Dueling with O-sensei: Grappling with the Myth of the Warrior Sage – Revised and Expanded Edition

image001Dueling 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.

 

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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)

Epilogue

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.

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