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The Shambhala Guide to Kendo [Paperback]

Minoru Kiyota
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2002
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 on kata, 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 as Kendo: 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 of ryu (or school) lineages. This accessible overview of the art will appeal to students of traditional Japanese culture as well as kendo practitioners.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; 1st Shambhala Ed edition (1 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570629277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570629273
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 14.9 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 735,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"MODERN KENDO EQUIPMENT includes the shindi, a split bamboo stick just under four feet long (fig. 1), and the bogu, a set of light armor (fig. 2)." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For a serious reader 16 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is actually a reprint of "Kendo: Its Philosophy, History and Means to Personal Growth". The previous hard-cover edition was ridiculously expensive, so it is certainly a very welcome fact that Shambhala has decided to publish it with a much more affordable price-tag.
One thing that this book is not: it is not a how-to manual, and it discusses no techniques, doesn't teach you a correct way to grip your sword or usual beginners' mistakes in footwork. If you're after this kind of stuff, look elsewhere.
The book itself has two rather different parts. The first chapter deals with fundamental concepts of kendo, and as such contains some of the best and most elegant explanations of concepts such as ma-ai, kamae, ki and so on, and is very easily readable and understandable to pretty much anyone with a slightest interest in kendo or in japanese martial arts in general. The second part, i.e. all the subsequent chapters after the first are quite different and take a seriously dedicated reader to work through. It is not to say that the book suddenly gets worse, quite to the contrary. The author certainly knows his stuff, just that getting this deep into the origins and history of japanese swordmanship is not for a casual reader. At the same time, if this is of interest to you, you'll be hard pressed to find anything even close as thorough and enlightening on the subject as this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice intro to the history, philosophy and art of kendo. 22 Feb 2009
By Andrew Butts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shambhala Guide to Kendo: Its Philosophy, History, and Spiritual Dimension 3 Sep 2012
By B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written and informative book. I found it to be enjoyable reading and structured very well. On the whole I would recommend it and it is one of those books I will read serveral times. The notes and glossary are great. If your interested in Japenese fencing this book makes an excellent primer.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Background Book 9 Jan 2007
By Gregory A. Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A misleading title 9 Feb 2008
By Ahmet Necdet Uygurer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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