Reading List

Hoshinjutsu Reccomended Reading



Books by Sensei Rob Williams:

Hoshinjutsu: The Art of Esoteric Budo

The Psions’ Guide


Books by Dr. Glenn Morris:

Path Notes of an American Ninja Master

Shadow Strategies of an American Ninja Master

Martial Arts Madness

Quantum Crawfish Bisque for the Clueless Soul: How Choice Works To Create Success or Despair


As recommended by Dr. Glenn Morris
Reprinted with his original notes and emphasis
Last updated in 2005 

“The following books are strongly suggested readings for those who are interested in the hoshin path of budo. I am presenting the books in blocks or groups representing both when and why they should be read in the belt system with a little review. Here are the recommendations and the order in which we used to (and some still do) read them”. –Glenn

A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy
Miyamoto Musashi, translated by Victor Harris
ISBN 0-87951-153-2

A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy
Miyamoto Musashi, translated by Victor Harris
ISBN 0-87951-018-8 HB

A Book of Five Rings
Miyamoto Musashi, translated by Thomas Cleary
ISBN 0-87773-868-8

Book of Five Rings is the classic work on strategy from the viewpoint of the individual warrior. This is your guide through earth and water. Musashi tells us he meditates (I am a man with a smooth forehead.) in code, and is a devotee of the Goddess (Kannon). Rather surprising coming from one of the more successful sword duelists in Japanese history. You really have to understand combat, chi kung, and sensitivity to grasp many of Musashi’s concepts. He lies a lot. He leads you astray while giving you awesome information that could save your life. He complains about problems in his day that are still problems in ours. Whenever he says, “Study on this.” or “Oral tradition only.” he is usually warning the informed reader that one should, but few do, break this principle down and get to work as he has only revealed the tip of the blade to the neophyte. The Harris translation is what I usually have students read first and everyone should own it in hardback just because you will read it forty or fifty times, but particularly at white through red belt it should be read often. Basics, basics, basics.
The Cleary translation is a better translation than the Harris but doesn’t reveal much about the man or his artwork which are important to understanding his style of fighting. The Cleary translation also includes Yagyu Munenori’s scroll for the shinkage ryu. As Musashi holds strategies for the individual, Munenori benefits the company commander or group leader, particularly those that gather intelligence. The Yagyus discuss hardcore strategy as well as the esoteric application of a few methods. Interestingly enough though Munenori mentions he has seen people use various types of mind control he claims not to be very good at it. Questions from his perspective are asked at orange belt. –Glenn

The Art of War
Sun Tzu, translated by Samuel B. Griffith
Oxford University Press, 1971
ISBN 0195015401

The Art of War
Sun Tzu, translation, research, and reinterpretation by J. H. Huang.
ISBN 0-688-12400-3

The Art of War is finest compendium of guerilla strategy ever written for a general officer. Its for bigger thinkers. In hoshin, we read it for the first time during the fire belt and test items will appear at all belt levels there after. Sun Tzu comments on field maneuvers, the placement of spies, and even gives out some cryptic esoteric hints concerning chi kung. This book is particularly important for green and black belts to read and think on as they develop their teaching style. Griffith’s translation is modern and we occasionally get a Marine general’s insights in the footnotes.
Huang’s translation is from the oldest found version and well worth reading.
Supposedly it was the concepts from Sun Tzu that gave the ninja their edge in the long struggle against the samurai. –Glenn

The Book of Leadership & Strategy: Lessons of the Chinese Masters
translated by Thomas Cleary
ISBN 0-87773-667-7

The Book of Stratagems: Tactics for Triumph and Survival
Harro Von Senger, edited and translated by Myron B. Gubitz
ISBN 0-670-83962-0 hb

The above two strategy books are important for understanding strategy from a global perspective. West and East aren’t that different when going into battle. Where the West emphasizes strength and position, the East emphasizes intelligence and relationships. Not understanding these distinctions has sunk more ships than loose lips. These are general readers and not part of the belt system but highly recommended by people in the system who liked them. –Glenn

The Essential Tao: An Initiation into the Heart of Taoism through the Authentic Tao Te Ching and the Inner Teachings of Chuang Tzu
Translated and presented by Thomas Cleary.
ISBN 0-06-250162-3

Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching: A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts
Translated by Robert G. Hendricks.
ISBN 0-345-34790-0 HB

Lao Tzu is the epitome of the civilian leader. Whether king or corporate his work is full of subtle commentary that will carry you through many stressful situations where drawing your sword is not appropriate. In hoshin he is introduced in the black belts, and the above two translations are my favorites. There are many other translations, as Lao Tzu is translated almost as many times as the Bible. –Glenn

The following books are not necessary to the hoshin system but will provide fodder for your lung horse, as well as hours of discussion. –Glenn

The Sword & The Mind
translated by Hiroako Sato
ISBN 0-87951-256-3

36 Stratagems: Secret Art of War
translated by Kon Kok Kiang and Liu Yi
ISBN 9971-985-94-2

Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion
Diane K. Osbon, editor
ISBN 0-06-016718-1

Thunder in the Sky: On the Acquisition and Exercise of Power
translated by Thomas Cleary
ISBN 0-87773-951-x

Wen-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries: Further Teachings of Lao-Tzu
Translated by Thomas Cleary.
ISBN 0-87773-862-9

The Fu Hsi I Ching: The Early Heaven Sequence
Roy Collins.&nbsp
ISBN 0-8191-8952-9

Zen and the Art of Making a Living
Lawrence G. Boldt.
ISBN 0-14019-469-x

The following books are the reading material that eludes most other martial arts but are part and parcel to hoshin. If you are not working on your healing skills, meditation, and energy work you really have no understanding of hoshin budo.

This is the living heart of the system.

A hoshin dojo and hoshin budokan learn and use chi kung for their own warrior skill development and the healing of others. –Glenn

Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao
Mantak Chia.
ISBN 0-943358-07-8

Inner Teachings of Taoism
Chang Po-Tuan, translated by Thomas Cleary
ISBN 0-87773-363-5

The Root of Chinese Chi Kung: The Secrets of Chi Kung Training
Yang Jwing-Ming.
ISBN 0-940871-07-6

If you haven’t read Path Notes, this is where you should. It fits into green belt knowledge in the old system and red belt in the new. However, the above three books gave me most of the info that I passed on to the Hillsdale hoshin dojo back in the eighties. They are still excellent sources of basic chi kung theory and exercise. –Glenn

Light On Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing
B.K.S. Iyengar.
ISBN 0-8245-0686-3

The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experience
Daniel Goleman
ISBN 0-87477-463-2

Mind Over Matter: Higher Martial Arts
Shi Ming, translated by Thomas Cleary
ISBN 1-883319-15-3

This next block of three will lift you from knowledgeable beginner to really knowledgeable beginner. We are all beginners when it comes to the void. The two books below are my favorite works on Zen. What can be said about zen, beyond just do it. Well, all the above helps you to understand just doing it better. –Glenn

Zen and the Ways
Trevor Leggett.
ISBN 0-8048-1524-0

The Zen Way to the Martial Arts
Taisen Deshimaru.
ISBN 0-525-93267-4


If you want the fighting techniques of the hoshin system you’ll just have to buy the videos. You can learn a lot from a book if you have good basics. You can learn even more from a video, however the following books have been very useful and may give you some ideas. I’ll put a mini-review after each one. –Glenn

Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na
Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming
ISBN 0-940871-36-x
Many painful and useful ways to seize and lock and toss about. A great book for the stand up grappler. –Glenn

The Essence of Shaolin White Crane
Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming.
ISBN 1-886969-35-3
Explains the martial application of chi kung as a variation of Ohm’s Law as well as tying in some very nice eagle claw into White Crane. Long fist taichi players delight. –Glenn

Handbook of the SAS and Elite Forces: How the Professionals Fight and Win
Jon E. Lewis, editor.
ISBN 1-85487-675-9
If you can’t get loose to go into the Cascades with Coyote Woman to learn some very valuable survival skills, or do our sniper course with the Indiana National Guard, then here is a book that can keep you alive when the bad guys are in pursuit. –Glenn

Ninjutsu: History and Tradition
Dr. Masaki Hatsumi.
ISBN 0-86568-027-2
All the ninny wannabes are imitating the Boss. This is the fundamental work on real ninpo in English by the only real grandmaster. Everyone else, including myself, that writes on ninjutsu is/was his student or are living varying degrees of distance and fraud. Read the Boss. He is good for you like oatmeal or carrots. –Glenn


There are books everybody should read like My Life by Benvenuto Cellini or War and Peace but we often miss them. The following are very useful and interesting from a pragmatic perspective. Check’em out. –Glenn

Ninpo, Wisdom for Life
Masaaki Hatsumi
Joe says this book doesn’t sell well. Its because too many of the ninja wannabes don’t read or don’t want to admit they have been following the wrong leader, and too many of the real ninja don’t make their students read because they are afraid of the competition. This book has a bunch of goodies in it and makes a great gift. Some of what the Boss has to say about his career will make you laugh, and some like his commentaries on women (and people who want to be ninja) will make you glad you are not one in Japan. Then again, he says in the beginning, that the book is a record/translation of where his mind was. It is extremely interesting reading and will come off your shelf again after you have raced through it the first time. –Glenn

Martial Arts Madness
Glenn J. Morris
ISBN 1-883319-77-3
I may have let my students write in too much of this book. It is the prettiest format of all my books and has some great quotes. You want to know how crazy your teacher is? This book will give some potent clues on how seriously to take him or her. This is probably my last book on ninpo. — Glenn

The Way of the Scout
Tom Brown Jr.
ISBN 0-425-14779-7
Mr. Brown’s philosophy drawn from Indian tracking skills is rich in material for those who want to develop their relationship with nature. –Glenn

Developing Talent in Young People
Benjamin S. Bloom, editor.
ISBN 345-31509-x-995
They are the future and TV is failing the masses. This book is useful for teachers in general. –Glenn

The Gift of Fear
Gavin De Becker.
ISBN 0-4402-2619-8

Protecting the Gift
Gavin De Becker.
ISBN 0-3853-3309-9

Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination
Walter Wink.
ISBN 0-8006-2646-x

Never Be Lied To Again: How to Get to the Truth in Five Minutes or Less….
David J. Lieberman.
ISBN 0-312-20428-0
Helps you to identify the predator/criminal and gives you some useful avoidance strategies. All of the above can be very useful. –Glenn

Prometheus Rising
Robert Anton Wilson.
ISBN 1-56184-056-4

Scottish Witchcraft: The History and Magic of the Picts
Raymond Buckland.
ISBN 0-87542-057-5

Shamans, Healers and Medicine Men
Holger Kalweit.
ISBN 0-8773-659-6
The Western alchemists have their ways of doing chi kung too. If you have the proper background you may get all sorts of interesting ideas from chewing through these three. –Glenn