EDITED BY WILLIAM SCOTT WILSON    Book Number: 89198    Product format: Paperback

Unlike karate, judo or aikido, swordsmanship is not a means of self-defence, but it is nevertheless hugely popular not only in Japan but also in the US and round the world. The author believes that the appeal of swordsmanship lies in grace, dignity and etiquette, together with the discipline of physical and mental co-ordination. The 15th century master Nennami Jion is regarded as being the first of a series of great Japanese swordsmen. His teaching has been influential because it was derived from Zen Buddhism, but it has presented problems of transmission with its emphasis on practice rather than theory. Once a certain level of discipline has been achieved, the student can move freely and intuitively, but the absorption of basic techniques, which is partly a transmission of enlightenment, can only be learnt by constant repetition. This collection of samurai teachings moves beyond the strict practice of Nennami to include manuals from the classic later masters, including the Zen monk Takuan Soho, with his thoughts on "Where one puts the mind". In the same vein, Yagyu Munenori talks about a state of No-mind or No-thought. The 17th and 18th century bunjin were painters, poets and musicians for whom the Tao manifests itself in the patterns of nature, and the samurai Issai Chozanshi followed them by expressing his philosophy through animal fables. An introduction covering terms and styles concludes with the observation that the swordsman and his opponent end up being one body and one mind, sizing each other up and anticipating the moves that will be used, transcending the simple desire to win. 13.4 x 19cm, 252pp, paperback.
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ISBN 9781611800623
Browse these categories as well: Sport, Psychology & Sociology, War & Militaria

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