Flashing Steel - Mastering Eishin-Ryū Swordsmanship (Masayuki Shimabukuro, Leonard J Pellman)
Iaijutsu was the premier martial art of the samurai warriors of feudal Japan. Unlike kenjutsu (kendo) it begins with the sword still in its scabbard. An inner and outer calm is developed which is tremendously intimidating to the opponent. Sword skills require a philosophical training which permeates the entire life outside the dojo, building compassion and self-discipline.
Flashing Steel describes and pictures forty-two kata (formal training patterns) which govern this system, with ten partner exercises applying iaido principles in realistic attack and defense situations. These kata are also widely practiced by students of kendo, aikido, and other martial arts which use swordsmanship.
"At last! The martial arts have long awaited a book on genuine laido. It and only have been done properly through a Japanese-American collaboration like this—Master Shimabukuro, with his unparalleled expertise and csicaltraining, and Mr. Pellman, who has translated this unique philosophy into understandable Western terms. Flashing Steel will be a true milestone of the art."
—Alfonso Gomez, Martial Arts Dbor University of California, San Diego
"Why would a t'ai chi ch'uan student and instructor for over twenty years want to take up iaido? I was curious, initially, to explore a different tradition and approach. But I have been captivated by the experience and insights iaido offers. It begins with a stillness, an upright posture, breath natural, mind calm. Then the draw: the bright flash and hiss of steel that reveal the subtle qualities of the substantial (sword) cutting through the insubstantial (air). I encourage others—newcomers or current iaido enthusiasts—to acquire this remarkable book and explore the mysteries of iaido.
—Michael Conniry, Tai Chi Ch'uan Instructor • Grossmont/Cuyumaca Colleges, El Cajon, CA