Flashing Steel, the best-selling and highly acclaimed book on iaijutsu (alternatively called iaido), is as much about bringing life into focus as it is about techniques of swordsmanship. Iaijutsu was the martial art of the samurai of feudal Japan who remain the most enduring of warrior icons, equally popular in the East and the West. Iaijutsu sword training has philosophical tenets that inform the warrior’s life, building compassion and self-discipline both inside and outside the dojo.
Shimabukuro Shihan and Pellman Sensei combine practical exercises, photographs, and historical and cultural context in a thoughtful guide to this most popular of Japanese sword arts. The book features Master Masayuki Shimabukuro’s renowned expertise and classical training, with Leonard Pellman adapting the information for a Western audience. Included here are dozens of kata (formal training patterns) that govern iaijutsu, with partner exercises applying the principles of the art in realistic attack and defense situations. These kata are also widely practiced by students of kendo, aikido, and other sword-based martial arts, giving the book a wider relevance beyond iaijutsu. This second edition of Flashing Steel includes new techniques, updated photographs, and theoretical explanations for both new and existing sword forms.
"At last! The martial arts have long awaited a book on genuine iaidõ. It could only have been done properly through a Japanese-American collaboration like this—Master Shimabukuro, with his unparalleled expertise and classical training, and Mr. Pellman, who has translated this unique philosophy into understandable Western terms. Flashing Steel will be a true milestone of the art." —Alfonso Gomez, Martial Arts Director, University of California, San Diego, CA
“Why would a t’ai chi ch’uan student and instructor for over twenty years want to take up iaidõ? I was curious, initially, to explore a different tradition and approach. But I have been captivated by the experience and insights iaidõ offers. It begins with a stillness, an upright posture, breath natural, mind calm. Then the draw: the bright flash and hiss of steel that reveal the subtle qualities of the substantial (sword) cutting through the insubstantial (air). I encourage others—newcomers or current iaidõ enthusiasts—to acquire this remarkable took and explore the mysteries of iaidõ.” —Michael Conniry, T’ai Chi Ch’uan Instructor, Grossmont/Cuyumaca Colleges, El Cajon, CA
Flashing Steel, Second Edition by Masayuki Shimabukuro and Leonard J. Pellman