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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Densho Revealed!, 24 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai (Hardcover)
Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai offers the reader a chance to see the direct transmissions of techniques from the authors collection of densho scrolls.

It is essentially a compilation of written techniques (kata)from all 6 of the practiced Bujinkan schools, and as such consitutes information that has been "kept aside" for many years. Now it is available to everyone.

Dont get to glamoured by this book though. The techniques are not easy to understand if you have not seen them practiced, and there is a lot of variation in the way they are done (in a class)which could cause confusion. In addition, there is no information given with the movements,such as meaning of the name or principle/ idea of the kata, just a short description of the technique (step back, block, strike etc). It is no beginners guide - many kyu grades i have spoken too did not understand it, because they are at a level where they do not need to yet. It is not a training manual, like so many books out there, and has no pictures that would help one study the movements from home. To get the best from this book you need to be training in a Dojo.

As a collection of unarmed techniques, the missing armed techniques are sorely missed, and makes me wonder if another book of armed movements is forthcomming. I do hope so.

This book is best summed up as an excellent reference manual for the unarmed techniques of the schools of Gyokku Ryu, Koto Ryu, Togakure Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu, Takagiyoshin Ryu and Shinden fudo Ryu, but will be of litle use to inexperienced practicioners.

that being said it is well worth having.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Sep 2008 01:44:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Oct 2008 18:14:00 BDT
A Reader says:
Re "As a collection of unarmed techniques, the missing armed techniques are sorely missed, and makes me wonder if another book of armed movements is forthcomming. I do hope so.", I don't know if you have missed or are just excluding the two previous volumes in the 'series' by Kodansha which are on armed techniques, these are 'Advanced Stick Fighting' and 'Japanese Sword Fighting Secrets of the Samurai', if it's the former. Hope it helps.
By your description it sounds like this one also follows the same general style: they give 'only' the general flavour of techniques and is a subtle, not direct, how-to book suited for inspiration and general interest but practical for those training within the Bujinkan to fill in some of the blanks, as you say. Thank you.

Posted on 18 May 2014 19:35:47 BDT
Some of the Techniques in English are written down incorrectly but in the back of the Book the one's written in Japanese are correct. no help if you cannot read Nihongo! this is what to expect from American translators....
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