprehensive section on nitto ryu and the Nihon Kendo Kata.Using Dr. Tokeshi's book I've learned to take apart and maintain my shinai and how to fold my keikogi and hakama.I especially like the sections where he explains the reasons behind the different kamae and what the different kata is supposed to teach you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Succinct guide to the art of Kendo.
Jinichi Tokeshi provides a succinct albeit comprehensive guide to Kendo and all that is entails. It begins with a short history of Kendo in an effort to familiarize the reader with the origins of the "sport". Tokeshi then spends some time on the necessities such as equipment and the correct manner in which to wear the kendogi and bogu! He also pays strict attention to appropriate etiquette and behaviour. The book deals with the movements, strikes, general philosophy, rules, regulations and ends with short biographies on historically significant samurai/Kendo masters! All in all the book amicably demonstrates the "elements, rules, and philosophy" of Kendo and as a new student to the Japanese art of fencing it has proved indispensable. ... Read more

7. Kendo (Martial Arts)
by Jeff Broderick, Ed Chart, Misoo Ko
Paperback: 96 Pages (2004-11-01)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1843305909
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Japanese art of sword fighting, from ken ('sword) and do ('way'), has its origins in the samurai (warrior) tradition and was developed over several centuries. Modern kendo dates from the 18th century, when protective equipment and the bamboo sword were introduced. Kendo was banned after World War II because of its nationalistic and militaristic associations, but was revived as a sport in the 1950s. Like other martial arts, kendo is used as a way of building character, self-discipline and respect. Practitioners first master the basics of etiquette, footwork and swinging a sword. hey then move on to exercises using armour, and learn the kendo kata (pre-set sequences of motion). Kendo offers a comprehensive guide to the basics of the sport. The text and step-by-step photography cover elementary stances and movements as well as a selection of more advanced movements and sequences. Important elements, such as proper respect for the equipment and clothing, and how to maintain it, is discussed in detail, so that newcomers have the opportunity to learn more about the traditions and rituals that underpin kendo. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing!
I worked with Jeff Broderick in Nagasaki, Japan, and can say without a doubt he is one of the finest Budoka I have ever had the privilege to know. His technical knowledge and humble devotion to the arts of Kendo, Iaido and Jodo are truly exemplary. He himself is ranked at least Yon-Dan in Iaido, and has been practicing the "art of the sword" for some time now, with grace and self-deprecation. This book is an excellent and well-informed guide to a revered Japanese art by someone who is truly well-versed and incredibly qualified to present it to us.

Cheers and enjoy life,

Mark Flanigan
Washington, DC ... Read more

8. The Way of Kendo and Kenjitsu: Soul of the Samurai
by Darrell Max Craig
Paperback: 320 Pages (2004-05-25)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$8.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594390029
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The old Kendo teachers loved to ask their new students "What is Kendo?" Then they would sit back and listen to them philosophize about the way of the sword.

The question is like a Zen question. If you find an answer, it will always be wrong for there is no answer.

Kendo is something different to each and every student who picks up a Japanese sword. Old Kenjitsu had no rules. Modern Kendo sometimes described as sport Kendo, does. This is the difference between the two.

To learn Kendo properly you must not think of it or practice it as a sport. You must think of it as a way of life. When taking up Kendo the student must keep in mind that the Japanese sword is like no other sword in the world and the skills required to master it are as ancient as time itself.

This book addresses advance level Kendo skills including equipment, exercises, wazas and the last three katas of the All Japan Kendo Federation, which uses the short sword (Wakizashi).

* Equipment of Kendo and its care

* Advanced Waza

* Fundamental Movements

* All Japan Kendo Federation Short Sword (Kodachi) Katas

* About the Samurai and his swords

* Sword Collecting

* Sword Nomenclature ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive and insightful
This is a great book: enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening. Craig's basic premise is that the way of kendo is something different to each and every student who picks up a Japanese sword. While traditional Kenjitsu had no rules per se, modern (sport) kendo does. He has fascinating insight into the differences and similarities between the two, asserting that to learn kendo properly practitioners must not think of it (or practice it) as a sport. If you don't already know, kendo uses bamboo shinai and padded armor for practice while kenjitsu uses live steel. To get the most out of these arts, Craig believes that you must think of them as a way of life, a perspective promulgated by most of the leading sword arts practitioners such as Dave Lowry as well.

Craig's writings will advance your sword skills imparting knowledge of equipment, exercises, applications, and kata (including the last three kata of the All Japan Kendo Federation, which use the wakizashi short sword). More specifically, topics include kendo clothing, equipment and care thereof, fundamental movements, advanced waza, and kodachi katas. There is also great information about samurai sword collecting, care, maintenance, and terminology. The illustrations enhance the text and facilitate the reader's ability to understand and internalize Craig's excellent points. I think that the target audience is experience practitioners so it might be a bit beyond some beginners though. Regardless, this is a great book, a worthy addition to any martial arts library.

Darrell Craig really knows his stuff. He holds a exceptionally impressive list of black belt ranks in several different martial arts, including kendo (renshi), karate (kyoshi), jujitsu (kyoshi); iaido (godan), kobudo (godan), judo (yodan), and aikido (yodan). He has worked as a martial arts choreographer on a number of feature films and is the author of several other martial arts books as well.

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

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent information
Reviewed by Bob Spears
Publisher and Chief Reviewer
Heartland Reviews

The author has writtena definitive work on the subject. Kendo,using padded armor and split-bamboo swords, is a sport. He covers its essentials. Kenjitsuis the much older code of sword fighting,which has no rules and uses real, metalswords for practice.

The book is remarkably well illustrated and the text provides excellent information on the topic. The author provides not only the movements, descriptions, and customs, but what to look for in collectible swords and other equipment.


4-0 out of 5 stars More helpful to the practitioner but beautiful
Samurai seem to be everywhere. From the Oscar-nominated films The Twilight Samurai and Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai to anime marital arts sagas and the hit Emmy-winning Cartoon Network series, Samurai Jack, the robed, inscrutable, unstoppable warriors conquer our hearts with their martial arts and their dignity. The illustration of a black-robed Japanese gentlemen seated in a meditation pose with a katana by his side, one in his lap, sets the tone for Kendo and Kenjitsu practitioner Darrell Max Craig. Although Craig, like so many martial arts devotees, is a gai-jin (foreigner), he displays a reverence and knowledge of Japanese culture, samurai in particular, that is to be respected and admired. Craig goes into great detail about the katas, combat, clothing, equipment, and most of all, the swords of his art. He writes of the details with the same intricate deftness of a skilled samurai dueling with an adversary, and his strokes of the keyboard baffle and enlighten us as much as the strokes of the katana, or the other sword Craig introduces us to, the shinai.

Those readers who, like this reviewer, have not read Craig's previous book, The Heart of Kendo, and are not familiar with Kendo and Kenjitsu, may find the details difficult to master. This is not a casual read, but if you truly desire to learn martial arts, or at least collect Japanese swords, a pastime to which Craig devotes the last two chapters (perhaps recognizing, wisely, that some of his audience for the book may be Japanophiles and collectors), The Way of Kendo and Kenjitsu is a worthy place to start.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Buy
Here's another informative, instructive, and inspiring book by Darrell Craig - a great addition to your library if interested in kendo, iaido, kenjitsu, or simply martial arts in general.

Thanks to the helpful reviews below, I've gratefully added this book to my collection. One reviewer complained that the author was arrogant, which I was unable to determine from reading the text. To the contrary, the stories reveal a kind and generous man. If the author is arrogant, so what? His book is a great buy!

And so is "The Heart of Kendo," which I rate at 5 stars for being not only educational but also exceptionally beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Mr. Craig has again written another fine book and I can recommend it as a enjoyable read.It maintains the traditional Craig writing style that integrates authentic personal stories, but written around completely new information and insight into one of the more mysterious of the martial arts - kendo.This book is as good as, and in many ways much better, than Mr. Craig's previous books.If you don't read it for the diagrams and technical depth, it certainly should be read for his historical reflections.I found it particularly interesting to understand that the martial experience Mr. Craig has gained - enough to write an authoritative book on the subject, comes from his long relationship with a family in Japan that has been practicing kendo in one form or another for almost 800 years.

I only will point out an observation that Craig gets slowly around to making.He describes that kendo has a very pragmatic modern application.In spite of the list of ranks, skills and titles that Mr. Craig has (l)earned, he writes that the marital samurai is not a person brute bristling with weapons and bravado, but rather a courteous, indifferent person who carries within himself, unseen except when called to action, a martial spirit and a courage to battle for a right. ... Read more

9. Complete Kendo (Complete Martial Arts)
by John J. Donohue, Kathleen Sweeney, Matthew Donohue
Paperback: 192 Pages (1999-06-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804831483
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A thorough introduction to the Japanese martial way of the sword, "Complete Kendo" covers every aspect of the discipline, from equipment and terminology to technique and strategy. Photos throughout. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't be without it
I started studying Kendo with Dr Donohue after the purchase of this title. The class and thte book really compliment each other. I feel that this is as much about the art of the discipline as it is about the initial rudiments. I felt that this was a worthwhile read. It has definitely enhanced my practice.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not a technical manual.
This book is more a literary piece rather than a technical book on Kendo.I've read the book of Five Rings and I'd prefer the original work.

I would reccomend this to those interested in the literature on interpretation of the "Five Rings".

2-0 out of 5 stars A decent book for beginners
This book is slightly better for the beginner than the Heart of Kendo book because it presents materials in the order that most beginners would engage the sport/Way. Ie you learn etiquette, then foot motion, then how to hold a shinai, then basic exercises.

The weakness of this book is it's lack of pictures or pictures that are too small or unclear. I have often found myself ignoring the pictures and simply reading the text and envisioning it in my head because the pictures were so poorly depicted. Furthermore, the pictures are numbered but there is no reference to the numbering within the text.

In general I don't know why Kendo books don't do a better job at presenting technical material. For example, why are movements explained in long paragraphs rather than as enumerated lists that say: Step 1- do this.... Step 2- do this....
If they would just present, for example, the Katas (which involves the actions of 2 people) as tables with 3 columns, where column 1 is what the Uchidachi does; column 2 is what the Shidachi does; and column 3 is the representative photograph; that would make the study of technique so much easier!

Comparing this book against the Heart of Kendo book, I'd recommend the Heart of Kendo book in its descriptions of technique. Complete Kendo presents the material in a more logical order for beginners. Neither books have an index which means you have to hunt thru the book to find something.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book for beginers and intermediate students
This book is an excellent companion to Kendo: The Definitive Guide (KDG). While KDG cover ALL of the technical aspects down to the last detail, this book's focus is aesthetics and beginners Kendo. It was recommended to me by one of my school's Sensei who felt it covered ideas and concepts that you would normally only hear through the spoken word: the relevance of Kata, the formal apsects of the dojo, and why there is no defence in Kendo. The author is an antropoligist in NY, and I believe it gives him a nice perspective on the aesthics and ideas behind Kendo that you will not find in most other books, especially those translated from the east. I think begginers and advanced students will learn a lot from this book and I believe it is the perfect companion to Kendo: The Definitive Guide.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good for begginers
I appreciate how John tries to express the meaning that Kendo can have for people but I'm afraid that after reading the book and taking up Kendo it's not as formal as said in the book.There are also a few mistake I havefound in the glossary like Shimpan which is actually Shinpan. (referee) But overall this was a very informative book. ... Read more

10. Kendo
by Chris Mooney
Paperback: 408 Pages (2005-03-25)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$18.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1420833472
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Meet Chris and Elliott. Both are hard working American students in high school. Both live normal lives like everyone else. Ya, right. After being accepted into one of the most prized private schools in Japan the two find themselves involved in an adventure that will rock the rest of their lives. Not only are the two not your average students, they are both exceptional martial artists with powers passed down for centuries, powers that both shock and baffle their exchange family's daughter, Yui. Add a little humor, a pinch of romance and a butt load of martial arts action and you've got one of the greatest martial arts epics of all time. ... Read more

11. Master of Kendo (Choose Your Own Adventure #176)
by Edward Packard
Paperback: 112 Pages (1997-02-10)
list price: US$3.50
Isbn: 0553567462
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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You've been given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go to Japan and study the ancient art of kendo, a form of fencing using bamboo sticks. When your martial arts master gives you the good news, he also lets you in on a secret. He has a mysterious sword that once belonged to a famous Japanese general named Hideyoshi. But he refuses to discuss the sword any further with you. Why does your sensei have this sword--and why does everybody else seem to want it? There's not much time to think though--Yakuza gangsters are chasing you down, and you'd better be ready to use your kendo skills! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome.
It's spellbinding. Very intriguing.

Have to admit it has more adventure and better and moreendings than the book Master of aikido. ... Read more

12. Kendo (Collins, Paul, Martial Arts.)
by Paul Collins
Library Binding: 32 Pages (2001-12)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$29.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0791068692
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13. Kendo
by Jeff Broderick
Hardcover: 96 Pages (2005-04-30)

Isbn: 3613504774
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14. Kendo
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1995-01-07)
list price: US$190.00 -- used & new: US$240.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0710304749
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This work considers an ancient yet timeless art and its profound philosophy, which aims to enhance personal growth through the cultivation of body and mind. Kendo is the modern version of Japanese swordsmanship, and modern kendo, which transmits the ancient swordsman tradition and life-view, has attracted many practitioners. Its aim is to tame the ego and discover the true self, but this process goes far beyond the realm of the intellect, and penetrates the sphere of what the Buddhists and kendo practitioners refer to as "mushin" - an altered state of consciousness. "Kendo" is a two-edged sword; it can be used for destructive purposes or for constructive purposes (katsujin-ken). It is in this area of human thought that kendo discipline bears distinct meaning today - an area of thought realized through an existential paradox; that the discipline of destruction forms the basis of the discipline of construction. The manner in which one responds to this paradox is the essence of "bushido" - the way of those who practice kendo.This seminal work describes the discipline of swordsmanship cultivated by the samurai in medieval and pre-modern Japan, and shows the relevance of the discipline today. Buddhism was a major influence on kendo and in this work Buddhist philosophy and socio-political history are used as a background to facilitate a better understanding of kendo as a popular culture and a direct means to personal growth. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM KENDO?
When you start reading this book you almost feel like facing a kendoka with a very strong kamae. He reaches you easylly but you cannot, no matter what, reach him. It's not a book about kendo techniques, kata or whatever. It's about everything else that's around kendo. It's roots, it's principles, and yes, as Minoru puts it in the cover, it's philosophy. It's hard too read, specially if you're a westerner kendo student, practicing it as if you were doing aerobics or tae-bo. So, my advice is: wait a year or two until you realize if kendo is really your DO.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly work
First the warning: DO NOT buy this book if you're after a reference book on technique -- you'd be very sadly disappointed, and considering the price of this book, it could be a rather costly mistake. This is not to say that the book is bad - quite to the contrary, on topics that the author covers he does so rather well. My only real complaint is that it is slightly uneven, different themes are not very well related and connected.

The book is broken down to five major chapters:

I. What is Kendo? II. The Impact of Buddhist Thought on the Development of SwordmanshipIII. The Development of SwordmanshipIV. The Development of Bushido, the Code of the SamuraiV. The Modern Period

The first chapter is one of the best overviews of fundamental kendo concepts that I have seen anywhere, dealing with issues like mushin, ki-ken-tai-ichi, kiai, zanshin, suki and dojo reigi. The author has explained and evaluated those concepts through a buddhist point of view, which in my opinion proved to be a very good approach.

The second paragraph takes this approach further and deals with general issues of buddhist thought and meditation as a way of achieving mental calm and thus being closely related to japanese sword arts.

The next two chapters dive into history, and take a seriously dedicated reader to work through. And the last chapter attempts to sum it all up, but doesn't quite manage it.

There's a lot of interesting information in there for serious and dedicated reader -- but it's probably not enough to justify the hefty price but to select few. However, if you are really interested in the development of the swordmanship in medieval Japan, it might be just your cup of tea. ... Read more

15. Kendo (Blazers)
by O'Shei, Tim
Library Binding: 2260 Pages (2008-09-01)
list price: US$32.00 -- used & new: US$12.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1429619643
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Fitness, mental discipline, and confidence are all required to excel in martial arts.Learn all about the origin of each technique and the skills involved in mastering it. ... Read more

16. Zen Combat: A Complete Guide to the Oriental Arts of Attack and Defense: Karate, Kendo, Zen Archery, Aiki
by Jay Gluck
 Paperback: Pages (1974)

Asin: B000OW1J40
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
A classic.First person account of some of the originators of the art. Opinionated and has an obvious personal bias (Thank goodness for some honesty !).Some of the stories are hilarious as well as illuminating and insightful.The story about Rube Goldberg vs. an Aikido master is almost worth the price of the book. Too many of the present day martial artists take themselves too seriously.A look at this book could help show them the humor and humanity that the martial arts really contain.

Oh, yeah.It does contain a pretty interesting information on philosophy, techniques and information on martial arts.....
... Read more

17. Kendo No Kata: Forms of Japanese Kendo
by Michael Finn
 Paperback: Pages (1986-06)
list price: US$10.00
Isbn: 0873644115
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Finn is highly qualified to write this book
Michael Finn is an Internationally recognized authority on Martial Arts. He has been training for some twenty-eight years and has 34 black belts in nine Martial Arts.Each of these exams were taken under the authoritative bodies in Japan.In 1967 he won the British National Police Judo Championships and in 1970 represented Great Britain in the World Kendo Championships. As an authority in his field he has appeared on various occasions on British television and even Japanese television.

2-0 out of 5 stars SORRY, IT'S UGLY AND OLD.
I'd tried to get my hands on this book for years. I tried second hand bookstores all over the world. From Australia to Germany. One day I was in New York in this big japanese bookstore near the Rockfeller Center and there it was. I couldn't beleieve. It was to good to be truth. I bougth it imediatelly. I only opened it back in Europe a week or so after the purchase. My mistake. The book is old, ugly and not that accurate. There's more information in the kata chapter of John J. Donohue's Complete Kendo then in all of this kendo-no-kata... thing. Ok, it's a document. Ok, it's history. Ok, 2 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Kendo kata book (and only??)
All kendokas should have this book. This book is perfect for kata practise. Photos and text explains every kata. Plus drawings of footworks!! Also information about rei, some kamae, and more. ... Read more

18. Personal Growth Through Martial Arts: Studies in Kendo, Fencing, and Indian Swordsmanship
 Paperback: Pages (1997-08)

Isbn: 0965980103
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19. Kendo (Martial Arts in Action)
by Carole Ellis
 Hardcover: 48 Pages (2010-11)
list price: US$29.93 -- used & new: US$29.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0761449353
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20. Anatomische Studien Uber Wichtige Faserpflanzen Japans Mit Besonderer Berucksichtigung Der Bastzellen (1901) (German Edition)
by Kendo Saito
 Hardcover: 68 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$25.56 -- used & new: US$24.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1168837839
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This Book Is In German. ... Read more

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