This book is an amazing resource that I have peddled, lent out, and bought for my Martial Artist friends who are interested in the history of Asian Martial Arts.
Patrick McCarthy has spent a long time researching the background necessary to compose this book, and admits up front the issues associated with such an undertaking. His honest approach brings some of the leaps of information to light, and does allow for the reader to believe what they will based on what he is presenting.
The information contained within this book is widely diversified, ranging from the origins of the written work that he emulates and translates in this book, to Japanese Martial Arts and the myriad of influences that have had an impact on its development.
And this is only the background to the research McCarthy presents.
After laying the foundation out, he continues on to the interconnection that Martial Arts had to the Chinese Medical practices of the time, and even lays down some of the fundamental concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbalism) in an effort to explain some of the translated text.
Regardless of what you believe about Kyusho Jitsu (Pressure point striking), the fundamental concepts presented in this book are, in my opinion, an essential must-read for all martial artists of the Okinawan traditions – and great information for all others.
Score: 4 out of 4