Hey Prize, it's a been hectic day for me (to say the least), but I do have nearly every issue of JAMA. Honestly, if you're friend is broadly interested in M.A. history and theory etc, I think that pretty much every issue is good. At the back of the newer ones you can usually find an ad for back issues, and they all have a table of contents, so that might be a good place to start.

Here is link to the publishers website, and you can find the same info there:


Being more specific, I really enjoyed Vol. 15, No. 3, which had a cool article on optical illusion in kata, and a good article on Xing Yi. And Vol. 16 No. 1 had an interesting article on the history of the spear. There are many others that I liked, but those I recently reread, so they are fresh. I DID not like the articles on Aikido and music. I found them full of assumptions and generally unqualified remarks about what Aikido 'is', and that ruined what could have been an interesting discussion on an interesting topic.

Also, if you're going to buy a bunch, I'd wait until Christmas, because they are much, much cheaper.

"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."