Ninjutsu Product Review : "Ninjutsu - History and Tradition"

 Written by Soke Masaaki Hatsumi this book is a font of knowledge. It is apparent that this book deals mostly (if not completely) with the Togakure ryu. It delves into the history of the art (I know there are many theories and it may not be 100% accurate) in a way that seems to grasp and keep the reader's attention. Most of the book however deals with the principals, strategies, lore, and technique of the Togakure ryu of ninjutsu.

 With many pictures this book is as fun to read as it is informative. I really enjoyed the pictures (and there are quite a bit) of Soke Hatsumi's private collections of paintings, wood carvings, and equipment. It is also interesting to see pictures of the training from 1981 (when the book was originally published).

 The techniques in the book cover a lot of what many Bujinkan budoka have already trained with. Ichimonji no kamae for example. The book however does seem to expand upon things a bit and gives the reader (atleast it did for me) new insight and ideas for the techniques. It is also interesting to have Soke Hatsumi's thoughts on the various techniques rather than just your instructors'. The many techniques covered in the book range from the basic breakfalls and rolls, to the more advanced. So really any student at any level can learn something from it.

 The book is also interesting because it covers weapons and such that are not seen much in the Bujinkan as a whole. Such as the yumi (bow) and various arrows designed to do all sorts of things from noise making to carrying explosives (all with pictures of course).

 The bottom line is that this book is a great resource for any ninjutsu student, Bujinkan or not. Even if you simply want to learn on your own, this book is fantastic.

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