Summary: Good introduction to the sai
Comment: _Sai-Karate_Weapon_of_Self-Defense_, by Fumio Demura, is a very good introductory text for the sai. Sai are a handheld karate weapon that looks like a 18-20 inch metal rod with two side prongs. I started some sai training in my karate class during the last year, and prior to that I had heard mixed reviews of the sai. After training in class and reading this book, I like them quite a bit and realize there are a lot more uses for them than the obvious stabbing techniques.
Demura starts out the book with a brief history of the sai and some notes about construction and how to choose a sai that is the proper size for the user. There is a fairly long section on different flipping, rotating and striking techniques -- I was glad to see this and am also glad to see the emphasis Demura places on these beginning drills. Demura emphasizes numerous times that using a sai involves wrist and forearm movements which are not really found elsewhere in karate, as well as a awareness of rotational forces that is also not found elsewhere in karate. My first weapons training was in fencing, and I was in a historical swordsmanship class when I met my current karate instructor, and I agree that YES, most people with a strictly hand-to-hand background find the rotating movements of sai (or dagger or even sabre and singlestick) to be very different from anything they've done before. While the drills Demura presents can be very boring, they really are essential to building good weapon control.
Demura also includes a sections on how the sai can be used with almost any type of standard karate attack or block, some multi-step striking sequences, and some multi-step partner drills to show how to use the sai against bo or nunchaku.
I agree with another reviewer in being somewhat skeptical of the ability of the sai to block a full-strength bo attack. And there are no kata in this book (although it is possible to incorporate sai into standard kata once you look at the section that compares sai to standard karate strikes and blocks). But those are really the only complaints I have. Overall, an excellent introductory and reference book about sai.
Summary: Sai blocks? The bo is strong . . .
Comment: An interesting book, but I wonder about the feasibility of some of the blocks he demonstrates. The bo is an extremely powerful weapon.
Summary: pretty good covers the basics
Comment: if your advanced don't get it .altough it does have some good stuff in it
Summary: Nice begginers book!
Comment: Fumio Demura's basic books on Kobudo (Nunchaku, Bo, Sai, Tonfa) are good. This book on Sai include some little historical data, and -of course- basic stances and grips, as well as useful drills to train grips, blocks and thrusts. Japanese terminology is missing for most of the techniques, except the stances.
Summary: Excellent introduction to the sai.
Comment: Demura always does a wonderful job of introducing various Kobudo weapons. This book is no exception. If you are a beginner to using the sai, or you're an experienced martial artist interested in this weapon but have no instructor, you should find this a good introductory guide.
Demura gives an excellent history on the sai, shows different types used in the past, as well as a good breakdown of basic techniques. Good kata and one-steps as well. Self-defenses are a little anachronistic - after all, sai v. sword fights don't happen all to often these days - but the applications are valid.
Some law enforcement officers may have seen the rapid rotation baton. Like the PR-24 being inspired by the tonfa, the RR baton seems to be influenced by the sai.
This book should open your eyes to the more traditional uses of the sai, and inspire you to come up with more ideas for yourself.