7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship: Manual of Eishin-Ryo Iaido (Martial Arts) (Paperback)
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.