Kendo, Aikido, Karate, judo and swordsmanship. The Art of Defense goes back hundreds of years. Japanese martial arts combine cultural and religious traditions that have stood the test of time, with many around the world still practicing it
Martial Arts by Michael Random take the reader into the fascinating world of Japanese martial arts, examining the history behind a range of practices.
We travel back in time to the world of the Samurai, delving into the religious traditions of Shintoism and Zen Buddhism. Learning about the way of the warrior and how we still use it today.
Michael Random brings to life a world seeped in mental and physical prowess, travelling to Japan and getting first-hand accounts from grand masters.
Ancient Shinto practices performed by priestesses, artistic performances of ancient religious stories, practitioners communing with nature, reveling in ‘Kami’ – ‘that which is above’, are brought to life in pictures revealing the true nature of Martial arts. Being present and aware of the energy around you.
Detailed pictures of the world many westerners know very little about. The author takes us to the ‘Way of the Warrior’, his fighting techniques, and influence throughout Japanese history.
Intricate carvings and symbols for life and death adorn the pages. We get taken to the world turned upside down when the Mongols invaded, the dictators that ruled in the 14-16th centuries, the transition from ancient traditions of the Samurai to the Japanese military policy of World War II. The stories of the 47 Ronin, and learning the way of how energy and nature works around us.
The vivid images of fighting techniques displayed almost like a dance, teaching the necessity of Zen meditation and purification.
We get taken to the days of the horse, bow and arrow in Japanese war times, and the elegance and beauty of Japanese swords and Kendo.
Throughout the book, a wave of detailed pictures displays the history and intricate fighting techniques that the Japanese practiced. The book details what Masters in the art need to conquer in order to fulfill their complete potential.
We then get taken to the target areas of Karate, learning the background of Judo, the importance of free thought, and the use of energy to “achieve the best possible result from the least possible force.” (Kano Jigoro, Grand Master)
Next we travel to the spectacular extravaganza of sumo wrestling. Not exactly what most go for, yet it is an art form in of itself.
We learn the range of ways Karate utilizes to best opponents through techniques like ‘Sai’, better known today as weapons of Karate, and learning about the
clandestine and secretive world of the ninjas, along with a variety of other techniques within karate principles.
Perhaps in some ways this book illustrates how many have lost the true meaning of what Martial Art truly stand for.
If it is one thing you glean from this book, martial arts is not just about fighting or besting your opponent. It is a way of life, understanding the elements, nature, your own ambitions, and strengths and weaknesses to become proficient in what you do.
For the Japanese, Martial Arts was interwoven in every aspect of their lives; their culture, religion and formidable presence in war.
Martial Arts in many ways teaches principles that everyone could learn from to grow as a person, and become not only stronger physically, to become stronger mentally, understanding the importance of reading your opponent by seeing things from their perspective…