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The Essence of Budo: A Practitioner's Guide to Understanding the Japanese Martial Ways [Paperback]

Dave Lowry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2010
The study of budo, or Japanese martial arts for self-cultivation, is a lifelong path toward achieving perfect balance in body, mind, and spirit. Here, Dave Lowry, who has pursued that path for over forty years, addresses the myriad issues, vagaries, and inconsistencies that arise for students of karate-do, judo, kendo, aikido, iaido and other Japanese martial arts—classical and modern—as their training develops, including:

   •  What students and teachers should expect from each other
   • The meaning of rank

   • The importance of cardiovascular fitness in the martial arts

   • How to correctly and sensitively practice with someone less experienced than yourself

   • How to practice as you age

   • The responsibilities that come with seniority and increasing skill

   • The importance of etiquette and decorum in budo

   • How to train with children



Lowry also gives practical advice on improving structural integrity in posture and movement; focusing under stress; stances and preparatory actions before engaging with an opponent; and telling a good teacher from a bad one. Both beginning and advanced students of Japanese martial arts will appreciate Lowry’s take on the real issues and experiences that they encounter in practice.

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The Essence of Budo: A Practitioner's Guide to Understanding the Japanese Martial Ways + In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts + The Karate Way: Discovering the Spirit of Practice
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc (1 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590308468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590308462
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent addition to my library 30 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to say that this book is nothing new from Dave Lowry, but since he has a winning formula that make his books the most lucid and tangible explanations of difficult concepts in the Budo (martial ways) its a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read. Mr Lowry continues to make less obvious observations of concepts, ideas and techniques from the Budo and uses them as a tool to lead into the explanation of other ideas. On the way one learns such a lot of interesting and useful information that after a chapter I'm often left thinking about what I've just read and its applications to my practise of Budo and there aren't any other authors who make me do that! What I like about Mr Lowry's writings compared to most other authors in this field is that he never resorts to using vague language or mystic notions to hide a lack of understanding. He's always on the button and makes the esoteric accessible to all. Other authors could learn a lot from Mr Lowry.

I thoroughly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice 30 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A lot of information and you will learn so much. It doesn't matter if you're into karate, aikido, judo or any other Martial art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for any serious Budoka 13 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have now purchased 3 of Mr Lowrys books. This one "The essence of Budo" just like the others I have read is a simply brilliant read and an invaluable addition to my martial arts library. Mr Lowry explains the deep phylosophical values of Japanese Martial Arts in a sincere and infomative way that makes the complex concepts of Japanese Budo more understandable to a western reader. Newcomers to the world of Budo may not fully understand the messages translated so eloquently, but as a experienced martial artist you will find many of the chapters will reinforce and enhance your understanding and experience of Budo. Well done Mr Lowry
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book by Lowry (again) 28 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm beginning to become a bit of a fan of our Mr. Lowry. I have several of his books and find them informative reading. That is not to say he is dry or too acedemic and you will find yourself nodding in agreement with some of his observations of karateka and karate sensei. I recommended this one to my students. 'Nuff said!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For those who are starting out... 1 Nov 2010
By Boon L. Kwan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being an avid practitioner of Japanese martial arts, I have been a big fan of David Lowry's books. I loved the autobiographical "Autumn lightning" and "Persimmon Wind" - about the experience of training Yagyu Shin Kage ryu under a traditional teacher and the more philosophical "Moving Towards Stillness" about the spiritual benefits in the practice of martial arts.

This book is pitched a lower level, more in the lines of his earlier book - In the Dojo, and is really more a Dummies guide to Budo. It talks a little about the relationship between Sempai and Kohai, how you should approach training, etiquette. But some of the spark is missing, what I loved about his approach in his previous books is the interweaving of stories, historical personages, personal anecdotes to bring the material alive. Although there is still some of that here, it comes across as strangely impersonal.

It is not a bad book but reads more like a technical manual written on autopilot and it may be useful for a person quite new to martial arts who is looking for more than just turning up and training. David Lowry has written a lot of books, and a lot of columns in Black Belt magazine. Indeed a good part of the material was previously printed in his book - "Traditions" (which I thoroughly recommend) and rearranged here. I hope he can take a longer period off to recharge his batteries and surprise us with something more in his next foray.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review essence of Budo 23 Mar 2013
By Avenger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A excellent read for any Ninjitsu or Martial artist on the way of real Budo, and how to conduct yourself in life, and with others.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much here about budo... 3 July 2012
By A. J. Vivolo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Simply put I am not very impressed with this book. This is the first book by David Lowry that I have read, and I will have to seriously consider whether or not I shall read any of his other works.

The book is divided into 3 parts: Refining Training, Contemplating Tradition, and Reflecting on the Way. The first section, Refining Training, may very well be helpful to a new practitioner as it offers some practical and rather common sense advice on training (e.g. be a good training partner, etc). The other 2 sections of the book really don't offer anything; some anecdotal comparisons between tradition and Legos, or training and cook books. The points that are made are so utterly obvious to most people that they really don't need a book dedicated to them. He spends a great deal of time simply stating the obvious in most of the short chapters.

The most distasteful element of the book is that Mr Lowry spends a great deal of time criticizing or ridiculing people that he knows. It is as if the author wrote this book as a way to criticize other practitioners with whom he had lost arguments. Enough time is spent on this negativity that anything beyond the discussion of a disagreement gets lost. Also the author seems at odds with himself over "tradition" and the incorporation of that tradition into modern life in a meaningful way.

I really can not recommend this book for anyone other than someone very new to the martial arts. Even at that I would suggest reading the first section (Refining Training) only. Even at that the points made can be figured out through simple common sense. No need to spend the money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent addition to my library 30 Nov 2010
By Dr. A. Sahal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm going to disagree with the last reviewer to a great extent but I do agree that this book is nothing new from Dave Lowry. However, since he has a winning formula that make his books the most lucid and tangible explanations of difficult concepts in the Budo (martial ways) its a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read. Mr Lowry continues to make less obvious observations of concepts, ideas and techniques from the Budo and uses them as a tool to lead into the explanation of other ideas. On the way one learns such a lot of interesting and useful information that after a chapter I'm often left thinking about what I've just read and its applications to my practise of Budo and there aren't any other authors who make me do that! What I like about Mr Lowry's writings compared to most other authors in this field is that he never resorts to using vague language or mystic notions to hide a lack of understanding and he shows very clearly that you can explain what is commonly regarded by the less articulate as unexplainable. He's always on the button and makes the esoteric accessible to all. Other authors could learn a lot from Mr Lowry.

I thoroughly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Budo Book by Lowry 6 Nov 2010
By C. James - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I can say having only read the first chapter is well done. I wanted to provide this review simply because the first chapter set the tone of what is to come by covering one of the most important aspects of any martial/fighting art; "The relationship between Senior's and Junior's."

No, this is not the only subject of chapter one but it is important and like his past writings Dave Lowry has once again provided important insight into how practice/training is more than just physical activity.

Patiently waiting to read/finish this new installment by Lowry! Thank you sir, inspiring!

20101107 UPDATE: I am past chapter sixteen and wanted to add a comment of two that this book is an excellant eye opener for anyone who is accepting to the possibilities that what they believe may not be as accurate as they thought.

Once again I find that Lowry has provided "food for thought" in my practice. This is a no-nonsense view of today's practice of what we may mistakenly call "budo."

Well written and enlightening as all his past writings have been. This does not mean we should take his view and gospel but that his interpretive lens is one that can teach us a good deal. His expertise and knowledge shines through once again and if you are really looking to grow in your art then at least get this book, read it with an open mind, and then contemplate it for a period before either accepting or discounting his views.

Great book, great read, and great educational material for any and all practitioners of Asian Fighting/Martial Arts.

As I get to the last section understand that if you read "Black Belt" magazine you will recognize some of these chapters as articles in previous issues. Regardless, the majority is well worth the costs.
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