Great book, every time I read it I find more I missed the last time.
Mr Cleary's is quite decent, but misses a lot of the nuance necessary to focus it as a martial document. Still, far better than the "businessmans edition" versions.....
Also, if you want me to, I can send you an article I wrote, as a class handout, called Understanding Musashi for a martial training class I teach in a historical recreation organization I am in that does combat.
Well, that didn't work. Let's try that again.
@dbell- I tried to send you the article, but I am not sure if it was actually sent. Please let me know.
When you mention that the Gorin no Sho is the "core" of your training, are you a member, or have you had training in Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu?
As for the handout, I would be interested in reading what you may say on Musashi as well. I'll PM you my email address. Thanks.
Unfortunately, no, I live in an area where there is no formal kenjutsu training. There is kendo, iaido, and several empty handed arts. Some will roll their eyes at this next statement, but I feel some background info is in order. I began my training in 1975 (I was 21 at the time) with the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and I am still a proud member and participant. While the SCAs main emphasis is medieval European they do not restrict anyone from any style they wish to fight and train as long as they adhere to the SCAs safety regulations.
One of the first things they told me to do as I started my training was to obtain a copy of Go Rin No Sho. I already had an affinity for the Japanese style, but no real knowledge about it. Reading and using Go Rin No Sho just pushed me over the edge. While, in the beginning, I did train in European styles, I also vigilantly pursued, researched, and trained, as well as I could, in the Japanese weapons styles of kenjutsu, naginata, and yari. Not an easy thing to do in the mid to late seventies. However, the resulting effect was that, in my own way, I became a purist. Go Rin No Sho became the bible for my fighting style. I completely stopped training in European styles, except on the occasions it was necessary to help a new fighter just getting started. I tried to garner legitimate information from wherever I could, books, interviews and training sessions with other kenjtsuka (yes, I consider myself one) in the SCA (some formally trained and some not), and other sources. Yes, I will admit to getting some information from some Kirosawa and other Japanese period films, but I never accepted anything at face value. I vetted all the information as well as I could. Mostly I would evaluate what I had learned using Go Rin No Sho as the benchmark and test. If it made sense there then I would give it further consideration.
I did have occasional opportunities to train in kendo and aikido over the years, and have incorporated several techniques I learned there into my style, but I have not been able to continuously do so mainly due to financial and some physical considerations. As the internet grew I was increasingly able to access more and more information on the different styles I was practicing. While I did learn some new lessons, and I am not trying to sound conceded here, but more often than not I confirmed that I was on the right track and that my form, movement, cutting technique, and overall style were essentially correct. I continue to search out new information where I can, and I continue to train with, and teach, those who wish to train and learn.
I know this probably much more of an answer than you needed, but I thought it was important for people to understand the perspective from which I am commenting, and how it is probably outside the norm from most who are posting on this forum.
Thanks for reading it.
And be prepared to not "get it" the first, oh, 50 times you read it. And honestly never, unless you are training in Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu.