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Do not expect easy answers or simple solutions here on these pages. . . but then that is the fun, the excitement, the joy of involvement in the warrior arts of accomplishment. . . . It pleases me no end to see the world at large now welcoming the knowledge of ninjutsu's ages in the form of these books by the art's grandmaster . -- From the Foreword by Stephen K. Hayes In an uninhibited dialogue from a recent meeting with his top instructors from around the world, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi discusses his personal journey through the mysteries of the ancient art of the phantom warrior. His topics cover the nutritional needs of a ninja, the changing physical attributes of the new ninja, details on training for the novice as well as the advanced student, and the spiritual aspects of ninja training and how it applies to the modern world. With numerous photos, Dr. Hatsumi demonstrates the extemporaneous techniques that flow from his form of training and how some of his top students have developed their own styles of ninjutsu. Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, the grandmaster of the nine ninjutsu schools that comprise the ninja tradition, is an artist with brush and ink, a medical practitioner of seikotsu, and a prolific writer .
Looking back almost 1,000 years, the mists of Japan's chaotic past shroud the development of a way of life, an ancient struggle waged against fierce feudal lords who ruled the island nation with swords of steel and a code of death before dishonor. The people of the mountainous regions of what is now Iga prefecture wanted to live in peace, but their lords had other plans-so the people learned the martial arts of self-defense and used their meager farm tools as weapons against the samurai blades of their oppressors. Nine traditions of the ninja arts grew out of this seemingly endless struggle, and legends were told of the supernatural abilities of the ninja fighters. The ninja never gained the kind of power that topples tyrants, but they gained a reputation that made tyrants cautious. And they gained the kind of power that makes the spirit endure and the mind the master of its fate. Told in actual stories of past grandmasters and in dojo lectures on techniques-with photographs, drawings, and paintings-the last surviving grandmaster of the ancient art of ninjutsu, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, presents Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions. In it, he explains why, after more than 900 years, the art of the shadow warriors continues to inspire and serve practitioners from around the world. Dr. Hatsumi's book contains historic ninja scrolls and describes techniques for self-defense, and it debunks tricks that are attributed to the ninja but actually derive more from the circus than the martial arts. Essence of Ninjutsu is a fascinating, authoritative look at the roots of ninjutsu and how it continues to enrich the lives of its practitioners today. Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi is a bone doctor, artist, and writer, as well as the 34th grandmaster of the nine schools of the ninja arts in Japan. He has toured the United States in recent years to help Americans better understand the ninja and their way of life. His articles have appeared in all of the major martial arts magazines.
Since the earliest days of the silent era, American filmmakers have been drawn to the visual spectacle of sports and their compelling narratives of conflict, triumph, and individual achievement. In Contesting Identities Aaron Baker examines how these cinematic representations of sports and athletes have evolved over time--from The Pinch Hitter and Buster Keaton's College to White Men Can't Jump, Jerry Maguire, and Girlfight. He focuses on how identities have been constructed and transcended in American society since the early twentieth century. Whether depicting team or individual sports, these films return to that most American of themes, the master narrative of self-reliance. Baker shows that even as sports films tackle socially constructed identities like class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, they ultimately underscore transcendence of these identities through self-reliance. Looking at films from almost every sporting genre--with a particular focus on movies about boxing, baseball, basketball, and football--Contesting Identities maps the complex cultural landscape depicted in American sports films and the ways in which stories about subaltern groups winning acceptance by the mainstream majority can serve to reinforce the values of that majority. In addition to discussing the genre's recurring dramatic tropes, from the populist prizefighter to the hot-headed rebel to the manly female athlete, Baker also looks at the social and cinematic impacts of real-life sports figures from Jackie Robinson and Babe Didrikson Zaharias to Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.