Saturday, 20 December 2008

Autumn Lightning - The Education of an American Samurai by Dave Lowry. A Book Review.

Autumn lightning details not only Dave Lowry's apprenticeship and learning process with the Japanese sword but also the lineage of the style he practices: Yagyu Shinkage ryu weaving the two themes together with relevant insights and inner thought processes. This book is compelling as it is a personal journey which reflects the ancient philosophies and practices upon which this particular ryu was founded giving two aspects to this bugeisha's lifelong journey.

Don't be misled into thinking this is simply a narrative of Lowry's day to day training nor a dry recounting of the ryu's inception and subsequent history! Lowry also works in a lot of feeling about traditional martial arts and underlying philosophies which for me, as a martial artist, help make sense of some of the more esoteric aspects of budo. Easily readable this book covers some interesting concepts such as the spiritual side of training, the hard physical obligation of training, mushin, musogi and much more. 159 pages long in my version and with a good writing style I reckon there's no reason not to make this part of your martial arts reference library.

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