This book (119 pages long) is a compilation of twenty short stories about various martial arts masters. Each has a different theme and read like anecdotes. Some are unbelievable, some are exaggerated and some leave you perplexed but all are very entertaining.
This is not for the martial arts historian or a person seeking knowledge through technique. These stories are best suited for the campfire or bed time reads. There is a story here for everyone. The cunning, the brutal, the wise and the wistful. I have to admit that after reading about honour sacrifice and kicking butt, it made me want to start training again.
I don’t want to disclose any spoilers and so won’t mention the stories themselves but I will say that they include the founders of a few modern arts. They don’t drone on but have to be read with an acceptance of just enjoying the story and without trying to find any errors that conflict with any historical known fact s. If you can do this, then you will certainly enjoy the book.
The author Susan Lynn Peterson, herself third degree black belt in Okinawan Shuri-ryu Karate, is also an award winning author. The translation here is excellent and makes you want to believe in these heroes. My only criticism was that it was way too short, I managed to finish it in under an hour and a half – although I am a speed reader. However, an enjoying quick read.