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Japanese Swordsmanship: Technique And Practice Paperback – May 1, 1982


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Weatherhill; Fifth Printing 2001 edition (May 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0834802368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0834802360
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donn F. Draeger was a U.S. Marine Corps officer and a historian of martial arts disciplines, in which he held a variety of expert ranks and teaching licenses. He was technical director of the magazine Martial Arts International and author of many books on the fighting arts of Asia. He died in 1982.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The techniques and the katas are good to follow.
P. van Roijen
I'd recommend this book to any martial artist looking to expand his collection or be introduced into the tradition-rich and engrossing world of japanese swordsmanship.
"o_hlios_o"
If you want to learn what that is, buy this book.
K. Orrson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "o_hlios_o" on June 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Swords have always fascinated mankind. Throughout the ages, a simple piece of steel has somehow managed to hold our attention and fascination like few things can. From the mystical and mighty Excailbur to the advanced lightsaber, swords have been and will remain a part of our society for generations. However, no culture has been able to create a sword quite like the smiths of Japan. The katana and tachi still serve as testaments to their incredible metallurgical talent and their rich history. Through the ages, these swords were refined, and so were the methods of making and using them.
Warner's Japanese Swordsmanship deals with the history, etiquette, and use of the japanese sword. It explains how the art evolved over the decades into what it is today, and why people still practice this ancient and deadly martial discipline.
The first two-thirds of the book are filled with historic information, modern use of the art, and etiquette. All of this is very interesting, especially since many of these traditions are hundreds of years old and still practiced today. Each movement or change in position (in all of the sections ranging from etiquette to the actual practice) is meticulously detailed by high-quality black and white photographs taken from multiple angles of an experienced practitioner. The book also anticipates problem areas and attempts to correct these by showing diagrams of the WRONG way to do things, and then emphasizing the CORRECT way. Typically, mistakes made early in training can become problems later on, but each and every section also brings to light important points that the beginning student should focus on.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although a little outdated as the book now has only 10 of the 12 new Setei kata, which were added after the book was published, this is still an essential classic on the history and practice of Iaido. If you need info on the katas and practical techniques, however, there are better sources these days than a book--such as the many videos that are often available used for less than the price of this book new--so if it's that's what you're interested in, I would refer you to those. However, for an in-depth study of the history of the Japanese sword, the different styles and periods of craftsmanship and how they differ, the practical aspects of sword making, and many of the other cultural aspects surrounding the practice of the Japanese sword, and so on, Draeger's book is still the best one I know out there.

I did have one other comment to make. Draeger comments that, especially since WWII, as a result of various changes in the teaching curriculum of Iaido it has become a more formalized, aesthetic art and has lost touch with the original combative, samurai aspect of the art. While I certainly respect Draeger, and his redoubtable skill, knowledge, and opinions in many arts, I would point out that this problem isn't unique to Iaido. It's a problem with all the martial and combative arts of both the east and west.

For example, students of karate have the same problem. A student, even a skilled black belt, can do all the point sparring he wants, but unless he actually puts on the full-contact gear and risks getting his head bashed in, he isn't subjecting himself to the ultimate combative aspect of his art, either. So the problem isn't unique to Iaido.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Orrson on October 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
My Sensei recommended this book and the recommendation holds true 20 years after it was published. It is now outdated as it only has the first 10 of the now 12 Seite kata of the ZNKR(All Japan Kendo Federation). These kata are used around the world as a standard for grading no matter what ryu (school) you study. But the rest of the book is timeless!
This book is for the study of Iaido. If you want to learn what that is, buy this book. It includes chapters on tradation and history vital for an understanding of the practice of Iaido. It should be used as a supplement to study with a qualified Sensei.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the finest book I've read on the practice and history of Japanese Swordsmanship.The text is clear, the pictures are accurate and the information is priceless. As a Sensei of IaiJutsu swordsmanship, I highly recomend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Truncale TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are numerous books on the market today on the Japanese swords arts of kenjutsu and iaido. However, this book is one of the best and most authentic volume of Japanese sword techniques. It covers all the basic grips, postures, movement, drawing and cutting methods. The author is a legend in the field of Japanese martial arts. The late Don F. Draeger had lived and trained in Japan and earned black belts in numerous Samurai arts, one being the use of the Japanese sword.

In conclusion, if you are seeking an authentic guide to Japanese swordsmanship, you will want this book.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Wakizashi-Jutsu official manual).
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