Ninja combat method: A training overview manual
This "book" is more like a workbook. It comes in at 36 pages that look like they were type-written and that have hand-written notes and free-hand line drawings. Amazon says that it is an unknown binding; let me resolve that mystery, it is a three-stapled with heavy paper cover/back cover, magazine-style, tome.
As for the contents, they are largely composed of a cursory overview of his ninjutsu studies up until that point (i.e. until 1975). There is no in-depth discussion of any subject. The techniques shown are in a more instructional-style than ALL of Mr. Hayes' other works (and I have read them all). By "instructional" I mean that, instead of only describing the raw techniques, in places he says things like "never stop making eye-contact with your opponent" or "Always keep your weight centered in your hips." Normally he is not so direct in describing the possibilities. The contents, with one exception (see Kuji discussion below), are all available scattered throughout his other works. "Ninja Combat Method" is a nice summary work.
As for the writing, Mr. Hayes had yet to "find his groove" and his normally wonderful prose is a bit stilted, due in part to the instructional style. Furthermore, there are typos throughout, something that his work normally does not have.
So why the "4-star" rating? For three reasons, this is his first work and, therefore, is a collector's item; simplicity; and kuji-kiri. This is Mr. Hayes' first work (and it shows) and being a student at the Hombu Dojo I coveted it as a collector's item. Because the drawings and instructions are so straightforward and are done in a summary style, there is not much confusion about the techniques. The drawings afford clarity with the use of hand-drawn directional arrows, whereas some of the photos in his other books leave confusion. Lastly, the section describing the kuji-kiri is surprisingly frank. Mr. Hayes had not yet gotten (rightfully) bashful about describing the frontiers of the art of ninjutsu. Consequently, again there are very straightforward drawings and descriptions of the mudra hand forms and each of the nine kuji. Alas, my friends, there is no description of the meditations necessary to build your kuji skills.
In conclusion, if you are not a student of To Shin Do, Bujinkan, etc. then you will not find this volume very useful. If you are a luke-warm serious student then you would probably find the price for this volume a bit steep. Thus, the audience for this little tome is the serious student of the art of ninjutsu who is willing to pay up for a little incremental knowledge.
22 MB, 32 pages