Select one of the keywords
Advanced Stick Fighting    by Masaaki Hatsumi order for
Advanced Stick Fighting
by Masaaki Hatsumi
Order:  USA  Can
Kodansha International, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by John Kalaidopoulos

Advanced Stick Fighting is a wonderful book that gives insight into one of the lesser known martial arts of Ninjutsu. Beyond the popular silent masked men clad in black, throwing ninja stars and disapearing in clouds of smoke, not much is known about the actual martial art, philosophy and combat system.

Hatsumi sensei reveals much - not only concerning the fighting aspect, but also about Bushidō (the way of the warrior), along with his personal interpretation and thoughts. He extols his interpretation of Budo throughout this book, and that alone is enough for anyone remotely interested in this Japanese philosophy to want to acquire it. Readers will find that the insights on Bushidō shared by Hatsumi sensei are profound, as well as somewhat unconventional. An example of this can be found in Hatsumi sensei questioning the virtues of one of the most revered swordsmen of Japan, Miyamoto Musashi.

As the title suggests, the advanced stick fighting (b-jutsu) presented is not just for anyone. The techniques shown (including those for medium and long sticks) are intended for at least the intermediate student of the art, as many techniques are described in Japanese and are extensions of basic teachings. Photos are plentiful throughout the book, and show the elegance of step by step movements. However, they are not numbered and are challenging to match with the accompanying instructions, making it easy for a novice to get lost.

I recommend Advanced Stick Fighting to any beginner for the benefit of Hatsumi's philosophy, but only the advanced student of stick fighting will be able to appreciate the instructional aspects. (Note that the original Japanese text is included in the appendix, for those able to read it.)

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews