Martial Arts researcher Antony Cummins reveals the hitherto hidden world of Viking hand-to-hand combat, which employed the sword, the spear, the axe and the shield. Based upon a careful analysis of the Viking sagas, the techniques described are recreated precisely, from knocking down a spear in mid-flight to the shield cleave. Illustrated with over 250 images, The Illustrated Guide to Viking Martial Arts in effect represents the earliest combat manual in the world. This insight into the warriors who were the scourge of Dark Age Europe is a feat of textual interpretation – and imagination.
Historian Cummins, a skilled martial artist, takes a detailed and realistic look at the Ninja, their methods and their role in the medieval Japanese military, as well as how they compare to today's Special Forces and covert military groups.
"The Invention of Martial Arts examines the media history of what we now call 'martial arts' and argues that martial arts is a cultural construction that was born in film, TV and other media. It argues that 'martial arts' exploded into popular consciousness entirely thanks to the work of media. Of course, the book does not deny the existence of real, material histories and non-media dimensions in martial arts practices. But it thoroughly recasts the status of such histories, combining recent myth-busting findings in historical martial arts research with important insights into the discontinuous character of history, the widespread 'invention of tradition', the orientalism and imagined geographies that animate many ideas about history, and the frequent manipulation of history for reasons of status, cultural capital, private or public power, politics, and/or financial gain. In doing so, The Invention of Martial Arts argues for the primacy of media representation as key player in the emergence and spread of martial arts. This argument overturns the dominant belief that 'real practices' are primary, while representations are secondary. The book makes its case via historical analysis of the British media history of such Eastern and Western martial arts as Bartitsu, jujutsu, judo, karate, tai chi and MMA across a range of media, from newspapers, comics and books to cartoon, film and TV series, as well as television adverts and music videos, focusing on key but often overlooked texts such as adverts for 'Hai Karate', the 1970s disco hit 'Kung Fu Fighting', and many other mainstream and marginal media texts"--
Who were the real Ninja, what skills did they possess and how were they employed in warfare?Lost in modern myth, false history and general misinterpretation, the ninja have been misrepresented for many years. Recently, a desire for a more historical view has emerged and here Antony Cummins fulfils that need. In Search of the Ninja is based upon the Historical Ninjutsu Research Team’s translations of the major ninja manuals and consists of genuinely new material. Here for the first time the connection of the famous Hattori family warriors with the ninja is explained. The Samurai versus ninja myth is dispelled and the realities of ninja skills are analysed. The book explores newly discovered connections to ancient Chinese manuals, lost skills and the ‘hidden’ philosophy that the Ninja followed. In some ways the truth is more remarkable than the fantasy. The ninja were no myth, they were an important part of the military assets of warlords for centuries and their skills were prized and paid for across the country. In Search of the Ninja is the first and only historical look at the shinobi of ancient Japan.
Japan has often been thought of as a closed country, but before the country was closed in 1635 many travellers from the West were able to experience its unique traditions and culture. Their accounts speak of legends of powerful dragons and devils, tales of the revered emperor and the protocol surrounding him, following complex etiquette in everything from tea ceremonies to footwear, and bloodthirsty warlords who exacted cruel and unusual punishments for the smallest of crimes. In Old Japan Antony Cummins uses these captivating eyewitness accounts to reveal fascinating facts and myths from the mysterious Land of the Rising Sun.
The first book to fully explore and explain the concept of yin yang, breaking it down in easy-to-follow terms for all those interested in Daoism, alternative medicine, martial arts and other Eastern fields of study. Illustrated with striking red/black graphics that make the concepts more accessible. The concept of yin yang can be found in some of the oldest writing in the world. It is fundamental to Chinese thought and the route to understanding most Chinese practices, from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Daoism and feng shui. It also offers us ways of enhancing our own lives, establishing greater balance not only in our own environment but also in the wider world if we can work with other people to follow nature's flow. The central question of the book is "What is yin yang?" Step by step, with plenty of helpful illustrations and graphics, it explores the history and changing uses of yin yang - not forgetting the pronunciation and spelling (why yinyang is actually better than yin yang). The book also makes suggestions for working with yin yang, from observing the landscape to get a sense of the ebb and flow of energy through the world, to studying the patterns of nature in order to take what you need but not too much, to approaching sex as a cosmic ritual. After reading this book, readers will understand how to position themselves so that yin yang fills their lives with abundance - how to be in the right place at the right time.
A Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to Sun Tzu's Teachings
Author: Antony Cummins
Publisher: Watkins Media Limited
This is the most accessible edition of Art of War ever produced, with the text broken down into digestible individual lessons, unique teaching illustrations to clarify the text, and step-by-step commentary that draws on the full range of recent translations and ancient commentators. Composed in the 5th century BC, Sun Tzu's Art of War is the earliest-known treatise on military strategy, and is still hugely popular around the world for its perceptive tactical advice to commanders on how to win at war with minimal bloodshed. Aimed at all those who want to study the text in depth, this is the first step-by-step guide to the famous treatise, breaking down the 13 chapters of the original into 200 easily digested lessons, from 'do not press a desperate enemy' to 'control your troops through bond of loyalty' to 'when you are weak, beware attack', all accompanied by comprehensive commentary and clarified with around 250 illustrations. Making the lessons even more memorable and easy to understand, the black/red illustrations include strategic diagrams, evocative line drawings and beautiful calligraphy. This ultimate guide to Art of War includes the classic 1910 translation by Lionel Giles and commentary that takes into account all academic interpretations of the text, highlighting differences between modern translations as well as the perspectives of historical Chinese commentators. No other edition compares and contrasts the viewpoints of different contemporary translators, or explains exactly what each section of this often enigmatic text actually means.
The true nature of the samurai warrior is an elusive and endlessly fascinating enigma for those in the west. From their inauspicious beginnings as barbarian-subduing soldiers, the samurai lived according to a code known as bushido, or ‘Way of the Warrior’. Bushido advocated loyalty, honour, pride and fearlessness in combat. Those who broke the code were expected to perform seppuku, or suicide through belly-slitting. By its very design, seppuku aimed to restore honour to disgraced warriors by ensuring the most painful of deaths. But as the samurai grew into large warrior clans, the bushido virtues of loyalty and honour fell into question, as control was seized and the emperor supplanted by a powerful military ruler, the shogun. Samurai tells the story of the ensuing centuries-long struggle for power between the clans, as Japan’s martial elite rose and fell.
10 Steps To Finding Your Power & Achieving Success
Author: Antony Cummins
Publisher: Watkins Media Limited
The first guide to using samurai self-discipline, focus and determination in order to find your unique inner power and be a success in your chosen field. This inspiring book offers historically authentic and highly effective mind-control and leadership techniques, as well as fun activities to bring a flavour of old Japan into your life. For centuries, the Japanese samurai were the unquestioned leaders of their society, maintaining their position through their iron will, Zen-like emotional control and clan-building social skills. Today, in a modern world that so often privileges instant gratification and self-indulgence, few commit to the Way of the Samurai, yet this challenging path of self-discipline, self-control and dedication will bring great rewards to those who follow it. In this ultimate guide to making use of the authentic samurai practices and techniques in today's world, learn how to control your mind and emotions, stay on the path until you have achieved mastery of your chosen art, build a network of loyal followers, defend your home from physical and psychic attack, use samurai spirituality and even magic - and much more.
Armies of the Dark Ages spans the period from 600 AD to 1066 and describes Byzantine, Sub-Roman, Pictish, Irish, Visigothic, Lombard, Merovingian, Carolingian, Ottonian, Viking, Russian, Slav, Avar, Khazar, Magyar, Bulgar, Pecheneg, Ghuzz, Alan, Armenian, Sassanid, Arab, Andalusian, Near Eastern, Saxon, Norman, Italian and Spanish armies. It examines tactics and strategy, organisation and formations as well as providing a detailed guide to the dress and equipment of the armies of the period. Comprehensive illustrations complement the text and the result is a wealth of information for anyone interested in the warfare of the time. Long out of print, the book has been a source of inspiration to wargamers and academic historians alike. It is reprinted here in its complete 1980 second edition with an updated bibliography.
Modern Ninja Warfare takes a contemporary look at the stealthy methods of the Ninja (Shinobi) and how they can be employed to counter modern security threats. This book provides an ideal overview of Ninjutsu techniques for security personnel, military, Special Forces, military history buffs and anyone serious about learning how Ninja tactics can be applied to the modern world. Ninja historian Antony Cummins, himself a skilled martial artist, takes a detailed and realistic look at the Ninja, their methods and their role in the medieval Japanese military, as well as how they compare to today's Special Forces and covert military groups. The chapters include a detailed look at the defensive strategies, engagement against specific threats, intelligence gathering, territorial concerns, mental focus and the spiritual mind-control techniques of these invisible warriors. With over 100 striking illustrations that vividly portray the Ninjas' secret world, this book shines new light on their shadowy methods. In the process, the mythical image of the Ninja is washed away revealing the reality of these commando-spies of medieval Japan.
This is the world's only illustrated guide to the real ninja teachings of historic Japan. These original techniques are presented in a highly accessible 'how-to' format that combines easy-to-follow text with a fresh, contemporary design that includes step-by-step photographs. This is the first book ever to present the authentic ninja techniques in a highly accessible, illustrated 'how to' format. The shadowy figure of the ninja – expert commando, secret agent, maverick who operates outside social norms – continues to exert fascination in the West, yet much of what is presented as ninja fact today is distorted or wrong. Drawing on the scrolls created by historical Japanese ninjas (or shinobi, as they were then known), this book offers the real ninja teachings in 150 easy-to-follow, illustrated lessons designed to draw contemporary students of ninja straight into the world of these skilled spy-commandos. The truth about the ninja is so much more complex and intriguing than the Hollywood clichés we know today. We may think, for example, of a ninja as being always garbed in black and fighting with 'throwing stars' but in fact, a ninja had clothes in different colours to serve as disguises for different times of day, and their arsenal of weaponry could include anything from poison, poison gas, pepper spray and fire-creating tools to swords, spears and knives (but no throwing stars). The 150 lessons in this book cover all the basics of ninja warcraft, including clever ideas for infiltrating an enemy compound (from wearing 'silent sandals' to faking passes and passwords), tactics for hiding and retreat (in the racoon dog retreat, a ninja will crouch low and halt, allowing the pursuer to collide with him at speed, whereupon the agent kills his enemy), and ways of crossing marshes and water (for example, with special shoes made of boards, or using a foldaway floating seat). The description is made all the more vivid by step-by-step photographs of the fighting techniques, diagrams outlining military tactics and beautiful samples of Japanese calligraphy.
This stunning English translation of a medieval Japanese text is at once an illustrated martial arts manual and a historical account of the teachings of a samurai grandmaster Available for the first time in English, this book explores the essential practices of the samurai school known as Mubyoshi Ryu. Complete with more than 350 images, The Lost Samurai School collects and translates ancient documents that contain the teachings of grandmaster Hagiwara Juzo—revealing for the first time to western readers the enthralling martial arts, secret weapons, magic, and espionage as they were practiced by samurai in their daily lives. The ancient Mubyoshi Ryu scrolls contain fascinating descriptions of “civilian” samurai skills—which concentrate more on personal protection than battlefield warfare—including the full ninja curriculum and elements of esoteric magic. Martial arts expert Antony Cummins contextualizes these translated documents by providing a history of the era and the school itself. The abundant illustrations form a useful martial arts manual, bringing to life the skills required to master everything from jujutsu and shuriken-jutsu (throwing blades) to swords, chain weapons, and the quarterstaff. The Lost Samurai School is a journey into the past that will preserve such skills for future generations and will appeal to anyone interested in martial arts or Japanese history.
Enter the world of seventeenth-century Japanese warfare and the warrior elite, the Samurai. Samurai War Stories: Teachings and Tales of Samurai Warfare is a collection of three major texts, published in an English translation for the first time. These works include writings on three distinct military strata: the Samurai; the Ashigaru or foot soldier; and women in war. Including guidelines, tactics, commentaries and advice written by Samurai of the period, as well as intricate illustrations. Narratives of actual battles and sieges are included in the texts, such as the famous Battle of Sekigahara. This collection is an invaluable resource that sheds new light on the world of the legendary Japanese warrior.
An illustrated guide to Viking warfare from strategy and weapons to culture and tradition: “a very excellent introduction to the Viking age as a whole” (Justin Pollard, historical consultant for the Amazon television series Vikings). From the time when sailing was first introduced to Scandinavia, Vikings reached virtually every corner of Europe and even America with their raids and conquests. Wherever Viking ships roamed, enormous suffering followed in their wake, but the encounters between cultures also brought immense change to both European and Nordic societies. In Vikings at War, historian Kim Hjardar presents a comprehensive overview of Viking weapons technology, military traditions and tactics, offensive and defensive strategies, fortifications, ships, and command structure. The most crucial element of the Viking’s success was their strategy of arriving by sea, attacking with great force, and withdrawing quickly. In their militarized society, honor was everything, and ruining one’s posthumous reputation was considered worse than death itself. Vikings at War features more than 380 color illustrations, including beautiful reconstruction drawings, maps, cross-section drawings of ships, line-drawings of fortifications, battle plan reconstructions, and photos of surviving artifacts, including weapons and jewelry. Winner of Norway’s Saga Prize, Vikings at War is now available in English with this new translation. “A magnificent piece of work [that] I’d recommend to anyone with an interest in the Viking period.” —Justin Pollard, historical consultant for the Amazon television series Vikings
This a compendium of the world's greatest council of Grandmasters. These Grandmasters both past and present represent an amazing history of the martial arts. It contains their bios told as they want it heard and seen along with pictures past and present of these Grandmasters. The WHFSC World Head of Family Sokeship Council brings together Grandmasters and Sokes from every style of martial arts to a yearly meeting, with an awards dinner, Hall of Fame and seminars sessions given by the Grandmasters themselves. Included in the book are some of the upcoming masters in the martial arts.
This practitioner-oriented introduction to literature for children ages 5–12 covers the latest trends, titles, and tools for choosing the best books and materials as well as for planning fun and effective programs and activities. • Includes recommendations and evaluations of digital ebooks, apps, and audiobooks as well as print titles, providing full coverage of today's range of materials for children • Features short essays by top authors and practitioners in the field to give readers expert opinions and guidance • Provides author comments, collaborative activities, featured books, special topics and programs, selected awards and celebrations, historical connections, recommended resources, issues for discussion, relevant professional standards, and assignment suggestions within each chapter • Addresses the most recent professional and curricular standards for elementary school students—a key element of today's education assessment standards
Innerhalb der Artes-Literatur des Mittelalters und der fruhen Neuzeit stellen Fecht- und Ringbucher ein grosses, facettenreiches Quellenkorpus dar, dessen inhaltliches Potential noch lange nicht durch alle in Frage kommenden Disziplinen erschopfend aufgearbeitet wurde. Sie bieten Material fur breit angelegte, interdisziplinare Forschungsansatze, wie sie die in diesem Sammelband versammelten zwolf Beitrage verfolgen. Diese nahern sich dem Untersuchungsgegenstand aus der Sicht verschiedener Disziplinen an. Sie nehmen dabei das gesamte Korpus oder einzelne herausragende Handschriften in den Fokus ihrer Analysen. Die Ergebnisse dokumentieren eindrucksvoll die mogliche Vielfalt an Erkenntnisgewinn fur unterschiedliche Fachrichtungen und zeigen einmal mehr, dass Fecht- und Ringbucher nicht nur Gegenstand der Fachprosaforschung sein sollten. Die Aufsatze beruhen grossteils auf Vortragen, die im Rahmen eines interdisziplinaren Round-Table-Gesprachs des Instituts fur Realienkunde des Mittelalters und der fruhen Neuzeit 2009 in Krems gehalten wurden.
Unlike most makers of modern or futuristic films, George Lucas turned away from the standard special operatives or secret agents when he created the heroes for his epic Star Wars saga. Part knight, part monk, the Jedi Knights were an order of swordsmen that helped rule the universe in accordance with law and lofty principles of justice and honor. Without the Jedi, there could be no Star Wars, and without the lightsaber sword, there could be no Jedi. This examination of the Jedi Knights, their adversaries the Sith and their lightsaber swordplay throughout all six episodes of the franchise evaluates the ways in which Lucas blended science fiction with the most ancient and epic tales of traditional samurai and Western swordsmen. It presents swordsmanship as a way to better understand the Jedi Knights, focusing on the human movement and activity surrounding the weapon and the ways in which traditional Japanese martial arts were adapted for use in the films. Topics of discussion include the powerful effects of the master-apprentice relationship; the technical choreography used in the lightsaber scenes of the Star Wars films; and the historical precedents for the Jedi order, including the Sohei fighting monks of Japan, the Janissaries and Mamelukes of Islam, and the knights of the Templar, Hospitaller and Teutonic orders.