"Do not expect easy answers or simple solutions here on these pages. . . but then "that is the fun, the excitement, the joy of involvement in the warrior arts of accomplishment. . . . It pleases me no end to see the world at large now welcoming the knowledge of ninjutsu's ages in the form of these books by the art's grandmaster ." -- From the Foreword by Stephen K. Hayes In an uninhibited dialogue from a recent meeting with his top instructors from around the world, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi discusses his personal journey through the mysteries of the ancient art of the phantom warrior. His topics cover the nutritional needs of a ninja, the changing physical attributes of the "new" ninja, details on training for the novice as well as the advanced student, and the spiritual aspects of ninja training and how it applies to the modern world. With numerous photos, Dr. Hatsumi demonstrates the extemporaneous techniques that flow from his form of training and how some of his top students have developed their own styles of ninjutsu. Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, the grandmaster of the nine ninjutsu schools that comprise the ninja tradition, is an artist with brush and ink, a medical practitioner of seikotsu, and a prolific writer .
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Interesting Information Comment: Great Book! Lot's of helpful information for the Martial Arts practioner. Not for beginners though. This book will benefit those who have trained the Arts for more than a few years. A true Master stands behind these pages. Customer Rating: Summary: Going to the Source Comment: In many cases, the only real way to understand something is by going to the source and even then, there is no guarantee of coming away with the 'treasure hard to attain'. Hatsumi-sensei's martial art is much like this and any opportunity to listen in on a candid talk with him should not be missed.
That being the case, it is interesting to note that a number of the people mentioned in this book are no longer training with Soke but if one can bear in mind the limitations of those who were not able to perservere with Hatsumi-sensei's training (for whatever reason), then the answers that Soke provides can be quite illuminating.
Nonetheless, it is my opinion that this book suffers from some translation and editing errors. Some of the information is edited in such a way as to make the interviewer appear as the subject of Soke's replies when, it is quite likely, that they are not.
(The Japanese language is well-known for it's ambiguity as it is quite normal to omit subjects, objects or even verbs from sentences. The result is that unless one has an intimate familiarity with the topic at hand - in this case Soke's budo - it is very easy to misunderstand just who or what is being spoken about.)
If it is possible, a Japanese version of this book, based on the original recordings (and not a translation of the English into Japanese) ought to be made available.
Still, this book is highly recommended and will prove to be very valuable provided one - unlike a number of those featured in the book - keeps going in their study of Hatsumi-sensei's art. Customer Rating: Summary: Small Book, Big Lessons Comment: Sometimes, the best books to learn from are books of interviews with a master of some particular thing. This book is no exception and packs a lot of good info in a very few pages.
The questions and answers that go back and forth between students and teacher reveal much and hint at even more.
I return to this book every year or so and seem to find more in it at every read! (Always a good sign.)
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Dr. Hatsumi says (paraphrasing from memory...) that no matter how strong a student becomes he must remember that nowadays anyone can be killed with a gun. A warrior who does not understand his own weakness ultimate faces doom more from himself than from others.
Definitely worth reading multiple times.
Customer Rating: Summary: Starting out Comment: This is the first book I ever read on the subject of Budo. It got me hooked. It's well written, playful and gives an interesting view of some of the first western students of Hatsumi-Sensei. You get a good down to earth connected feel when you finish the book. I did and it's kept me in gambatte mode through 10 years of training. I've lent this book out a lots had to buy new copies. It's well worth it.
Highly recommended! Customer Rating: Summary: A good documented conversation Comment: I recently obtained a copy of this book since for a time it was only available in the early 90's through the Bujinkan Dojo. I have been a ninjutsu practitioner since the late 80's and after finally reading this I can say it is a very good look into what it is like to sit with Hatsumi and feel his verson of what true ninjutsu and ninpo is about. I recomend it to anyone serious at persuing the art.