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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2004
I just want to point out how clear and detailed this book is, from the early chapters that detail the mental attitude that is required for good swordsmanship, through to actual techniques. I was extremely impressed.
The photographs are detailed, and deal with difficult techniques by shifting between camera angles, ensuring that the reader always has a clear and sound understanding of whats going on. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, but to a good teacher, a thousand words is certainly not too much trouble. Certain finer details concerning technique are always described, sometimes at length, but always with that enthuisiasm that makes reading it a pleasure.
The authors start by explaining the mentality of a good swordsman, then move to techniques. This is quite normal for a book of this kind, where it truly differs is towards the end... Detailing iaijutsu tournaments, and how best to conduct, judge and regulate such events. The final part is the most pleasing, as it suggests ways to truly intergrate the ideals of the iaijutsu arts into your day to day living. Provoking contemplation, reflection and inspiration, in very much the same way as a good martial arts teacher does.
I could write much more about this book, but really, it just needs to be read. Why do I only give it 4 stars? In the spirit of all true martial paths, perfect is never good enough. I believe the authors are sure to write a book that betters even this astounding effort. Until then...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2004
Well what can i say that could give this book the justice it deserves. Well planned, well layed out, and extremely informative.
This book is a serious must for any practitioner of Iaido or even, to a degree, Kendo
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2001
It's got something for everyone: If you want to look at the pictures, its got great pictures. If you are just starting Iai,it helps you remember the waza and kata. If you have got a bit of experience and want to learn something new about Iai, it has the history of swordsmanship, the beginings of Iaido, and an explaination of the importance of distance and intensity, as well as how to respond to mistakes and learn from them.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2002
Flashing steel is a great place to start for anyone studying or thinking about studying Japanese sword technique.
I struggled to find Korean Sword form material, and since Japanese and Korean swordmanship have influenced each other so dramatically, found this a very useful reference piece.
Flashing steel not only provides useful photos and form/kata references, it introduces the metaphysical as well.
There will alwys be the debate between Korean and Japanese sword styles, and who influenced who. Setting aside the politics and accepting the influence each had on the other, Flashing Steel provides any swordsman a useful insight to their art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 1999
Excellent content, well written the book follows a logical progression with good photographs to highlight specific area's of the techniques. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Kenjitsu or Iaijutsu
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2001
For those with a pre-existing basis in the sword arts this book provides a comprehensive guide to Iai-jitsu practice and training. It is modern enough to be a usefull adjunct to any Iaido training. It expands the basis of understanding of the Way by presenting the Art directly.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 1999
This book is important for more than it's exposition of this particular art. It is a masterwork of philosophy disguised as a technical manual. while it adresses the particulars of this ryu's method, virtually every sentance touches on some poingnant philosophic idea. Each idea desrving real attention because they were arrived at at the balance point of life and death. This is a must read for everyone and particularly for anyone involved in martial arts training. For students just beginning it is pretty much all you really need to know. For instructors this book provides the articulation of concepts and ideas we all feel but are rarely able to put into words. The concepts contained herein apply to all martial arts. this work is a great gift ot us all and deserves a place amoung the classics. I could go on and on. Just buy it and judge for yourself.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 1999
Not only does this book provide great information on many wazas or techniques but it also gives much insight into the whole Samurai way of thinking.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 1998
A great book. Good for iaido practioners and students. I recommend strongly getting this book and reading it if you are not shure you want to start iaido. I also recommend beginners reading it too to help avoid some common problems.
The book also has wazas (techniques) like 66 or something. Alot of pictures to help give a more in-depth feel on how the waza is preformed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2008
This is not a review about Flashing Steel so please forgive me. However, I felt bound to draw your attention to another one of Masayuki's outstanding books which is available only on the Amazon.com site called "Katsu Jin Ken: Living Karate: The Way to Self Mastery" (ISBN: 097912896X)

"Living Karate" is an outstanding & large work about the philosophy of karate and how people can make it a way of life, and all of its benefits - physical, mental and spiritual.

(NB: I believe the term "Katsu Jin Ken" is translated as The Sword that Gives Life" QED?)
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