I was delighted to see this in print again. If you have any interest in what the art of ninjutsu is about, this book will give you keen insights and serve as a great teaser to find out if one of hatsumi's students os teaching near you.
One of the catchy characteristics of this book is that is is for the most part the transcript of a meeting that Hayes and his wife had with Hatsumi over 12 years ago, back in 1986. Its new conclusion is a modern transcript of a meeting that the three had a year ago.
You will especially enjoy this book if you have trained with Hatsumi or his more skilled students. I would also recommend his other books, along with Stephen Hayes' books. Please take the time to look into getting Stephen Turnbull's books on Japanese martial arts. They are very well done and well illustrated!
A real gem! Enjoy!
Palladin Press has certainly done an outstanding job of reissuing a definite classic in the canon of Ninpo books. The harcover edition is built for endurance, a thankful thing in my dog-eared library of martial arts texts.
If you've never experienced authentic ninjutsu before (because there are certainly plenty of fraudulent hucksters out there purporting to teach the real thing) then this book might confuse you at certain points, given the interesting taped-conversation transcripts that make up the bulk of this tome. At certain times, Hatsumi-sensei seems to say things which are contradictory to other statements he's made in the past. Fools will say this simply proves the man is nothing but a fraud. People who have known Hatsumi-sensei and experienced the true nature of this art will understand that such spoken contradictions are merely another aspect of what may well be the most comprehensive and fascinating system of self protection available anywhere. Hatsumi-sensei teaches quite a lot when he talks...and even more when he doesn't.
Most interesting to me was the updated chapter "Twelve Years later" which brings both Stephen K. Hayes and Masaaki hatsumi together once again in the recently opened Hombu Dojo to discuss the world of their art since the original conversations in 1986. Hatsumi-sensei once again has a great deal of important things to say - things that a lot of people should listen very carefully to. Having been over at the Hombu Dojo with a group of friends back in February of this year made the chapter all the more stirring for me.
There are some illustrated techniques at the end of the book, but the draw for me was to have this book to replace the beaten-to-hell Xeroxed copy I made from another friend's book, since I couldn't find this years ago. I'm glad to have the book itself now, made all the better with the updated chapter and excellent hardcover edition.