Summary: Don't read this Review, like the book, it's FORBIDDEN!
Comment: Just Kidding! This book discusses the FORBIDDEN FIGHTING TECHNIQUES of the NINJA. And when you see these models performing their...techniques on paper, you too will be ~privileged~ to know why certain fighting techniques have been relegated to the realm of the FORBIDDEN. Namely in this case, because the techniques simply cannot work and will either cause you to injure yourself, or some hapless bystander.
One would be better advised to don cardboard armor and Nerf(TM) weapons than to heed the sallow call of this slender volume. Yes, I know playing ninja Ashida Kim style can be fun. You get to dress up in a black karate outfit and put on a black knit ski-mask and go traipsing about in broad daylight being...inconspicuous and all. Gets a wee bit hot in the summer though under all of that heat-absorbing black polyester fabric and the wool ski mask and such...however let me assure you that it's all fun and games until you waltz into the local 7-Eleven or Kwikee-Mart thinking "Gatorade", and the cashier takes one look at you in all your ninja stealth-finery and thinks "robbery" and pulls out ol' bessie. Not even the great Sho Kosugi has the ninja prowess to fend off the Ancient Powers of the Mystical shotgun.
That aside, Ashida Kim books are great gag gifts for real martial artists! :)
Summary: Don't buy if you want real ninja fighting techniques
Comment: First off this is a terrible book if you want to learn real ninjutsu. I personally own this book and a few other titles by Ashida Kim aka Radford W. Davis. I exchanged personal emails with Mr. Davis and he hates amazon. He also claims to be trained in the Koga ninja arts, which died out. If you don't believe me check out wikipedia and type in "Ashida Kim" or "Koga ninja" That being said, the fighting in this book demonstrate: Karate/Kung Fu/Gung Fu techniques not authentic ninjutsu. The weapons skills are basic and anyone wiht that kind of weapon in their hand could probably figure out.You want to possess real ninja fighting skills join the Bujinkan or the Genbukan. Picking up a book with not endow you with the awesome fighting ability. Enroll in at a dojo, practice, get instruction a real Sensei, and train. Please don't waste you money.
Summary: Not terrible...
Comment: Well, first off, Ashida Kim is a fake, for those who didn't know. It's not that he's unknowledgible, but he really capitalized on the "Ninja" craze of the 80's, and I think he ended up drinking some of his own kool-aid, ya know? That said, this book is not without merit. While everything concerning ninja history, culture & rituals is quite suspect (I honestly don't believe any of it that hasn't been verified by another, independent source), his basic conditioning excercises, stances, and hidden applications of basic "blocks" seems right on. He seems to draw from many different sources (Oriental & Occidental) in order to write his book, which by itself isn't so bad (actually pretty good); that he gives none of them credit, ain't so good. Most of the physical stuff is OK, at least no worse than the karate books at the time, but the super-secret, ultra-mystical "we are the dark warriors" garbage he spews in the first and last sections of the book is laughable. On the plus side, he demonstrates the use of the shoge (dagger & ring attatched by a length of cord), as well as some sword quick-draw movements; on the down side, if the Shoge wasn't exotic enough, he's got a "ninja walking stick" with a weighted chain inside and rubber stoppers on either end that looks like it comes from a bad Hong Kong flick.
Would I recomend this book to anyone? Probably not. It seems for every good, insightful bit he has, it's counterballanced by information that's dubious at best. If you own it already, there's no need to be ashamed, but trying to separate useful info from make-believe is quite a headache. Anyone interested in ninja history and culture could do better.
Summary: This guy is fake
Comment: Ok, I will get straight to the point and say that you should NOT buy this book. Ashida Kim is not Asian, and his name comes from 2 different countires (Ashida=Japan, Kim=Korea). Now, Stephan Hayes is also not Asian, but has practiced NinjUtsu. Ashida Kim does not even say in his books how he got to be a ninja. He writes this farfetched stories that couldn't even get published in a fictional book.
Save your money. You want NinjUtsu, not NinjItsu, go to Hatsumi or Hayes. Not Kim.
Summary: Nothing Good About It
Comment: I felt bad giving one star to this book. It doesn't deserve it. This book is great for bloodthirsty wanna-be's and other miscreants. It is valuable only as an example of what ninja arts are not. From a martial art perspective, it contains no orginal material. Some people might like it. I think Ashida (funny name for a white guy) is a fraudulent sham.