Binding: Paperback EAN: 9781929051038 ISBN: 1929051034 Label: American Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, Incor Manufacturer: American Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, Incor Number Of Items: 1 Number Of Pages: 165 Publication Date: 1997-12 Publisher: American Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, Incor Studio: American Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, Incor
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: An excellent addition to your martial arts bookshelf! Comment: This book and its companion volume, "Warriors and Wisemen", occupy a place of honor on my martial arts bookshelf next to O-Sensei Richard Kim?s matchless collections, "The Classical Man" and "The Weaponless Warriors".
Like Sensei Kim, Dr. Clarke collects stories that draw from rich martial arts traditions that developed over many centuries in many countries. He groups the stories in general categories such as Strategy, Treachery, Enlightenment, Women Warriors, and Valor. The stories have been drawn from many primary and secondary sources -- the bibliography lists over a hundred articles and books -- and while no book written in the twentieth century can claim to be authoritative (we can't truly know everything that happened in a battle or an encounter that occurred centuries ago), these tales give us a vivid sense that we are there as events are unfolding. In this way, Dr. Clarke's recreations of battles have much the feel of the ones that Sensei Dave Lowry imagines in "Autumn Lightning", another wonderful book.
Dr. Clarke encourages the reader to skip around the book, rather than reading it sequentially. This is the approach I took; reading each story in order might be overwhelming, particularly with the level of detail and the dizzying number of people that fill some stories (particularly the ones about pitched battles in feudal Japan).
Apropos, my one quibble with the book is that readers who are not students of this period of Japanese history in particular can be overwhelmed by the cast of characters and the events in some stories; a timeline and/or glossary of names would have been useful. But this is a small point. There is much here to satisfy all interested readers -- martial artists, students of military history and/or Japanese feudalism -- whether casual or serious. A bonus is the set of 121 endnotes, which provide extra information for scholar and armchair enthusiast alike. I recommend this book highly to all students and followers of the martial arts.
On a personal note, I've met and trained with Dr. Clarke at seminars, and have come away deeply impressed by his seemingly endless supplies of skill, energy, and knowledge. He shares all three generously; I've been particularly fortunate to have corresponded with him on questions I had on kata and traditions. His responses to my simple queries contained an astonishing amount of information and analysis, returned lightning fast, seemingly off the top of his head. This book is a reflection of that deep knowledge and understanding.