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Archive for February, 2015

An interesting review of Old School, by renowned historical novelist Christian Cameron.

With Pen and Sword

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Book Review – ‘Old School’ Essays on Japanese Martial Traditions’ by Ellis Amdur

I am not a serious Japanese-school martial artist. I have played with, and enjoyed, Kendo, Iado, and Aikido, but I suspect that a lifetime of study in the world of Classics and the European Middle Ages—and reenacting the same—has walled me off from my ability to fall in love with Japan. To me, the martial arts of Medieval Italy are more—real. Hard to explain, and possibly for another blog about war and culture.
That said, though, this book, ‘Old School’ is one of the best books on the traditions of martial arts —  and how time changes, erodes, and enhances them — ever written. In fact, you might even say it stands alone as an attempt to bring modern scholarship and even philosophy (like Huserl’s notions of the study of history) to bear on the heavily mythologized…

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