The most important book for martial arts practitioners was probably once, before the www, the yellow pages. It symbolized the making true of fantasies, the decision to actually practice, to find an instructor.
When I started there were no “Yellow pages”, I started training in Doron Navon’s dojo in the seventies following a friend’s recommendation. I stayed only to find out that many books provide inspiration but none helped in dealing with the most difficult objects.
One book helped me and still does, so I add my recommendation to more than 600 readers in Amazon.com. Many recomended it for its buisness promoting side but for me it emphasized two new things – communicating and working with people and learning to rest.
No mystical revelations, no weight loss promises, just work. Good book for carpenters or for martial arts practitioners. Good book.
Kitab el AKBAN, for no apparent reason, that is the name I call the book “Tree climbing for pedestrians”. I have adopted this book as ours since it speaks of many things that are important to us as martial arts practitioners.
The book was written by Dan Ha’Shimshoni, one of the AKBAN veterans. He wrote it many years ago.
Dan and me have been busy lately writing the AKBAN outdoors book, the famous black belt okugi. This book will be very different from “Tree climbing for pedestrians”, it distills our knowledge and our favorite whiskey into a short, full of flavor booklet.
It is written:
“Fear can cause any action, it can cause one to run home or sprint forward, but in any case, fear is a reaction to the moment. Surprise always deals with what has been in the past. Sometimes even in the distant past”.
And then more:
“The knight listened as he was galloping, and then slowed his horse down . The horse stopped, closed one eye and Gunak continued his explanation: “When you’re surprised, it is a sign that you were thinking of how things would turn out instead of watching them happen. There is no room for planning, just observe the moment”.
From “Tree climbing for pedestrians”, by Dan Ha’shimshoni, (No official English translation and the first Hebrew edition ran out).
After a long wait, probably over one thousand five hundred years, a translated English version of the important and cool book by Issai Chozanshi (or as we in AKBAN call him â€“ I.) has been published.
In the book you can read lectures by a Tengu (or as we call him â€“ T.), the mythological demon who began teaching of Ninjutsu, and to whom we owe our kata.
Not many martial arts pride themselves with the fact that their prime teacher is a crow-like demon â€“ we do â€“ what other choice do we have.
The book, by the way, is serious and important, and should join the bookshelf of every Akbanaut, which should already include â€œHagakureâ€, â€œGo Rin No Shuâ€, and, of course, â€œFoot on the pathâ€ and â€œTree climbing for pedestriansâ€.