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Book Cover tempHaving had some holiday down-time to reflect about my kendo year and to think about 2013 now seems a good time to tell readers about my book, which is due out at the beginning of April. Writing a detailed kendo instruction book is something that I have wanted to do for many years and thanks to Tuttle Publishing I have been given the opportunity to do this.

Although the book will appear in 2013, I actually wrote the first draft in 2011. The production process has been a long haul, and much debate has taken place with the publishers. Nevertheless, they have indulged me by printing the book exactly as I envisaged it. We made some compromise on title choice, but they are the marketing experts. The final cover design is still in the finishing stages but I have shown the “working cover”.

This book is written to appeal equally to the kendo curious and experienced players. It covers most aspects of kendo from choosing equipment, to reigi and terminology. Most importantly, I have tried to demonstrate techniques and training methods in detail. What makes this book unusual, is that rather than explaining theory and philosophy in separate sections and dealing with waza on a purely physical level, I have described the “why and how” of techniques at the same time. I was inspired to do it this way by the instruction I received from Matsumoto Toshio hanshi whose motto was “Kenri” referring to the combination of the theory and the physical action of kendo.

The other key feature is the detail of illustration. I was fortunate to enlist the help of Katsuya Massagaki, who as well as holding 5th Dan in kendo, has a Master’s degree from St Martins School of Art. Katsuya has used a mixture of hand drawings and computer aided design to show each technique frame by frame. We also included quite a few figure drawings to demonstrate details of balance and posture. Tuttle allowed us to set the illustrations within the text, so there is no need to flick from page to page comparing words and pictures.

“Kendo, The Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Swordsmanship” (ISBN-10: 4805312319) is already available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a number of other online booksellers. It will hit the shops in April. So if you are contemplating buying your favourite kendoka an Easter present. Please take a look.

As this is my last post of 2012, may I thank everyone who has followed and supported this blog and wish you all a very happy and successful 2013.

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