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Kurikara: The Sword and the Serpent Paperback – December 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I had expected something in the lines of David Lowry's "Autumn Lightning", that is an autobiography of how he came to learn the art and stories of his master, but beyond the autobiographical sections in the introduction, this book is quite technical.
however, it does not show or describe any kata and this is why this book is so useful for all martial artists, including people who train Chinese martial arts. He does not just present exercises and say do them, but talks about the expected end goals and how they are to be expressed in the body both physically, energetically and mentally. Due to his background in yoga, accupuncture, shiatsu and other martial arts he is able to convey concepts clearly, cross referencing when things become too technical.
The book is primarily about the principles behind different types of training in the art of the Japanese sword (suburi, repeated striking of a tire or post, test-cutting, paired practice).
He talks about issues such as how power should be expressed from the lower body and how wrong training can lead to an over-reliance on the wrong muscle groups.Read more ›
Now for the good news. If you are presently taking any Japanese sword art, I highly recommend this book. This excellent text covers the basic 7 cuts and one thrusting technique (Kihon) of many Kenjutsu systems, it explains the katas (forms), how to develop powerful cuts and thrusts, sparring (Kumitachi) techniques, breathing and meditation techniques. The appendix sections are also very informative showing the various training weapons, sword nomenclature and safety tips.
In conclusion, if you have never taken a Japanese sword art this book is not for you, but if you are actively involved in a traditional Japanese sword system, this book can serve as a basic technical and philosophical introduction when used in combination with your Sensei's (Instructor's) instruction.
Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Wakizashi-Jutsu official Manual).
not limited to any one style or school. The author, John Evans,
beautifully blends the practical and the spiritual, the fundamentals
and the esoteric elements of swordsmanship whilst at the same time
narrating his own unique experience.
John Evans was taught swordsmanship by the yamabushi, mountain
ascetics, esoteric Buddhist monks who live in seclusion in the
mountains of Japan and have a history of teaching fencing to
historically important swordsmen such as Minamoto Yoshitsune. He also
studied Kashima Shinto-Ryu, Iaido, Toyama and Nakamura-ryu, as well as
yoga. John was the first non-Japanese student of Toyama-ryu exponent and
tameshigiri master Nakamura Taisaburo sensei.
John Evans has a deep understanding of the experience that one feels
as they pass through each stage of their learning. The books ties
John's experience with yoga to swordsmanship through the importance of
developing the tanden: an area about four inches below the navel.
There are other unique aspects of spiritual development explained
that, due to lack of experienced persons, are rarely seen in books in
English such as takigyo: immersion under waterfalls.
The book has fundamental explanations for beginners, but its goes
beyond the confines of basics and kata. It includes information on
human reaction in actual combat. This text fills the gaps in
information between art and practical usage of Japanese swords.
Retailing at $16.95 it is an essential book for any serious swordsman.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I haven't finished this book yet, but it has been a great read so far.Published 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
This wonderful book by JM Evans made much of what I have learned in the martial arts over the last 30 years make so much sense. It also showed me I have so much to learn. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ray Strodl
I love his stories of practicing in Japan and the details of how to become a master of the sword. This should be in the library of every practitioner of Iaido, Kendo or samurai... Read morePublished on April 17, 2014 by Darin Hamel
The authors decades of training and experience are evident in this book. A very thorough book on the sword. Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by kris Patterson
This is a long overdue exposition of an esoteric fusion of swordsmanship and spirituality as practiced by the Mountain Warrior Monks of Japan, known as Yamabushi. Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by kobodaichi
This read is a great book to completed page by page. Each page, if meditated on can bring much insight into life while walking the path. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by Sangomas
This was a rather intense book in the fact that many of the esoteric philosophy and practical techniques of Japanese swordsmanship are defined. Read morePublished on May 19, 2011 by Raymond Allen
The sword was the weapon of choice for the warrior class in Japan for centuries, and may disciplines were founded. Read morePublished on February 15, 2011 by Midwest Book Review