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Book Review: Stick Fighting
Techniques for Self-Defense

Stick Fighting Techniques for Self-Defense by Masaaki Hatsumi and Quinton Chambers (Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha Int’l, 1971)

“Stick Fighting” is a work which delves into the techniques of the hanbo, the 3 foot staff/baton. The senior author of the text, Hatsumi Soke, is internationally renowned and the most well-known of all authentic ninjutsu practitioners.

The work is comprised of eight sections, and includes a glossary, contained within 147 pages. Sections include Basic Movements, Techniques Against Fist Attacks, Techniques Against Foot Attacks, Techniques Against Wrist Holding, Techniques Against Sleeve and Lapel Holding, Techniques Against Seizure from Behind, Techniques Against Stick Holding, and immobilizations.


With the exception of eight excellent line illustrations in the first section denoting foot positions, the remainder of the text has 300 clearer photos, some larger than others, accompanying the direct and well worded text and instructions.

The book states that the techniques are those of the kukushi-ryu, "updated and adapted for use today". While not showing the complete curriculum of the hanbo (which is quite expansive), those taught in the book would be useful and helpful to members of law-enforcement who use the three-foot riot baton.

For its clarity of text and photos, techniques selected, and expertise of the authors, this work is highly recommended.

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