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Essence of Ninjutsu Paperback – April 1, 1988


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Essence of Ninjutsu + The Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training + Stick Fighting: Techniques of  Self-Defense
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (April 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809247240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809247240
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

I am only 8th kyu but I know that as I learn more and will revisit the book.
Beghty
This is a book that will give you the true 'Essence of Ninjutsu", the indepth understanding of the art instead of the techniques.
Erric Budiono
As an honest approach to the world of ninjutsu and the martial arts, this book is an absolute must.
Pen Name

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Erric Budiono on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some people may have said that this book was horrible since they expected to see some 'mumbo jumbo' Ninjutsu techniques performed by the Grandmaster. If that's your reason of purchasing this book then you got the wrong book. This is a book that will give you the true 'Essence of Ninjutsu", the indepth understanding of the art instead of the techniques. In this book, Hatsumi Sensei shares some stories of his teacher, Takamatsu sensei and his training experience with him to explain the real 'Budo' of his art. I really appreciate this book that from which I gained deeper understanding about Ninpo and it is one of the best Hatsumi Sensei's books in my collection.
If you're looking for the book with Ninjutsu techniques and yo're enough loaded with financial resources, I'd suggest you to go for Hayes' Ninja series (5 books) where you should get most of what you want to know about Ninpo techniques or get the Stick Fighting if you love using hanbo. PS: For another good reading of the similar contents, try the translation book, Ninpo:Wisdom for Life by Masaaki Hatsumi
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I can understand why someone is disappointed with this book and it's contents. Because it really discloses the essence of japanese ninpo and it is sometimes not what the reader expects. This is not a book about secret ninja techniques. It is mostly tales (some factual, some fiction) of ancient masters, mostly Hatsumi's own teacher Takamatsu Sensei. Each tale portrays the essence of ninpo and by reading all the tales, you will have clear understanding of it. If you don't get it, then you have been too mislead by all the lies about ninjutsu. Open your heart and read with thought. This is not for the illiterate - lots of metaphores are used and it is not an easy book. This will be read over and over during your training years!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J.B. (jbliang@princeton.edu) on January 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent for a number of reasons--the main one being that it was written by the world's leading authority on ninjutsu, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. As usual, it dispels and debunks some of the popular myths of the "ninja"; but it also contains some of the Grandmaster's techniques and some interesting Japanese history. Full of neat tricks and tidbits (like how to put a frog to sleep), this book is a "must have" for the serious ninjutsu practitioner. In my opinion, all of Hatsumi's books should be considered required literature for the true Budo warrior.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "melendil" on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Hatsumi-soke masterfully explains many of the precepts and philosophies behind ninpo specifically and martial arts in general. Many in the Western World will mistake his confidence for arrogance, but that is because the Oriental mind-set is not understood very easily in the Western world. Hatsumi-soke has earned the title "grandmaster" of the art of ninjutsu, and is therefore entitled to the confidence he displays. But at the same time, you do detect the humility that also accompanies that title in his writings. Truly, this book is a must-read for any who are considering or traveling the path of Bujinkan budo.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a kind of collection of stories and views on all sorts of things. Anyone can pick up this book and get something out of it, but they must be careful how they read it. Each time I pick this book up I see more in it. The only reason I keep picking it up is because I enjoy reading it. I hope you enjoy reading it, if you decide to buy it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides incredible insight for those who can "read between the lines", as Hatsumi Soke puts it in the intro to this book. Especially helpful for students of ninjutsu!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on November 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is probably the first book to faithfully reveal Hatsumi-sensei's approach to writing. In some of Soke's other works, the translation and editing have in many ways dampened the total effect of Soke's words. Not so in this book. The translator has done a superb job in capturing Soke's feeling in the written form. And he has done so by simply removing himself from the equation and instead has allowed Soke's words to do all the work.

Throughout this book, the reader ought to be able to sense the depth of the art that Hatsumi-sensei is master of. The richness of the traditions and the scope of the moral and ethical development possible through an honest approach to martial arts is clearly in evidence. This has nothing to do with 'Oriental mysticism' nor has it anything to do with techniques in the technical sense. Yet, if one has the eyes to see, the mystical is simply honesty and the secrets to the techniques stem from this. In this book, both are more than visible.

Through stories of his own teacher (beautifully presented as fables and legends) as well his own experiences, one gets the sense that Hatsumi-sensei has just surpassed a personal barrier of sorts. There is a sense of confidence that emerges from the words and one can only feel inspired to emulate the development displayed.

This book is not, as should be expected from Hatsumi-sensei, a chronologically organised tome. Stepping away from the 1-2-3 approach to learning, Soke's words are imbued with character and observation and in that sense, one ought to hesitate to use the word 'topic' when describing each chapter. Perhaps 'situations' may be a better term.

From history to warnings, from martial movement to moral awareness, this book, quite literally, has it all.
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