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Understand? Good Play!: Words of Consequence Hardcover – Aug 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Bushin Books (Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971084955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971084957
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 14.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,576,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. J. BURRIDGE-OAKLAND on 29 Nov 2002
Format: Hardcover
Those words we as praticioners hear many times while training but do we really consciously think about what they really mean. This book is a masterpiece written as a training diary by Ben Cole one of Soke's shihan and translators. It takes apart what is learnt in the dojo and starts you thinking about what we are actually doing, or what we should be doing. It focuses on the ideas of natural movement and nagare (the flow) as the idea to take us to the next level of training forgetting techniques as being important and telling of the feeling. Everytime I read this book I learn something new it is essential in my opinion for any body really serious about martial arts to read it. Even if you don't understand all the words or some of the profound statements, you begin to realise things, that before would not have even occurred to you to ask about. It is not a training manual it is just a guide on how to train and why we train, to survive!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "kusarigama" on 15 Dec 2003
Format: Hardcover
There are a lot of books on Ninjutsu out there, but none compare to this one in it's authenticity and insight. It's easy to see why considering that practically every word here was spoken by Soke himself at some point and then translated directly by the author Ben Cole (a practitioner of the art for years and not just a journalist or novelist).
This book has been hailed by those of the highest level within our art both in Japan and abroad who know Hatsumi sensei personally and can hear his voice speaking to them from these pages. It is definitely a must read for anyone who takes their Budo seriously. It is teeming with knowledge and will keep you wondering for years about Soke's mysterious teachings. Get it, read it, read it again, and again...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "kusarigama" on 15 Dec 2003
Format: Hardcover
There are a lot of books on Ninjutsu out there, but none compare to this one in it's authenticity and insight. It's easy to see why considering that practically every word here was spoken by Soke himself at some point and then translated directly by the author Ben Cole (a practitioner of the art for years and not just a journalist or novelist).
This book has been hailed by those of the highest level within our art both in Japan and abroad who know Hatsumi sensei personally and can hear his voice speaking to them from these pages. It is definitely a must read for anyone who takes their Budo seriously. It is teeming with knowledge and will keep you wondering for years about Soke's mysterious teachings. Get it, read it, read it again, and again...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel-San on 14 Aug 2003
Format: Hardcover
Great book for anyone training in the Bujinkan. Its as if Your in the Dojo with Hatsumi sensei. I picked it up when it was delivered and coulden't put it down.
Ninpo Ikkan
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A pocket Hatsumi in your own home... 11 Mar 2002
By Ian Cummings - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is not so much a conventional book but more a collection of thoughts, quotes and ideas put forward by Hatsumi over the more recent years. This book is a must have, as Hatsumi feels that only now he understands what Takamatsu taught him.
It is part practical information on taijutsu and a large part philosophy. You will take from this book that what is right for you. If you are at all interested in matters beyond pure technique then this will amount to far more words than are actually in the book! Ideas that are put forward are optimistic, universal and reflect the true nature of people.
It also reminds me of what a funny guy he is, even though he has all these terribly earnest people coming to see him from all round the world who hang on his every breathe (me included). You have to have a sense of humour, its what makes us human and indeed its what makes good Budo. Hatsumi has never fogotten to laugh or play.
For anyone who has trained in Japan at the Hombu dojo this book will have great resonance. I can best explain it by saying that it's like the faint echo's of Hatsumi's words are suddenly made clear and sharp again. Words where you missed there significance at the time become re-evaluated as Hatsumi speaks to you again from the pages of this book. This is why I say its like a pocket Hatsumi. Strange concept yes, but oh so true...
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Not for casual readers 10 July 2002
By "bokkenboy" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As the above review says, this isn't a conventional book, but a collection of quotes from Masaaki Hatsumi, Grandmaster of Bujinkan Taijutsu. If you are a casual reader it will be hard to place many of these quote in context, or even understand the terms that are used.
However, if you study the martial arts this book is a wonderful companion. It's hard to describe why I enjoy this book, but I have found it to be an invaluble reference tool in training. If you don't train in a Japanese art some of the japanese phrase may throw you, but most of the book should still be understandable.
I highly recommend any martial artist to pick this book up and enjoy it. The wisdom contained on these pages will keep you content for many years.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Instructional on a deeper level 18 Nov 2005
By matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is not the sort of book that you sit down and read straight through. It's not a training manual, not a "how to" ready-made recipe book for ninja enthusiasts. In fact, if you haven't seen Hatsumi or his better students train, then much of this may be plainly unintelligible. In this way it is reminiscent of the densho of old- they only make real sense to the initiated (something I suspect is at play in nearly all of his books, especially the ones with lots of photos and diagrams). Rather, it is a collection of related (and unrelated) snippets into the teaching and training philosophy of Hatsumi.

Topics include themes on fighting multiple attackers, use of blades, foot work, throws, training diligence, the transmission of the essence of the art and much more. There are also nice caveats in the text devoted to the perspectives of his top students.

While I mentioned that the point of the book is not instructional in the "step here and pull here" sense, it certainly would be a welcome addition to most martial artists' reading lists and is instructional on a deeper level, if you have the ability to see and understand.

And this brings up the point of yugen, that mysterious realm of life that isn't quite understood, but rather experienced. Much of this book reminds me of the intuitive approach we must have in our training. I find myself reading parts over now and again and each time I draw something else out. Like an icon or a great novel, it speaks freshly every time. Understand? Good. Play!

Gambatte!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Better then quotes on a Tea Bag! 19 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As many other people have said, this book really isn't for the casual reader. If you don't know japanese martial art's phrases, it'll be hard to place a lot of the japanese words. It's a collection of quotes that Maasaki Hatsumi and a few other instructors have said, and it's broken up into different catagories. I'm trying to find this one quote in the book as I write this but I can't find the page...anyway it was one quote that of the hundreds, really stuck with me. It was something like "Taijutsu is not the techniques. Taijutsu is knowing how to take yourself to a safe place." I always thought that was an interesting quote--I sort of interptered it as taijutsu is not the throwing/arm locking/pressure point hitting so much as it is keeping yourself out of harms way. The nice thing about these quotes is their meaning changes over the years as you train for longer and longer periods of time. At first I didn't get a lot of the quotes, but now they're starting to make sense. It's hard to explain why I like this book...some of it is the humor. Some of the quotes really make you think not just about training but about how we see things and treat the world. I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the Bujinkan. I'm only a green belt, but I still get a lot of wisdom out of this book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant insight into Bujinkan taijutsu 26 Jun 2003
By Les Veto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A brief note to say how thoroughly entertaining this book truly is. Its a honour to be able to read the quotes of Soke Hatsumi on many wide topics, ranging from training through to life and the budo spirit. Sadly, I doubt I will ever get a chance to train with the great man, but I believe this is as close as it gets. Do not hesitate to buy this if you are a true student, however, if you are looking for glossy photos and a flashy easy read, look elsewhere.
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