If you want to learn more about our styles of swordsmanship, these two books are a great grounding in the history of our style as well as visual guides to our waza and practice. Both books are available to buy on Amazon.
Flashing Steel (2nd Edition)
Flashing Steel, the best-selling and highly acclaimed book on iaijutsu (alternatively called iaido), is as much about bringing life into focus as it is about techniques of swordsmanship. Iaijutsu was the martial art of the samurai of feudal Japan who remain the most enduring of warrior icons, equally popular in the East and the West. Iaijutsu sword training has philosophical tenets that inform the warrior’s life, building compassion and self-discipline both inside and outside the dojo.
Shimabukuro Shihan and Pellman Sensei combine practical exercises, photographs, and historical and cultural context in a thoughtful guide to this most popular of Japanese sword arts. The book features Master Masayuki Shimabukuro’s renowned expertise and classical training, with Leonard Pellman adapting the information for a Western audience. Included here are dozens of kata (formal training patterns) that govern iaijutsu, with partner exercises applying the principles of the art in realistic attack and defense situations. These kata are also widely practiced by students of kendo, aikido, and other sword-based martial arts, giving the book a wider relevance beyond iaijutsu. This second edition of Flashing Steel includes new techniques, updated photographs, and theoretical explanations for both new and existing sword forms.
Samurai Swordsmanship: The Batto, Kenjutsu, and Tameshiri of Eishin-Ryu
Describing the principles and techniques that define Japan’s most popular style of swordsmanship, this martial arts manual gives practitioners master-level instruction. This book is a collection of the most effective and proven fighting methods spanning from the feudal to the modern eras. It illuminates the art with masterful photography and is accompanied by in-depth descriptions of the methods perfected by Japan’s ancient warrior class.
Providing instruction on the etiquette, fundamental footwork, striking, countering, defensive tactics, test cutting, maintenance, and safety needed for proficiency in authentic swordsmanship, this expert guide transports martial arts practitioners beyond mere physical technique and opens the door to self-mastery through the use of the samurai sword.”