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Karol Kowalczyk
04-19-2007, 06:44 AM
Hi everyone!

I have only been training for 2 weeks so far, but the summer holidays are coming, and my dojo is going to be closed for about 2 months during that this period, because it is located in a school gym hall. As, by that time, I will only have trained for 3 months, I'm a little concerned that I will forget most or all the things I have (and will have) learned by the time it opens again. I'm especially worried that I will lose all the physical benefits training has given me so far (I'm 37 in a couple of weeks, and the first week of training was a KILLER believe me :D )

I thought that it would be a good time to do some training on my own, so that I don't go out of shape, and maybe even by concentrating on some 'basics,' I may even have got better at them when the dojo opens again in September!

The kinds of things I'm interested in are things I can work on alone, such as stretches, tenkans, (seiza, yes, it still hurts like hell over 30 seconds!) the different names of the techniques, but I think most importantly, ukemi. As an 'oldie' they are the hardest part of it all, because my dojo doesn't have a seperate beginners class, and we do techniques for 6th and 5th kyu which require some 'head over heels' action, and I kind of go into a cold sweat just thinking about them..:p . Also, any book that has good picture/explanations of detailed hand movements would be good because I wear glasses, and taking them off before training means I sometimes don't get a good look at the specific positions of hands during demonstrations.

I'm aware that there is a 'book reviews' section on this site, and I can also go through the (literally) hundreds of reviews on sites such as Amazon, but I really wanted to hear what book(s)has/have helped the people on this forum the most, because some books have very few reviews, but high ratings, and also it's hard to tell how much experience some of the reviewers have on other sites.

So, my question to you all is: "If you could buy just ONE book about Aikido techniques, what would it be?"

(I'm limiting myself to one book because of financial considerations, as well as for ease of carrying in a rucksack (I'm going to visit mummy during the summer!), but if you think there is more than one indispensable book, then please tell me.)

Thank you all for any help you can give.

Edit: Oops, I forgot, maybe I should mention that I train in the Aikikai style!

Eric Webber
04-19-2007, 07:40 AM
"Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" is the standard classic, a mainstay in many aikidoka's libraries. I recommend it to all the new folks at our dojo.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
04-19-2007, 08:46 AM
For me, this is a no-brainer:

Total Aikido, by Gozo Shioda.

Although it may be of less use to a non-Yoshinkan (or related) style.

grondahl
04-19-2007, 09:09 AM
Total Aikido by Gozo Shioda even though I dont train in yoshinkan or Living Aikido by B. Klickstein.

barron
04-19-2007, 10:00 AM
After practicing martial art for 12 years, Aikido for 6, I would go with

Aikido in Everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way ...by Terry Dobson (Author), Victor Miller (Author).
Principles of aikido could be used in verbal confrontations.

This I use.

Dojo Aikido training allows me to feel that I do not need to become involved physically.

Cheers

Don_Modesto
04-19-2007, 10:13 AM
There are tons of threads on recommended books. Here's a bibliography I wrote up a while back for my students. It's a little dated, but...

(Prices were taken from Amazon.com; often,
third-party vendors have the item available at a
fraction of the prices listed below.)

Aikido Technique

Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome, lists at
$29.95 or $20.37.

A good beginners book explaining such things as
bowing and the traditional uniform as well as some
principles of technique amply illustrated with
clear photographs. Saotome also has a video
($29.99) available by the same name.

Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training by C.
M. Shifflett, $19.95.

Another intro book for beginners. Down to earth
and familiar: excellent.

Saito Morihito, Nishio Shoji, Shioda Gozo

Any technical references by these three will be
good. Find Saito and Nishio at Aikido Journal
Online
(http://aikidojournal.com/catalog/catalog.php) or
Shioda in bookstores or Amazon. His demonstrations
are fun, though (for those not on the receiving
end of them?)

Aikido In Training by R. Crane, K. Crane ($34.95)

A large hardback book with very clear pictures and
descriptions. The videos ($29.95) are also very
clear and well-presented.
(http://www.coolrain.com/)

Irimi: Iriminage, Za: Suwariwaza, Koshi:
Koshinage, Buki: Jo and Bokken by Hiroshi Ikeda
$40 each or $120 for a DVD of all four.

Ikeda was one of my first teachers, so I may be
biased but I find these clear and beautiful. See
demo clips on his website:
http://bujindesign.com/video.html.

Aikido Friendship Demonstrations, Aikido Journal.
There have been several and they are inspiring:

Aiki Expo 2002 Demo on DVD ($39.95 for one or
$69.95 for both, 215 minutes total)

Some very dynamic interesting demonstrations by
Japanese and American (and Canadian) masters.
(Unfortunately, a couple of tedious demos, too.
But I find it worth the price.)

1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration on DVD
(http://aikidojournal.com/catalog/catalog.php)

Again, very interesting demos by some of the
greatest practitioners ever.

50th Anniversary of Sokaku Takeda Demo and

39th All-Japan Daito-ryu Demo $39.95 each
http://aikidojournal.com/catalog/catalog.php

Daito-ryu is the art which the founder of aikido
studied. It is the principal technical influence
of modern aikido. Both these demos are good, but I
think the 50th is a little meatier.

Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated
Introduction by A. Westbrook, O. $22.41.

Avoid this. I only put it here because itís a
perennial favorite and many will recommend it. The
pictures are beautiful, but the text is mediocre and way dated.

Aikido History

Aikido Journal Website
(http://aikidojournal.com/subscribe.php)
$29.75/year.

Cheap at twice the cost and better quality content
than youíll find in most works on the subject.
Youíll find several booksí worth of materials in
the articles section as well as access to many
valuable online videos. There is also a discussion
board (no subscription necessary for this). The
premier aikido researcher in the west, Stanley
Pranin, runs the site.

Founder of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba (online
translation of a biography of the founder by his
son)

Aikido Journal Website Subscription. Beginning at
http://aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=238

Morihei Ueshiba, Founder Of Aikido, by Kanemoto
Sunadomari (online: Sunadomari was one of the
founderís closer, pre-war students.) Aikido
Journal Website Subscription. Beginning at
http://aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=357

Aikido Masters ($24.95) available from Aikido
Journal Website
(http://aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails.php?code=mas)

Interviews of many people who knew and trained
with the founder.

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with
Daito-ryu Masters ($25.95)
(http://aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails.php?code=dtr)

Interviews of many people who knew and trained
with the founderís teacher.) Available from Aikido
Journal Website

Remembering O-Sensei: Living and Training with
Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido by SUSAN PERRY
(Editor) List Price: $15.37 .

One hundred sixty pages of anecdotes by many of
THE names in aikido, fun read.

Invincible Warrior by John Stevens, $13.97
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1570623945/qid=1093116646/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-0329134-9353730?v=glance&s=books&n=507846])

Caveat emptor. Donít call it biography--itís folk
history or mythology or hagiography, but far too
breathless and biased to flatter as biography.
Still, it covers the founderís life.

Aikido Philosophy

Aikido & the Harmony of Nature by Mitsugi Saotome,
$20.37 .

Without reservation, the finest rendering of
aikido philosophy in English. Itís a disciplined
yet passionate attempt by one of his students to
make the infamously obtuse message of the founder
accessible to the average aikido player.

Touching the Absolute: Aikido vs. Religion and
Philosophy by Peter Goldsbury.
(http://aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=2)

A rigorous no-nonsense examination of aikido by a
former Jesuit, philosophy professor (Hiroshima
University), and aikido 6 DAN. Aikido Journal
Website Subscription

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido by William
Gleason $13.97 . Difficult.

The author writes as if heís making notes to
himself with little apparent cognizance of his
audience. Nevertheless, this book examines the
underpinnings of aikido philosophy in depth. The
author is a 6 DAN under Saotome and teaches in
Massachusetts. Iíve been to one of his seminars
and it was excellent.

Dueling with O-sensei: Grappling with the Myth of
the Warrior Sage By Ellis Amdur. $20.00
(http://www.ellisamdur.com/DuelingwithOsensei.htm)

This book is an unapologetically critical look at
the contradiction & warts of aikido & the
implication of aikido for our lives. Sine qua non
for the independent thinker. The author is a
counselor for kids at risk. Iíve been to one of
his seminars and it was excellent.

The Omoto Religion and Aikido by Yasuaki Deguchi
Ueshiba (online translation a series first run in
Japanese) Aikido Journal Website Subscription.

By the grandson of the founderís guru, Deguchi
Onisaburo. Some insights, but a better investment
is

The Socio-Political Background Of The 1921 And
1935 Omoto Suppressions In Japan, By Thomas Peter
Nadolski. (http://wwwlib.umi.com/dxweb/results for
$36, order number 7524107.)

The best material available on Omoto, the New
Religion in which the founder felt so at home.
Predictably enough, less charitable than Omotoís
own materials. Itís an unpublished dissertation.

The Philosophy of Aikido by John Stevens $17.00,

The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of
Morihei Ueshiba by Morihei Ueshiba, John Stevens,
$14.00

Secrets of Aikido by John Stevens, $16.97 (All
Amazon prices)

Infuriatingly uncritical & fatuous. Nevertheless,
such is the dearth in English of materials on the
deeper aspects of aikido philosophy that these are
better than nothing.

Budo Training in Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba (the
founder of aikido ) $13.97.

Historical counterpoint to people like Stevens for
whom the founder was an unblemished avatar of
peace. This book has the founder waxing patriotic
in the militarist 30's --"This 'way' realizes the
genuiness of the Imperial Way.... The main purpose
[of Bu, then] is to enhance the prestige of the
Empire & to bring to light the whole nation."
Intelligent translator's notes.

The Japanese Milieu & Martial Culture

Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia (2
Volume Set) by Thomas A. Green, $175.00

ĎRevisionistí writing to dispel many many myths of
the martial arts including the Shaolin Temple and
DO as a moral practice.

Famous Budoka of Japan by Yoshinori Kono

Ueshiba (online translation a series first run in
Japanese) Aikido Journal Website Subscription

The Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan series:
(Edited by Diane Skoss, $21.95 each or $60 for the
set.
http://koryu.com/store/classicalwarriortraditions.html)

Volume One: Koryu Bujutsu

Volume Two: Sword & Spirit

Volume Three: Keiko Shokon

All excellent background to Japanese martial
culture.

Old School by Ellis Amdur, $20.
(http://koryu.com/store/os.html)

Inside info by a practitioner of Japanís classical
arts (and former aikido player). As with his
Dueling with Osensei above, an excellent book.

Sword & Brush, et al. by Dave Lowry

A practitioner of Yagyu-ryu Kenjutsu, Lowry is an
excellent writer with something to say. Iíve read
several of his books and all have been worthwhile.

Samurai On Wall Street: Miyamoto Musashi and the
Search for Success by G. Cameron Hurst III, InYo:
Journal of Alternative Perspectives Jan 200
(http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_Hurst_0101.htm.)

Takes on the preoccupation with Musashi as a tonic
for all that ails the martial artistís soul.

Bushido or Bull? A Medieval Historianís
Perspective on the Imperial Army and the Japanese
Warrior Tradition by Karl F. Friday, InYo: Journal
of Alternative Perspectives Mar 2001
(http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_friday_0301.htm)

Challenges the identification of Bushido with the
samurai.

From heiho to bugei: The emergence of the martial
arts in Tokugawa Japan by Hurst, G.C, The Journal
of Asian Martial Arts, Vol. 2:4.

Traces the development of martial arts from the
battlefield to the dojo; challenges the smug
condescension of kata-based Budo vis a vis
sport-based Budo.

Valorous Butchers: The Art of War during the
Golden Age of the Samurai, Karl Friday, in "Japan
Forum" 5.1 (1993).

On the brutality of real warfare and the humanity
of warriors.

The Myth of the Samurai by Harold Bolitho in Alan
Rix & Ross Mouer (eds.), Japan's Impact on the
World, pp. 2-9 (Japanese Studies Association of
Australia, 1984) P#000720.

Contra popular images of the samurai as selfless,
Bolitho demonstrates how enthusiastic they were to
acquire land. Serving lords could come later.

The Culture of Force and Farce: Fourteenth-Century
Japanese Warfare by Thomas Conlan, Harvard
University. Occasional Papers in Japanese Studies.
2000-2001, p. 15-16.)

Conlan details the narcissism and self-interest of
samurai who would leave the battlefield after
taking one head, enough for reward, or just steal
some poor warriorís corpses. Conlan did his
dissertation on battle injury reports and came up
with some interesting revisions on the nature of
medieval battle as a result.

Classical Bujutsu (Martial Arts and Ways of Japan,
V. 1.) $5.94

Classical Budo: The Martial Arts & Ways of Japan
(Martial Arts & Ways of Japan Series , Vol 2)
$19.95

Modern Bujutsu & Budo: The Martial Arts and Ways
of Japan (Martial Arts and Ways of Japan, Vol 3)
$19.95

All by Donn F. Draeger

A scholarly treatment by a practitionerís
pratitioner. There are some errors, noted below,
but still a very worthwhile resource.

Ya Gotta Have Wa by Robert Whiting

An examination of Japanese society through the
lens of baseball, which is played as a martial art
there. Classic, insightful...and out of print. Get
it through inter-library loan, itís worth it.

Correctives

Several myths and misconceptions about the martial
arts endure despite having been soundly refuted.
Here are several with the pertinent articles
correcting them.

OVEREMPHASIS

Zen & Japanese Culture, Suzuki Daisetsu, $19.98

A, perhaps THE, classic apologia for Zen and itís
relationship to the martial arts.

DEBUNKING

The Zen of Nationalism (History of Relgions, 33:1,
1993.) and Whose Zen?: Zen Nationalism Revisited
(http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/nlarc/pdf/Rude%20awakenings/Sharf.pdf)
by Robert Sharf

Sharf relentlessly depicts Suzuki as a poseur and
dilettante. In sum, Suzuki didnít do martial arts,
wasnít a Zen master (he studied Western concepts
of religion over twice as long as he did Zen), and
was a tireless apologist for the most nefarious of
Japanís military aggression abroad.

DEBUNKING

Zen at War ($59.99) and Zen War Stories ($52.61)
by Brian Victoria

Detailed exposure of the support Buddhism--widely
billed as a religion of peace--gave to war
efforts. Victoria is himself a Buddhist.

INCOMPREHENSION

Zen in the Art of Archery ($8.00) by Eugen
Herrigel

Written by a Nazi professor of Philosophy, this
classic pronouncement on ĎZen archeryí has been
immensely influential in defining, Kyudo, Japanese
archery. It even Ďwashed backí defining Kyudo for
the Japanese.

DEBUNKING

The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery by Yamada
Shoji (Japanese Journal of Religious Studies,
Spring 2001, 28/1.
http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/586.pdf)

What they say about not watching sausages and law
made if you like them fits here. Yamada exposes
Herrigel as farce. In sum, Awa, Herrigelís vaunted
Zen master, didnít even practice Zen--or pretend
to. He was such an odd bird that even his students
criticized him, extraordinary in
hierarchy-conscious Japan. Also, Herrigel didnít
speak Japanese, Awa didnít speak German, and the
translator lied. I am not making this up.

DEBUNKING

Five Mountains: The Zen Monastic Institution in
Medieval Japan by Martin Collcut, $27.50

Shows that warrior interest in Zen was social,
political, and cultural...but not spiritual.
Though excellent, this book is of but peripheral
interest to martial artists and I donít recommend
its purchase.

OVEREMPHASIS

Classical Budo: The Martial Arts & Ways of Japan
(Martial Arts & Ways of Japan Series , Vol 2) by
Donn Draeger, $19.95.

Draeger repeats the usual canard that Zen is the
martial arts and vice versa. Despite this, and
another error noted below, Draeger is actually an
excellent source. I highly recommend the whole
trilogy (the other two volumes are called
Classical Bujutsu and Modern Bujutsu and Budo.)

SELF-CORRECTION

Japanese Swordsmanship by Gordon Warner and Donn
Draeger, $23.80.

Eight years after Classical Budo, Draeger analyzes
the spiritual teachings of Takuan Soho, who wrote
an often-quoted tract on Zen and the martial arts,
into Zen and Taoism (and others) and attributing
the mind-discipline pertinent to martial arts to
Taoism. As this excellent book is very narrowly
concentrated on the sword, I donít recommend if
for aikidoists although I do recommend TACHIYOMI,
which is Japanese for Ďstanding and readingí, of
the chapters on history.

OVERWEENING TACT

Classical Budo by Donn Draeger

Draeger famously set the distinction between ĎDOí
(as in juDO, for example) and ĎJUTSUí (as in
juJUTSU, for example) in concrete.

DEBUNKING

Religion and Spirituality: Japan by William
Bodiford in Martial Arts of the World, ed. by
Thomas Green.

Bodiford, a medeival Japan historian at UCLA,
savages the notion of the DO arising as a
spiritual compulsion of the samurai to perfect
themselves during the peace of Tokugawa, a
favorite teleogy of the martial ways. Indeed,
ĎDOí, he maintains, is shorthand for ĎBushido,í a
newly resurrected concept introduced to the cannon
fodder of civilian Japan in the 20s as inspiration
for unquestioning obedience to the Emperor and an
invitation to suicidal zeal in every undertaking
on his behalf. Draeger, Bodiford maintains,
glossed over the impact of the ultranationalist
20s and 30s out of deference to teachers who had
fought in the Pacific War.

BACKGROUND

Honji Suijaku at work: religion, economics, and
ideology in pre-modern Japan by Fabio Rambelli in
Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a
conbinatory paradigm, pp. 255-286.

While not mentioning martial arts in particular,
Rambelli traces the idea that secular
activities--poetry, carpentry, Noh (theater),
KEMARI (kickball)--can serve sacred purposes as
Ways (DO). This derives from the idea in the Lotus
Sutra--UPAYA or skillful means--that unenlightened
beings must be led to enlightenment in a manner
they can comprehend. (Honji Suijaku is a further
elaboration of this idea as it specifically
relates to the appropriation of local belief
systems--Kami worship--within the Buddhist
worldview and how this thinking seeped into
general consciousness from esoteric discourses.)
This being the case, there need not be any
historical distinction between DO and JUTSU as
enlightenment is immanent in any activity (thereby
rendering it DO whether it is carpentry of
kenjutsu.)

CANON

Immovable Mind by Takuan Soho trans. by Sato

A very influential text describing Zen in terms of
swordsmanship. This is said to be a good
translation (Suzuki includes a translation in his
Zen and Japanese Culture, but according to
scholars, it is nearly unrecognizable as Takuan so
much has Suzuki interpreted it to reflect Zen.)

UPDATE

Flow and Sports by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and
Susan A. Johnson, $11.17

Takuan is THE word on the flow experience (MUSHIN)
in Budo, but Csikszentmihalyi and Johnson
describe, analyze, and offer strategies for
attaining it more clearly than did the monk.

PERSPECTIVE

Mushin, Morals, and Martial Arts: A Discussion of
Keenan's YogZicara Critique by Stewart McFarlane,
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1990.
(http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/325.pdf)

Second in a four-part exchange between dueling
scholars concerning morality and Mushin. I
couldnít follow all of it, but I did extract
points of interest. The entire exchange, all in
The Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, is:

--Spontaneity in Western Martial Arts - A Yogacara
Critique of Mushin (No-Mind) by John P. KEENAN,
1989.
(http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/302.pdf)

--Perspective: Mushin, Morals, and Martial Arts: A
Discussion of Keenan's YogZicara Critique by
Stewart McFarlane (above)

--The Mystique of Martial Arts:A Response to
Professor McFarlane by John P. Keenan,
1990.(http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/326.pdf)

--The Mystique of Martial Arts: A Reply to
Professor Keenan's Response by Stewart McFarlane,
1991.
(http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/348.pdf)

tedehara
04-19-2007, 10:44 AM
My first choice for a book on aikido techniques would be The Way to Union with Ki by Koichi Tohei. However since it costs at least $250 USD and you need to have a Ki Society chief instructor verify your order from Japan, it's fairly hard to purchase.

A choice for a book would be This is Aikido by the same author, ISBN 0-87040-346-X. Since this is out-of-print and generally sells for $60 - $100+ USD, it is another unlikely candidate.

Another choice would be Aikido with Ki by Koretoshi Maruyama. This book is also out-of-print but has been selling cheaply on the net and in used bookstores, ISBN 0-87040-566-7.

Probably your best choice would be the paperback version of Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere by Westbrook and Ratti, ISBN-10: 0804832846 ISBN-13: 978-0804832847. It's a good all-around introduction to aikido techniques, while the above books are more specific. Used copies have also has been selling cheaply.

Karol Kowalczyk
04-20-2007, 10:33 AM
Thank you all so far for your suggestions.

To respond to some of your comments (if that's at all necessary):

$250 for a book!!! That's almost one month's salary for me here!! :p
Seriously, though, I did notice 'Total Aikido' by Shioda and think that would be a good one, even though it is a different style, and also 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere' is mentioned by so many people, it seems like they either love it or hate it, so I think I will have to get it to make up my own mind about it. Ultimately i will be limited by what a given bookshop has or can order, but I'm sure those two will be easy enough to find.

Thank you all again for your suggestions, and I hope others will still post their suggestions if they havent done so yet!

kironin
04-20-2007, 11:03 AM
My first choice for a book on aikido techniques would be The Way to Union with Ki by Koichi Tohei. However since it costs at least $250 USD and you need to have a Ki Society chief instructor verify your order from Japan, it's fairly hard to purchase.

A choice for a book would be This is Aikido by the same author, ISBN 0-87040-346-X. Since this is out-of-print and generally sells for $60 - $100+ USD, it is another unlikely candidate.


Personally, I think The Way to Union with Ki is a very dissappointing book and would not recommend it to anyone at any price. In many of the technical picture sequences the camera actually changes position making it difficult for someone who is very familiar with the technique to catch what is being shown and for someone who doesn't know what is happening it would be completely impossible. Much of the description is rather terse and not nearly descriptive enough. I don't think it is possible to get this book unless you are a member of Ki Society and even then the book had a limited run. A lot of things wrong with this book and it's not even big enough or have a pretty color picture on the outside to put on a coffee table.

Not only is the older book "This is Aikido" prettier on the outside, the contents on the inside are far, far superior in presentation and style. Anyone can read that book and get some great insights on the technical side of aikido. Very much worth having to look at again and again. Comparing it to the newer book just makes one appreciate how talented the people were that constructed this book were.

rulemaker
04-20-2007, 12:50 PM
My number 1 choice is:

1. Progressive Aikido by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu

followed by:

2. Art of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba Doshu (very nice photos)
3. Best Aikido by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu
4. Aikido the Master Course by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu
5. Christian Tissier's books (french)

Aikibu
04-21-2007, 09:01 PM
Don briefly mentioned him but I would add only a few books to his excellent collection.

Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance". Shoji Nishio Shihan with Stan Pranin. Stan's book is the only one Shoji Nishio ever wrote, and gives the reader a great understanding of his philosphy and technique.

The Nishio Sensei Aikido Notebook 1&2 Lessons and Seminars of Shoji Nishio Shihan and complete Aiki-Toho-Iai.Sensei Steffi Varjan ( A 30 year student of Shoji Nishio Shihan it is very comprehensive and our unoffical training manual(s). )

Miyamoto Musashi. His Life and Writings. Kenji Tokitsu. Written by a lifelong Budoka; Tokitsu Shihan has made the study of Musashi his life's work, and should be read by anyone interested in the history of Japanese Budo.

Everyday Zen & Living Zen. Charlotte Joko Beck. Dharma Heir of Tazuin Mazumi Roshi; Joko Beck makes understanding Soto Zen very easy and helps us to live it in our daily lives... or as she used to put it... "Make Love Drive Freeway." :)

William Hazen

dps
04-21-2007, 11:46 PM
The kinds of things I'm interested in are things I can work on alone, such as stretches, tenkans, (seiza, yes, it still hurts like hell over 30 seconds!) the different names of the techniques, but I think most importantly, ukemi. As an 'oldie' they are the hardest part of it all, because my dojo doesn't have a seperate beginners class, and we do techniques for 6th and 5th kyu which require some 'head over heels' action, and I kind of go into a cold sweat just thinking about them..:p . Also, any book that has good picture/explanations of detailed hand movements would be good because I wear glasses, and taking them off before training means I sometimes don't get a good look at the specific positions of hands during demonstrations.

Edit: Oops, I forgot, maybe I should mention that I train in the Aikikai style!

For Aikikai style Aikido I would get either " Aikido and The Dynamic Sphere or "The Structure of Aikido" by Gaku Homma.
" The Structure of Aikido" focuses on ukemi (falling) and basic body movements. Over 1600 photos for more than sixty techniques shown using the ken and open hand.

David

RoyK
04-22-2007, 09:32 AM
I personally find little use for "The Dynamic Sphere", it didn't talk in a language that relates to my training at all. Generally speaking, no technical Aikido book I read did me any good. If you want to improve your Aikido technically, I suggest that a video is the better medium for that. However, both in a technical book and a video, you'd need some experience to understand what you're seeing, and take into account that what you learn in class and what you see in a video/book may conflict.

The first book I ever read about Aikido was "Aikido for life" by Gaku Homma, and I think while it's not a vey in depth book, and in some ways it might be a little juvenile, it did help me get into the right frame of mind early on, and it might do the same for you.

SeiserL
04-22-2007, 01:34 PM
First, buy used books. Easy to find, more the the money. Then it isn't "just ONE."

IMHO, any of the Ueshiba books. Go to the source.

Avatar
04-23-2007, 01:36 AM
The spirit of aikido by the former doshu of the Aikikai Kissomaru Ueshiba and total aikido by Gozo Shioda--founder of the Yoshinkan style.

Also, try getting "the path beyond thought" by steven segal sensei: this is a documentary. Guaranteed inspiration for acheiving a high level in Aikido.

John Ruhl
04-23-2007, 10:19 AM
I highly recommend Daniel Linden Sensei's book "On Mastering Aikido". It's a book about principles rather than techniques, and is written in a conversational style that is easy (and fun) reading.

I'm nowhere near "mastering" aikido, but I found several fundamental things to think about in my practice, across all techniques.

mjhacker
04-23-2007, 10:54 AM
Anything by Bruce Tegner.

dps
04-24-2007, 06:30 AM
To find a book that shows you what you want in a way that you would understand is going to be time consuming and frustrating . The books that I like the best, I found after purchasing and reading many books.
Why don't you write your own book in your own words. You can take pictures or video of the things you want to work on for the summer months. The process of writing, taking pictures or videos will help you to understand and learn.

David

senshincenter
04-24-2007, 10:59 AM
I'm with Roy, for technical matters, skip books, go to video/DVD.

dmv

bkedelen
04-24-2007, 12:56 PM
Of what use is a technical Aikido book?

kokyu
04-26-2007, 04:44 AM
I have to agree with David that DVDs/videos are the best. There are a few problems with photos:
(1) Clarity, sometimes it's hard to see the hands or feet clearly
(2) Missing steps... sometimes you want to see exactly how the sensei went from A to B, and that's not possible with photos
(3) They don't capture the dynamism of movement... so it's hard to appreciate the flow in the technique

Of course, books are more convenient, less expensive and some books explain just that technique you are looking for/or in a style not found in DVDs... Books are also great for reading about people's thoughts on Aikido

Since you are just starting out in Aikikai style, I would recommend something that follows your school - otherwise, the terms and instruction can be confusing - e.g. you could be asking why they call the technique 'A', whereas you were taught it as 'B'... also the person in the photo/video does kotegaeshi (wrist turn) in one way from one attack, whereas you've been taught a different way from the same attack

Have fun!

Mark Uttech
04-26-2007, 12:25 PM
Of what use is a technical Aikido book?

A good example would be Saito Shihan's "Traditional Aikido" volumes. From time to time I look over the weapons katas so that I can remember the sequence.

In gassho,

Mark

MikeE
04-26-2007, 03:26 PM
Geez Mark,

I always thought those kata were just ingrained into your DNA whenever I was at a seminar. :)

As for books, I really like Ki: A road anyone can walk.

Mark Uttech
04-26-2007, 10:46 PM
"Ki, A Road Anyone Can Walk" is a pretty good book. As far as ingrained DNA, I don't know anything about that. I study and continue to study on a daily basis. Like I said to the children's class tonight: "When you think you already know something, you don't watch very much. But, always look again and again, you might see something you never saw before."

In gassho,

Mark

Olivier
04-30-2007, 03:55 AM
My favorite book is Living Aikido :http://www.aikiweb.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=42&cat=5

Just an few technics, but with great details, and focus on mistake

torres.aikido
01-03-2013, 08:13 AM
The best one I have ever read is: "Integral Aikido" by Sensei Jim Giorgi.

St Matt
01-03-2013, 09:17 AM
Positive Aikido by Dave Rogers, Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman.

My preferred style of aikido!

sakumeikan
01-03-2013, 12:40 PM
Anything by Bruce Tegner.

Dear Michael.
Books by Bruce Tegner are classics.So well illustrated eg.How to stop a mad guy from splitting you in two with a immense axe or crushing a dogs rib cage[was the dog mad? answer the dog was not very pleased]Old joke.I have an original red book by this early pioneer of japanese mayhem.I wolud not part with it for love nor money [well maybe 10 dollars or a peck o the cheek might persuade me otherwise].
My own favourie book on Aikido is the book by Tamura Sensei written in french.Superb.Aido in daily life , by Tohei Sensei is imo excellent. Cheers, joe.

Conrad Gus
01-03-2013, 01:44 PM
I'm quite attached to "Budo Training in Aikido". http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/4889960791/howardfastwebsit

It is cryptic, some of the descriptions are wrong, and the drawings are not always clear or accurate. For some reason, I just love this book anyway. Working through the techniques has led to more "aha" moments than any other book I've looked at.

miso
01-30-2013, 05:54 PM
Another vote for Living Aikido.

It has the most wonderful, esoteric and parable-like language (a weird dichotomy) combined with pictures of simplicity. It's remarkably short in reading length but remarkably long in terms of food for thought and moments of 'ah!'.

Alex Megann
01-31-2013, 02:26 AM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the venerable "Aikido" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I haven't had a copy for some time, since I lent my copy to a student who then disappeared. The quality of the photographs in the paperback deteriorated from the original hardback edition, but it is all the same a very clear exposition of Nidai Doshu's conception of "standard" aikido. I also like the fact that the very young Chiba and Tamura senseis are taking ukemi!

Another classic is "Dynamic Aikido" by Gozo Shioda. Good photos and descriptions of Shioda's aikido, as well as some entertaining "practical self-defence" at the end - I particularly like the bit where the young lady in the tight skirt throws the big ruffian down the stairs...

Alex

ryback
01-31-2013, 07:36 AM
Ok,here's my own contribution to this very interesting thread.If one is looking for a book of techniques,Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere is really helpful.But for someone so new in the world of Aikido,i'm not so sure that a "techniques manual" is the appropriate choice,since in such a begginer's level,technical manuals without a teacher's guidance will look like a confusing blur.
So in my opinion,you can use your "forced" dojo vacations to fathom in the aikido perspective of everyday matters by reading Aikido The Book In Between,by Mario Gunter Frastas sensei.
I believe that through his book,the author is giving his martial point of view in every aspect of life in a way that can be rarely discussed inside a dojo and reading it can be a unique experience,at least in my opinion.
So here is a link if you'd like to take a look at it: http://www.marioaikibook.com/THE%20BOOKS%20WEBSITE.htm
I hope that my post was helpful...

john2054
04-02-2013, 03:21 PM
Aikido and the dynamic sphere. There is a lot to work through, starting with the basic philosophy of the art, including the unified theories of attack and defence, moving through to the specific techniques. The first time i read this book i skimmed over the majority of the technical applications, but now that i am reading it again with some months of training under my belt, I am taking more care over the details of the individual moves in order that i may gain more close knowledge and understanding of the techniques as we use them in class. This is a comparatively cheap and worthwhile purchase for aikidokas of any level in my humble opinion.

Dan Richards
04-02-2013, 05:03 PM
I'm surprised the no one has recommended not to buy any books. Between videos, articles, interviews, pictures, discussions, there is more information available online to anyone than ever before.

The content available via the internet is the living book on aikido. You have the only book you need: a monitor to read from, and a keyboard input device. If you got here, you have "the" book.

If you've got a little money burning a hole in your pocket, go and buy a year's subscription to http://members.aikidojournal.com/ajms-sub-options-page.html

iron horse
04-03-2013, 07:53 PM
Well, if you want to save your money there is an interesting one here for free. I quite enjoyed it.
http://www.discovering-aikido.com

Mark Greenwood
04-14-2013, 03:25 PM
Positive Aikido by Dave Rogers, Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman.

My preferred style of aikido!

An excellent book. I have a signed copy. I began my Aikido journey with Sensei Ellis, and i train every week with Sensei Derek Eastman.

Dave Sampson
12-18-2013, 09:15 PM
As a new person to the art and having practiced it only for two weeks now i dont feel like i can comment on this with any authority but i will anyway since i saw something in class today that astonished me.

I was one of a select few in class today who were not hufffing and puffing, winded and out of breath at the end of long session. I attribute this to the fact that i am an endurance athlete and train my cardio-vascular system on a road racing bike. In the summer i do upwards of 250 miles a week. I am one of very few in class who are not overweight and not "out of shape". I respect all my elders and their knowledge but i have never "let myself go" if you know what i mean.

I dont mean to sound like i am bragging but my money would have been on me today in a cardio-vascular "fight to the death". I saw their faces and they all looked like they had not done anything strenuous since they last time they stepped on the mat. They may ALL be more proficient than me but my heart and system was better than theirs and i saw it.

If you want a good workout then get that heart pumping is all i can say. How much it will help you as far as aikido is concerned i do not know but what i do know is that a bike will work your ass if you let it.

lbb
12-19-2013, 10:07 AM
As a new person to the art and having practiced it only for two weeks now i dont feel like i can comment on this with any authority but i will anyway ...

I dont mean to sound like i am bragging

No doubt. So, what book were you talking about?

Dave Sampson
01-02-2014, 03:52 PM
Hi everyone!

I have only been training for 2 weeks so far, but the summer holidays are coming, and my dojo is going to be closed for about 2 months during that this period, because it is located in a school gym hall. As, by that time, I will only have trained for 3 months, I'm a little concerned that I will forget most or all the things I have (and will have) learned by the time it opens again. I'm especially worried that I will lose all the physical benefits training has given me so far (I'm 37 in a couple of weeks, and the first week of training was a KILLER believe me :D )

I thought that it would be a good time to do some training on my own, so that I don't go out of shape, and maybe even by concentrating on some 'basics,' I may even have got better at them when the dojo opens again in September!

The kinds of things I'm interested in are things I can work on alone, such as stretches, tenkans, (seiza, yes, it still hurts like hell over 30 seconds!) the different names of the techniques, but I think most importantly, ukemi. As an 'oldie' they are the hardest part of it all, because my dojo doesn't have a seperate beginners class, and we do techniques for 6th and 5th kyu which require some 'head over heels' action, and I kind of go into a cold sweat just thinking about them..:p . Also, any book that has good picture/explanations of detailed hand movements would be good because I wear glasses, and taking them off before training means I sometimes don't get a good look at the specific positions of hands during demonstrations.

I'm aware that there is a 'book reviews' section on this site, and I can also go through the (literally) hundreds of reviews on sites such as Amazon, but I really wanted to hear what book(s)has/have helped the people on this forum the most, because some books have very few reviews, but high ratings, and also it's hard to tell how much experience some of the reviewers have on other sites.

So, my question to you all is: "If you could buy just ONE book about Aikido techniques, what would it be?"

(I'm limiting myself to one book because of financial considerations, as well as for ease of carrying in a rucksack (I'm going to visit mummy during the summer!), but if you think there is more than one indispensable book, then please tell me.)

Thank you all for any help you can give.

Edit: Oops, I forgot, maybe I should mention that I train in the Aikikai style!

My post was in response to the OP who stated that he/she was a bit afraid of getting out of shape. Since the only thing i know very well is how to ride a bicycle i thought i would offer him/her my view on how to stay in shape using a bicycle. Without the above attached my post can been seen as totally out of context. Sorry.

Some of you here have had 35 years of doing aikido. I have had 35 years of training my cardiovascular system and it is in far better shape than most people. I am not ashamed to say that.

The only thing that i know about aikido is that i know nothing. Hence i did not offer the OP any books as i do not know any myself. But i can offer you my tips on how to stay in shape using the tool that i have used for the last 35 years.

As far as what books to offer in the subject that the OP is referring to i have no clue but i am sure since you have more experience than me with aikido you can offer him one.

I just merely made an observation in class and spoke about it. I am not ashamed to say that in the sport i chose, cycling, i was a winner and won races with the system that i developed. That is my own body.

Picking comments out of context like you did, Mary, i would consider to be low blows to the groin for what purpose? To make you look better and more informed and to put the new guy in his place?
I have read lots and lots on this forum and there is a certain air of antagonism in your comment that just does not agree with me.

In my sport there is, after natural talent, only how much blood and oxygen you can take up that decides who wins - unless your name is lance armstrong. We have our own ways of psyching you out without having to look at you. We just go to the front and ride through the pain threshold. When you cant keep up, well, you lost.

But all this is totally beside the point. I was not boasting and merely vocalized an observation. The fact that my heart ....

Look. I am not here to argue. I am here to learn. And if you feel like you have to school some new kid, fine. I can live with that. This kid is 43 now and has lots more to see.

Have a nice day.

Janet Rosen
01-02-2014, 05:35 PM
My post was in response to the OP who stated that he/she was a bit afraid of getting out of shape. Since the only thing i know very well is how to ride a bicycle i thought i would offer him/her my view on how to stay in shape using a bicycle. Without the above attached my post can been seen as totally out of context. Sorry.

Have a nice day.

The OP was a newbie in 2007...and hasn't come back to Aikiweb since, meanwhile the whole thread is a conversation on books. I don't think Mary was rude.

Dave Sampson
01-04-2014, 03:47 PM
The OP was a newbie in 2007...and hasn't come back to Aikiweb since, meanwhile the whole thread is a conversation on books. I don't think Mary was rude.

This thread, regardless of its initial starting time, is a depository of information whether it be books, tips or questions answered and should not solely be limited to books just because you say it is so janet. My contribution was slightly off topic however came nowhere near the trolling of mary's behavior.

Look up the definition of a troll. Ill make it easy for you.

Urban Dictionary: internet troll
www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=internet%20troll‎
A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues. Such arguments can happen on...

I was not going to respond any more to this thread and let it die but the very next thread i read, after being gone two days, had mary's trolling behavior all over it doing the exact same thing to the OP of the thread.

If in doubt : http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=333909#post333909

01-02-2014, 05:52 PM #5
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,544
United_States
Offline

Re: When did you start training in Aikido ?
Quote:
Salah Yousef wrote: View Post
Hey everyone this is my first post here. I am from Kuwait and am 22 years old and have no experience in Aikido or any martial arts. I would like to learn both Krav Maga and

Aikido for fun and self defense purposes. I was wondering am I a late guy to start in Aikido ?

Oh man, that's too funny for words.

Oh man, that's too funny for words.

The OP was asking a legitimate question and was treated with contempt by mary.

Seriously girl. You need to chill out and not be so antagonistic. I have done aikido for a grand total 10 hours but even i know that seeking out conflict or trying to engage in conflict is not the way.

Have a nice day.

Even that saying could be, in the absence of facial cues, be taken as " taking the piss" as we say in britian but it is not meant that way at all. I want this to die now but ill be damned if i get trolled again or let mary stomp on people just because she thinks she is the bee's knee's. Have some respect mary and show it.

I am not here to argue but i am learning to blend now since i am tired of taking peoples crap.

Janet Rosen
01-04-2014, 04:23 PM
If you have a problem across threads with a specific individual you may try, for the sake of netiquette, sending the person a PM.
I for one do not need a lecture in the form of a definition of trolling from a third site, thank you; I offered my opinion and you disagree: fine. I am bowing out and will make use of the "ignore" function. You may wish to do the same with some individuals.

Malicat
01-04-2014, 07:41 PM
I have to be honest, I have found books of techniques of limited value, since I prefer to see how stuff works on the mat. Although I absolutely loved Robert Twigger's Angry White Pyjamas. I was wondering if anyone knows of any books more in that area, in terms of personal experience and written in more of a narrative type format?

Thanks!

--Ashley

Janet Rosen
01-04-2014, 08:46 PM
I have to be honest, I have found books of techniques of limited value, since I prefer to see how stuff works on the mat. Although I absolutely loved Robert Twigger's Angry White Pyjamas. I was wondering if anyone knows of any books more in that area, in terms of personal experience and written in more of a narrative type format?

Thanks!

--Ashley

Other narratives, not necessarily across-time training, that I recommend...
Mary Stein's book - I have met this older woman on the mat in San Francisco a number of times and was delighted when she published her book!
http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Danger-Lessons-Aikido/dp/1583942734
also
In Search of the Warrior Spirit by Richard Strozzi-Heckler on working with Green Berets with Aikido
http://www.amazon.com/Search-Warrior-Spirit-Fourth-Disciplines/dp/1583942025/ref=la_B000AR9N8S_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388889691&sr=1-5
also, not Aikido, but a damn funny book by a very good writer about wanting to practice kungfu as a kid, Mark Salzmans's Lost In Place (he also wrote Iron And Silk plus a very moving book on teaching writing to kids in LA jails and a fascinating novel called Lying Awake - never thought I'd enjoy a novel about a nun!
http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Place-Growing-Absurd-Suburbia/dp/0679767789/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388889794&sr=1-4&keywords=growing+up+absurd

SteveTrinkle
01-05-2014, 03:42 PM
in retrospect Iwould not buy any book at all I'd just start training ,I think books confuse at best

kfa4303
02-01-2014, 12:35 AM
"Kodo: Ancient Ways" by the late Rev. Kensho Furuya Sensei. It's not about Aikido techniques so much as it is about Aikido approach and philosophy. He also has an excellent series of videos called "The Art of Aikido", which are great for kihon waza, Aikido history and dojo etiquette. "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by Oscar Ratti is a classic for both its technical content and illustrations. "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" by Mitsugi Saotome is also a nice reference. Books are great tools, or rather good books are great tools. After all, Osensei and virtually every other prominent teacher of Aikido have written on the matter at some point, or another albeit with varying degrees of success.