Dueling with O-sensei was published in 2000. It was a ground-breaking book then, and with its upcoming expanded edition, promises to be so again. Iconoclastic, rebellious, yet fiercely holding to some of the most traditional values of Japanese martial culture, Amdur brought something new to martial arts writing – a startling honesty about the flaws, not only within martial arts culture, but also within its practitioners, often using himself as an exemplar of the latter. With eight new chapters, and his writing honed over thirteen years, this book will make you clench your fists and laugh out loud, often while reading the same sentence.
Chapter 1: The Knights of the Moldy Rope
Chapter 2: Ukemi from the Ground Up
Chapter 3: My First Days at the Headquarters Dōjō
Chapter 4: The Best of Their Time
Chapter 5: Forever Young
Chapter 6: A Conversation with Daitō-ryū’s Other Child
Chapter 7: Atemi: Striking to the Heart of the Matter
Chapter 8: Did You Ever Meet O-sensei? O-sensei Who?
Chapter 9: Tenchi: Head in the Clouds and Feet in the Muck
Chapter 10: Toward Simple Morality—Or How Come Something So Fine Sometimes Turns So Ugly?
Chapter 11: Otoko (Manhood)
Chapter 12: Anyone Can Be O-sensei In One’s Own Movie
Chapter 13: The Ring is Where You Draw It
Chapter 14: So How Tough Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
Chapter 15: Setsunintō—Katsujinken
Chapter 16: Hiding in the Shadows of the Warrior
Chapter 17: Aiki: A State of the Union
Chapter 18: Aiki is Not Always Pretty
Chapter 19: Cutting the Circle
Chapter 20: Musubi: Tying Together or Tying in Knots
Chapter 21: Bushi no Nasake
Chapter 22: Kamae: Taking a Stand
Chapter 23: Oniisan (Elder Brother)
Iaido-L, a web-based discussion group for Japanese Martial Traditions. The anecdotes are well-told and well-placed, and Amdur is so at ease at showing how not “at ease” he has been that the readers can identify and sympathize with his shortcomings…Amdur’s variety [of humility] does not grow from easy excuses, and will charm the reader as it provokes thought and laughter. Full review.