Title: The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art
Author: Stephen K. Hayes
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Published: 1981 (Republished 2017)
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.
ContentThis 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.
ProsThis 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.
ConsThis 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.
The book is a little dated, and most of the information can be found other places now, but that