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Forza The Samurai Sword Workout: Kick Butt and Get Buff with High-Intensity Sword Fighting Moves Paperback – July 15, 2005


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Forza The Samurai Sword Workout: Kick Butt and Get Buff with High-Intensity Sword Fighting Moves + BladesUSA 1806Bk Samurai Wooden Training Bokken Black 39-Inch Overall
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press (July 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569754780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569754788
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I'm in good shape already.
citan-uzuki
I didn't have very high expectations when purchasing this book yet, even so, I was disappointed.
Shayn Mccallum
This book provides excellent, clear pictures and instruction.
T. Hodges

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 95 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kane TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not for serious martial artists but an interesting and generally effective exercise routine nevertheless. Ilaria Montagnani's Forza has done for kendo what Billy Blanks' Tai Bo did for karate. It is a fun, relatively easy to learn, aerobic workout routine with a big stick (or bokken if you own one). She begins with a little background and context then jumps right into footwork, warm-up exercises, and basic techniques. You will learn how to hold the weapon and perform high, low, horizontal, and diagonal cuts as well as thrusts. There are a few "advanced" techniques as well, though they are really only variations of the basic stuff.

If you are an experience budoka who has studied kendo, iaido, or a related martial art this book is not for you. If you are a mundane individual who's got enough space to swing around a big stick and wants an interesting workout routine you ought to give this book a try. The book is a bit light on explanation but the step-by-step photos are clear and easy to follow. It might be better as a DVD but you can get sufficient information out of this format to perform the routines successfully. I recommend reading through it a couple times before getting started though.

I strongly recommend doing the warm-up drills before getting started. Even a few minutes with a lightweight stick can lead to pulled muscles or other injuries if you haven't done this kind of thing before.

If you really dig this stuff and want a serious workout, you should consider picking up a heavy ironwood bokken. It'll make you sweat fast. If you want something even heavier, you should probably consider an ironwood suburito (suburi bokken) which is thicker and heaver than a traditional bokken but has the same general shape. The balance, however, is not typically as good.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 15, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I am not a regular fitness buff, but I do have an interest in martial arts, and have some experience with swords. I have the natural wood hardwood daito bought from Amazon some time ago, which is a great and very well-balanced practice sword for the price.

This book is aimed at the workout crowd and not the martial artist, but I think that for anyone desiring some basic skills and forms on Japanese sword technique would like this book. The book is split up into basic exercises, more advanced exercies, and some forms, or routines which combine exercises together. The exercises are clearly explained with good pictures, although I could have wished for a little more detail on technique. There is a background explanation for swordwork at the beginning of the book, as well as workout hints and tips to begin a practice of the sword. The author clearly has training in formal martial arts, but does not go over the head of the beginner.

The day I got the book, I tried out the basic and advanced exercises. I only worked out about 10 minutes. I then had to take a few days off as my shoulders were so sore I could hardly lift them, even though I only practiced a few minutes. After having practiced the exercises as well as several of the routines, I am beginning to see a change in my shoulders. I also tend to lose track of the time when I get a hold of that sword and go through the workout.

Overall I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in martial arts, swords, or simply firming up their arms and shoulders.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tony Wolf on December 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Forza is an imaginative and effective exercise system *inspired by* certain martial arts disciplines, and is not promoted as being anything more nor less than that. Anyone naive enough to look for authentic martial form or combat sport applicability in this book is a) completely missing the main point and b) much better advised to study kendo or a kenjutsu style.

Those readers for whom the book was actually written, i.e., those seeking a fun, intense and interesting workout, will not be disappointed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on July 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fun workout and I highly recommend it if you are not seriously interested in sword work and just want something a little different. Despite the front cover showing the author with a steel sword, she rightly discourages this and advises you to get a wooden practice sword (which she uses throughout the rest of the book). There is something magical about holding a sword (even a wooden one) that makes working with it lots of fun. Unfortunately, this magic does not include burning off the fat - you still have to do an intense and tiring workout. But hopefully doing it with a sword will be a little more fun than just jumping around.

Warning: If you are seriously interested in studying Japanese swordsmanship, this book is of little use. Though the movements in this book are based on real sword training, some of the movements have been altered and important details have been left out. Focus has been given to things that create aerobic and anaerobic activity rather than things that create a clean cut and quick movement. If you study a traditional (or even a modern) Japanese sword style, your suburi and kata will already contain the activities in this book, plus more.

As for the quality of the book... It is a trade paperback with great pictures and good descriptions. There are a few points where the descriptions don't match the pictures and even one spot where both seem to be incorrect (an exercise seems to be repeated and an obvious variation is missing at that spot). Just use your common sense when something doesn't seem right. You'll get a good workout even if you're not doing everything perfectly.
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