I just received a copy of the most amazing book: “Encyclopedia of Martial Arts.” This incredible A through Z tome, compiled by Dr. David Hall, a man who according to dust jacket, has trained in the martial arts for 45 years. He is also an ordained Tendai Priest* and has done graduate studies at UC Berkeley.
The weighty 684 page encyclopedia has over 4,000 entries. There is a half page entry about O Sensei on one page followed by a half column on the following page. And there is full-page illustration of his martial arts training and history.
All important figures in the history of Japanese martial arts are included as well as detailed explanation of little know facts and history.
Having spent only a few hours with the letter “K” in the book, I quickly learned how much I don’t know, and realized I never knew that there were so many Japanese k-words which are martial arts related. Boy, didn’t I!
As with all Kodansha books, this one is beautifully well made easy to use (it stays open to any page). The selected Bibliography focuses on sources probably available to a reader here or in Europe. Additional reference guides abound in the book. This book is a gem.
A more detail review will follow. This book will stay close to me on my writing desk for easy reference as it is now an indispensable tool.
Just released: ISBN: 978-1-56836-410-0 Hardcover: $60.00
*John Steven’s title on the Tendai monks and their philosophy, “The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei,” will be republished soon. I’ll announce the release date here.