I think Suino should have included the word "Spirit" in his title to complete & compliment the ideas that he's putting across in his book.
This is an excellent book for all practitioners of martial arts, I can't believe that there are no reviews on here already. There are dozens of important principles here that all taken together can lead too a longer more fulfilling and successful life, martial artist or not.
Especially important, for those who seek to go beyond just the physical skills to a life-long study of the philosophy of budo. Based on his own training and wide reading, Suino has distilled the essence of what he describes as necessary for the proper study of budo. Be warned: he does not offer an easy or short road: real commitment is physically and mentally demanding. Suino lays out the key elements of both, including some of the pitfalls that await us. The benefits, however, can be felt not just within the martial art itself, but also in one's broader approach to life.
I particularly liked Suino's criticism of those who are more talk than action in teaching or studying martial arts, and those who are focused more on badges and belts than truly studying the art in all respects. His message is not an easy one for a society focused on quick gratification, self-importance and short attention spans. In addition to the life-long commitment, his call is essentially one of modesty in all aspects: deference for teachers in learning and developing techniques over a period of time, concern for fellow students, modesty in behaviour in the dojo, understanding that learning can evolve and shift its focus but that it has no end point, and modesty in realizing that one is part of, and building upon, very ancient traditions.
It's written very concisely in short easy to digest segments.
Appendices include capsule summaries of the key martial arts and a useful bibliography for further reading.
One extremely useful section deals with what sort of Martial Art to take up accordingly to suit your nature & then further details how to find a good school & more importantly how to recognise a good teacher of that particular art.
This is a book to be re-read, contemplated and meditated upon. Another useful bedside keepsake.