This is a very good book. I think what Scott Shaw does a great job integrating the spirituality inherent in Bushido into the modern practice of swordsmanship. This is inspiring and proivdes an element to the martial arts which few people in the west are exposed to. I try to do this at my own Dojo. Westerners have a hard time understanding.I think Samurai Zen really conveys Zen Buddhism in a exceptional manner.
Though the shaw focuses on Japan and Iaido. This book would benefit all practioners who wish to know more about Zen Buddhism.
This book should be in everyone's library who wants to understand the foundations of the Japanese Samurai and who wish to bring Zen into their everyday life.
Samurai Zen is a great example of Scott Shaw's positive spiritual teachings. Not only is it a great textbook for the refinement of the Iaido or Martial Art student (at all levels), but it presents a vast source of usable knowledge and masterable techniques for the individual who is interested in meditation and the development of Ki, as well.
When I came to the United States, from Japan, to attended the University of California, I was lucky enough to study the Martial Arts from Scott Shaw. That was almost twenty years ago. At that time, I was already a Black Belt in Kara-te Do and Kendo. So, I was seeking a teacher who integrated the self defense aspects of the Martial Arts with the spiritual understandings which I had come to embrace in my native county. Master Shaw was a great choice.
Whereas, Professor Shaw's Mastery of the Korean Martial Arts, such as Hapkido and Kumdo, (the Korean Art of the Sword), are highly documented, perhaps fewer people know that he went to the source of these arts, Aikijutsu and Iaido, in Japan, and also became a highly ranked, Certified Instructor, of these Martial Arts systems, as well.
I highly recommened this book. It reveals the Zen Buddhist aspects of the Martial Arts in a very direct and simplistic manner. Thus, it can be understood by anyone.