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on 13 November 2002
This book, you must understand, was written with Iaido practitioners in mind and is inadequate for anyone wanting to learn killing techniques. To understand this book, the reader should have some understanding of Iaido's history. At the height of Samurai power and the golden age of martial arts, anything to do with the sword came under Ken-jutsu. But it was in the 16th/17th century that a Samurai named Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu who started a school called Muso Jikiden-ryu and began teaching an art called Batto-jutsu. In time, this art came to be known as Iai-jutsu, although there was no major difference in the techniques. Some schools continue, to this day, to call it Batto-jutsu or Iai-jutsu but, the Tokugawa Shogun came into power in 1603, they imposed a long reign of peace lasting 265 years. Because of this long peace, the Samurai had to calm down a bit, stop looking for techniques that would kill. Such techniques were useless in a society where peace was so absolute. So, they started lookin for a deeper meaning to their martial arts, giving Iai-jutsu, the name of Iaido. The word "do" means "Way" as in a spiritual way and so the art lost its lethal intent and turned far more into an art form instead of combat techniques.
Iaido is more for spiritual people. Personally, I thought the diagrams are great! But still there are always the tiny little nagging details in Iaido that only a Sensei can instruct so if you're serious about studying Iaido, find a master; if you just want to practice it as a pass-time use a book! It costs less.
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on 8 April 2005
I agree with the other reviews, in that you cannot learn Iaido solely from a book and if you want to truly study this, or indeed any other martial art, then you must seek out a dojo. However, the benefits of having reference material for when you are practicing at home, cannot be stressed enough. This is especially true for beginners, because having been shown a number of kata or forms at the dojo, when you come to practice them at home you may find that you have forgotten a certain point. Unless you have something to read/look at to remind you how it should be done, you cannot continue to practice that form or worse, you introduce something which is not correct which you then have to 'unlearn' at the dojo the next week! Unfortunately this book falls short, mainly due to the poor 'stick man' diagrams and lack of any detailed explanation. Not neccesarily a bad book to be honest and worth buying if, like me, you want to read anything and everthing about Iaido but if you just want a single reference book then Flashing Steel (For practitioners of the Jikiden school of Iaido) or Iaido:Kamimoto Ha techniques of Muso Shinden Ryu (For practitioners of the Muso Shinden school) are far and away better books. The former has exceptional detail about the spiritual as well as the practical side of Iaido with good photography and detailed explanations and the latter book also has great photo's, a nice explanation of the spiritual/history of the art and has a particularly excellent detailed section on the Seitei kata's which will greatly benefit the beginner, regardless of what school you're studying.
Hope this helps you choose...happy training.
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on 28 March 2000
This is an excellent handbook for anyone interested in the traditional (koryu) Japanese sword arts. The kata's are described in an acessable step by step format, and additional guidance is given on developing the mindset necessarey for focused, relaxed practice.
This book is useful for people interested in developing both their physical technique and mental clarity.
An initial understanding of the traditional japanese combat arts is most helpful in understanding Eshin Ryu Iaido, but a qualified instructor is necessary if one is to presue their iaido or iaijutsu further.
I would not recomend this book for those 'martial artists' who are interested in quick, easy and flashy westernised forms of the fighting arts with their nunchuks and 'karate chops'
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on 3 September 2014
loved this book so hard i wore out the spine then got another copy.
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on 22 May 2011
Everything as expected, Excellent choice, great purchase.
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on 7 January 2016
technical guidance and content great
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on 25 July 1999
This book holds an astonashing number of Kata, all of the Eishin Ryu Iaido kata are in it.
Look no further for the perfect reference book on Iaido kata.
Ignore the other reviews as they are obviously not exponents of iaido, iaijutsu or ju-jitsu.
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on 1 September 2014
Just the one for me
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on 17 May 1999
This book was written with Iaido practioners in mind, however the illustrations could have been better.If you are interested in weapon's learn from an instructor not a book!
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on 30 March 1999
I don't think the techniques in this book would be that effective. Try something like Eskrima instead if you're serious about weapons.
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