Keiko Shokon : Classical Warrior Traditions of Japanby Diane Skoss (Editor)
Keiko Shokon is the third volume in a series that demystifies the rare and often misunderstood fighting arts of the Japanese warrior. Do these arts still have relevance in a modern technological world? How are they being preserved? What pitfalls face practitioners struggling to maintain these arts in a culture so foreign to that of their origins? These questions are discussed by a unique group of practitioner/writers.
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This third in the series of Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan lives up to the high bar set by volumes one and two. Building on the base of Koryu Bujutsu and Sword and Spirit, this volume deals with some of the questions that people don't think to ask until they are more deeply involved in the study of koryu, either academically or through training. The inherent dangers of trying to train in multiple styles is dealt with by Dave Lowry, who has done so. Ellis Amdur, with his usual loving irreverence, tackles the seemingly paradoxical nature of how particular traditions deal with change and novelty within the unchanging parameters of a koryu style. Other treasures include the exploration of similarities and differences among the sword styles of Itto-ryu, why it is so hard for those untrained in koryu (or trained in a different style) to 'see' what is really happening when watching a demonstration of koryu, the difficult and often misused title of 'soke', an interview with the headmaster of a ryu-ha, and a career Marine's take on the koryu. If you study Japanese martial arts, whether modern or koryu, or Japanese history and culture, this book is a must have for your library.