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Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions [Paperback]

Masaaki Hatsumi
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: £11.99
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Book Description

1 Jan 2000
Looking back almost 1,000 years, the mists of Japan's chaotic past shroud the development of a way of life, an ancient struggle waged against fierce feudal lords who ruled the island nation with swords of steel and a code of death before dishonor. The people of the mountainous regions of what is now Iga prefecture wanted to live in peace, but their lords had other plans-so the people learned the martial arts of self-defense and used their meager farm tools as weapons against the samurai blades of their oppressors. Nine traditions of the ninja arts grew out of this seemingly endless struggle, and legends were told of the supernatural abilities of the ninja fighters. The ninja never gained the kind of power that topples tyrants, but they gained a reputation that made tyrants cautious. And they gained the kind of power that makes the spirit endure and the mind the master of its fate. Told in actual stories of past grandmasters and in dojo lectures on techniques-with photographs, drawings, and paintings-the last surviving grandmaster of the ancient art of ninjutsu, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, presents Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions. In it, he explains why, after more than 900 years, the art of the shadow warriors continues to inspire and serve practitioners from around the world. Dr. Hatsumi's book contains historic ninja scrolls and describes techniques for self-defense, and it debunks tricks that are attributed to the ninja but actually derive more from the circus than the martial arts. Essence of Ninjutsu is a fascinating, authoritative look at the roots of ninjutsu and how it continues to enrich the lives of its practitioners today. Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi is a bone doctor, artist, and writer, as well as the 34th grandmaster of the nine schools of the ninja arts in Japan. He has toured the United States in recent years to help Americans better understand the ninja and their way of life. His articles have appeared in all of the major martial arts magazines.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Contemporary (1 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809247240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809247240
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 17.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
is an essential introductiion to the spiritual and perhaps more subtle side of the art. Although well presented and relatively lengthy in written content, it is a translation from the Japanese original. I found it must be approached with an open mind. 12 chapters cover various aspects such as the history of the art, ninjutsu in relation to other martial arts, taijutsu, and the spirit of Ninjutsu today as compared with the past. There are many short stories, often hiding clues to the true spirit of the art while they are also a welcome break in the overall structure allowing the reader to reflect more deeply on what they have read. It will be more useful to someone who has started practicing the art first. You should buy this after NInjutsu : History and Tradition.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep coming back for more. 24 July 2006
By Hobbs
More esoteric than instructional this is a 'must read' for any student and worthwhile for all. Read it once a year and get something different out of it every time.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars words of wisdom 10 Oct 2003
it is rare to pick up a book which leaves you ready to go back to page 1 start again and be the better for it. well Hatsumi sensei is just that type of author. Althought a must for the budo practitioner it is a worthwhile read for anyone. Its only a pity that the author has not translated all his books into English.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I found this book to be enjoyable and informative. As a student myself I found it to give a marvellous overview of the art as a whole although it does tend to require study rather than idle skimming to get the most benefit but the extra effort is well worth it. This is certainly a book I would recommend to fellow students although not so much to the casual lay person as some prior knowledge of the subject is a great asset before reading this book.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Someone who knows... 6 May 2003
By A Customer
There are many supposed books on Ninjutsu and the 'Ninja'. In reality only a few authors are worth bothering with. These are, but not exclusively, Dr Masaaki Hatsumi - the 34th grand master of the Togakure Ryu and Stephen Hayes - one of Sokes own appointed Shidoshi. Books by such authors are guaranteed to deliver the reader a true and informative description of Ninjutsu history and tradition. For those who would prefer the typical rubbish people are led to believe about Ninjutsu then dont heed this advice. You are probably more interested in Karate style roundhouse kicks which do not exhist in Ninjutsu. The reason being, well its very simple - can you guarantee that such a kick will work in a 'real' fight? When theres no referee to stop the fight and let you get up of the floor because you missed and fell over?
If you want to learn about ninjutsu then buy a book by someone who has studied ninjutsu, not karate!! Or better still, join a club and learn the reality of the art!
In my opinion and being a student of Ninjutsu, you wont find a better art for self defence and self development - mentally and physically.
One last thing....Ninjutsu isnt watered down, there are no silly kicks and spinning back fists that look good but are usually useless in a real confrontation. It consists of effective and devastating methods of self preservation that are designed to work for real, anywhere!!
It was developed by poor villagers (some from China and some bannished Samurai) over more than 900 years for defense against the slaughtering Samurai Warriors who had excellent martial and swordmanship skills.
IT had to work!!! Their lives depended on it!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essence of Ninjutsu 14 Jun 2013
By Shinobi
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Essence Of Ninjutsu is a excellent and informative book about the history of Ninjutsu told in stories. As a student of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu I found this book very interesting and throughly reccomend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love War or Play? 11 Mar 2013
By Scarlet
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Grand master of Ninjitsu talks about his life-long journey. A tough tale to tell, still a good buy. Ninjitsu is an art and Dr Hatsumi keeps the tradition alive with his unique writing style.
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