Saturday, September 16, 2017

Episode LXXI-Laughing Out Podcast


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Intro Music: Theme from Enter the Dragon by Lalo Schifrin

Introduction:
  Recorded on: September 16th, 2017


Interlude Music:Noldor by Blind Guardian

Interview:Ben Kovacs of Guardian Gym
Interlude Music:Thorn by Blind Guardian

This Week in Martial Arts: Sept 16th, 1962 Harakiri Premiered

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Outro Music: Voodoo Child-Jimi Hendrix/Guyageun ver. by Luna

Episode LXX-Total Eclipse of the Podcast



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Intro Music: Theme from Enter the Dragon by Lalo Schifrin

Introduction:
  Recorded on: August 21st, 2017
  iTunes Review from Coolvibes
  Blade Show in Atlanta

Interlude Music: Spirit of Radio by Rush

Interview: James Williams of Nami ryu Aiki Heiho
  www.systemofstrategy.com

  Movies
    The Last of the Mohicans
    Blackhawk Down
 
  Books
    Go Rin No Sho (Book of Five Rings) by Musashi Miyamoto (Translated by Thomas Cleary)
    Sword and the Mind by Yagyu Family
    The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Soho
    Heiho Okugisho by Yamamoto Kanutsuke
    Legacies of the Sword by Dr. Carl Friday and Seki Humitake
    Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsumetomo

Interlude Music: The Spirit of Radio by Rush

This Week in Martial Arts: August 22nd, 1951 Gordan Liu's Birthday

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Outro Music: Voodoo Child-Jimi Hendrix/Guyageun ver. by Luna

Monday, August 21, 2017

3.5 Ninja Stars for "The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art" by Stephen K. Hayes

In the interests of disclosure, I was given this copy for review purposes.

Title: The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art
Author: Stephen K. Hayes
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Published: 1981 (Republished 2017)
Format: Softcover
Pages: 151
Price: $12.95

Take Away: If you are going to start with the story of modern ninja, there's no better place than Stephen K. Hayes.

    Ninja are always fun to talk and read about.  And if you're going to look into ninja, then start with one of the men who popularized the idea of ninja in the US, Stephen K. Hayes.  He's the first name of ninjutsu in America.  He's been in Black Belt since ninja have been popular.  So why not get the story from the man himself.


Content

    This book comprises the story of Mr. Hayes' search for ninjutsu in Japan, and some great anecdotes about his ninja training while there.  Each anecdote is specifically chosen to illustrate a point about the methodology of the ninja, whether it is their combat techniques, or their ways of invisibility.  Interspaced with these are more historical or philosophical chapters which explain the cosmology and modus operandi of the historical ninja.

Pros

    This book is one of the first actual books on ninja published in English.  It precedes, and may in fact be partly responsible for, the Ninja-craze of the 80's.  As such it a valuable read for that reason alone.  They stories are well written, and easily demonstrate points, while not having the author self-grandiose himself.  In fact, many times, he is the butt of the training story.  As such it is an easy read packed with many lessons useful to almost anyone with a martial mindset.


Cons

    This book was originally published in 1981, and is showing some of its age.  Because it was the first of its kind about ninja, it was important then.  The information it gives, though revolutionary for the time, are now a little more common knowledge, and as such has been seen or adapted in other media over time.


Conclusion


    The book is a little dated, and most of the information can be found other places now, but that
doesn't remove the significance of this book.  Because much of what's here has been historically debated, I have to be careful to take everything as gospel.  I do think that the majority of what is said has other sources to back it up.  However, some things have been directly disputed by several other sources.  Now that I think about it, one of the strategies of the ninja is to specifically enhance their reputation, and to exaggerate their mythology.  In the chapter about sewing misinformation, Mr. Hayes talks about how the strategy used was to spread gossip and lies mixed together...I think I just gained a new respect for this book.  That being said, I'm going to give it 3.5 out of 5 Ninja Stars.  I appreciate the reputation of Mr. Hayes, and his significance in modern ninja history.  The book itself is entertaining, and teaches many valuable lessons.  However, it is a bit dated, and some of the facts about ninja are disputed.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Episode XLIX-Make America Podcast Again!


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Intro Music: Theme From Enter the Dragon by Lalo Schifrin

Introduction
  iTunes review and Share  CLICK HERE
  Jeremy Lesniak whistlekick Martial Arts Radio
  Paul Wilson of Karate CafĂ©
  Sensei Ando of Fight for a Happy Life
  Jeff Westfall of The Martial Brain
  Dave Jones and Craig Keisling of Hiyaa!
  Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder of Martial Arts and Life
  Iain Abernethy

Interlude Music: Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Discussion Topic (Lack of) Teens in Martial Arts
  Jeremy Lesniak of Whistlekick Martial Arts

Interlude Music: Teen Titans Theme by Radkey

This Week in Martial Arts: August 15th, 1945 Defendo was Named
  Bill Underwood
  Combato

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Outro Music: Voodoo Child-Jimi Hendrix/Gayageun by Luna

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Episode LXVIII "Ich Bin Ein Podcaster"


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Intro Music: Theme from Enter the Dragon by Lalo Schiri

Introduction
  Recorded on: July 26th, 2017
  Reviews for iTunes
  Gi Review from Piranha Gear

Interlude Music: Faeries Wear Boots by Black Sabbath

Interview with: Peter Boylan

  Musings of a Budo Bum
  The Jet Program
  Movies
    The Twilight Samurai
    Iron Fist 
  Books
    The Tao of Pooh
    Legends of the Samurai  Sword by Karl Friday
    Old School by Ellis Amdur
    Dueling with O Sensei by Ellis Amdur
  Contacts
    The Budo Bum Blog

Interlude Music: Faeries Wear Boots by Black Sabbath

This Week in Martial Arts: July 26th, 1973 Premiere of Enter the Dragon

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Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix/Gayageum ver. by Luna

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

4.5 Nina Star Review of "Musing of a Budo Bum" by Peter Boylan

In the interests of full disclosure, I was given this book for review purposes

Title: Musings of a Budo Bum
Author: Peter Boylan
Published: 2017
Format: Softcover
Pages: 154
Cover Price: $20.00 ($8.99 Kindle Edition)

Take Away: A great series of essays on what Japanese budo (martial ways) are.

    I practice Japanese martial arts.  I have for now over 15 years.  For a while now, see my other reviews, I've been reading and exploring other martial arts and their philosophies.  I even studied a non-Japanese arts, Pencak Silat from Indonesia for a little over a year.  But I've returned back to a Japanese martial art recently.  I don't have a pro-Japanese bias, its just where I've studied.  I enjoyed the time away, learning other culture (martial and otherwise) but this book was a nice return home.  It reminds me of what I enjoy about studying budo.

Content


    The book is a collection of essays from the author's blog, called The Budo Bum.  It takes 28 essays about budo and collects them into one place.  Each one is only a couple of pages long, and can be read pretty quickly.  They are grouped together into several topic centered sections which allows the reading of one essay to build on the reading of the previous one.


Pros



    This subject is in my wheelhouse.  I also practice Japanese budo.  Every single time Mr. Boylan described an occurrence he had in his budo training, I was nodding my head.  I've had very similar happenings, though in different martial arts, and different settings.  I liked the quick essay format for this book.  It reminded me of Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams in that you can read a small bit, think about it, and then either ponder it through out the day, or dive back in to absorb some more.  This makes it very approachable information and description.  Because, honestly, these are some deeper subjects for martial artists.  Every single section had me thinking of my own training, both for what I've done in the past, and how I'm going to train in the future.

Cons


    The only flaw, if you can call it that, with this book would be that it is Japanese martial art specific.  However, that is based on the experience of the author, and everything he says, can be applied to other arts.  It just seems to me, the Japanese are more dogmatic in their approach to budo.

Conclusion


    You can always tell how useful a book is to me by how many times I grab a highlighter.  Well, I grabbed for the fluorescent yellow (and several other colors) a lot in this book.  Nearly every section I highlighted passages.  Sometimes a couple of times in the same essay  It could be an idea I wanted to expand upon later, or it could be a way to describe something that I'm going to use for my students.
    I have no flaws in this book.  This book is so well done, and comprises such good wisdom that I'm going to give it to my students to read.  Even if you don't practice a Japanese art, but are looking to get into the more of the philosophical or, I hate the use of this word, spiritual aspect of martial arts, especially the training then this book is for you.  Its for those reasons that I'm going to give this book 4.5 out of 5 Ninja Stars.  Its very readable, it is deep with valuable wisdom to the budoka (practitioner of budo), and it is varied enough in subject to keep you reading.  The only reason it isn't a full 5 Ninja Stars is because, although I am sure the information and wisdom would be valuable to non-Japanese art practitioners, it is specifically targeted  towards them.  Either way, I'm definitely going onto The Budo Bum and subscribing as soon as I'm done writing this review.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Episode LXVII-Four Score and 20 Podcasts Ago

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Intro Music: Theme from Enter the Dragon by Lalo Schifri

Introduction
  Recorded on: July 3rd, 2017
  Begging for iTunes Review
  Mifune: The Last Samurai 

Interlude Music: Land of Confusion by Genesis

Interview: Phil Trent
  Author of Flawless Deception: The Truth Behind the Samurai Schools

  Movies
    The Last Samurai
    The Duelists
    Gross Point Blank
    Kingdom of Heaven
    Red Sun
      Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune
    Shogun

  Books
    Face of Battle
    Warrior Traditions by Koryu Books
    Legacies of the Sword by Dr. Karl Friday
    Anything by Ellis Amdur
      Hidden in Plain Sight
    State of War by Dr. Tomas Conlin
    The Flower of Chivalry by William Marshal
    Donn F. Draeger

  Contact
    Facebook: Genuine Samurai Martial Arts of Dallas
    Blog: Koryu Matters
    Youtube: Genuine Samurai Martial Arts of Dallas
 

Interlude Music: Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails

This Week in Martial Arts: July 2nd, Big Trouble in Little China Premiered

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Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix/Gayaguem by Luna