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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good information, 22 Jun. 2014
This book contains a lot of good information about the subject of cutting exercises with the Japanese sword. The author writes well and clearly has a lot of knowledge that he does a good job of sharing.

The focus of the book is on the Japanese sword, but the author draws links with some of the European swords and methods of use; he uses some historical and modern sources to support his statements about European swords, and although not every assertion is correct, I was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable accuracy with which he treated European martial history.

The author devotes some considerable space and ink to discussing the mechanics behind cutting, with pictures and diagrams to help illustrate his words. Some of the mechanics seem a little unusual, for example his preferred angle of edge alignment, but this may be a preference of his school or tradition. Nonetheless, his mechanics appear to work successfully in practice.

In a few places the author goes to some considerable lengths to explain concepts, which is greatly appreciated, but unfortunately fails to summarise the concepts briefly. It would be helpful to have a basic summary/introduction of a concept in order to gain an overall picture of what the concept entails, as well as the details.

There is a lot of contextual and related material to do with Japanese history, weapons and culture as well as the topic of cutting.

In summary, definitely a textbook that is worth having for reference.
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