PDA

View Full Version : Books and DVD's for newbie's


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Rayleen Dehmke
03-02-2010, 04:56 PM
Hello everyone,
I am a new aikido student and I am interested in books and DVD's that you found useful in the beginning. Right now I am finishing a biography on Morihei Ueshiba and I have three others-The Essence of Aikido, Budo, and The Secret Teachings of Aikido. I have looked through the DVD and book section here too and there were a couple that looked good to me at this stage.

Domo arigatou gozaimashita.

ninjaqutie
03-02-2010, 05:23 PM
Depends on what you want. The Aikido & the Dynamic Sphere is pretty good. If you like reading about things from another persons view, Dave Lowrey has a few books compiled of his essays he has written over the years. Also, The Book of Five Rings is decent as well. I haven't read it, but some people say Angry White Pajamas is worth a read. It just really depends on whether you want an instructional book, inspirational book, history, etc.

Rayleen Dehmke
03-02-2010, 05:40 PM
Thank you and good point ninjaqutie. For clarification, I am interested in all points of view-instructional, historical.....

crbateman
03-02-2010, 08:44 PM
As you are a beginner, I would suggest that you rely on your instructor to recommend the books and DVD's you study. This is because the beginning of training is a very formative time, and each style and instructor has its/his own particular way of presenting the basics, and studying something presented in a different way could be confusing to you at this stage. As you develop a bit, there will be ample opportunity for you to "spread your wings" a bit more.

RED
03-02-2010, 09:25 PM
As you are a beginner, I would suggest that you rely on your instructor to recommend the books and DVD's you study. This is because the beginning of training is a very formative time, and each style and instructor has its/his own particular way of presenting the basics, and studying something presented in a different way could be confusing to you at this stage. As you develop a bit, there will be ample opportunity for you to "spread your wings" a bit more.

I agree.
I think the zeal to want to learn is great. But in the first few months your teacher needs to be law on how you develop. As a first time student you might not know what you are watching when you download videos and such. You might be learning an entirely different style than what is on those DVD's.
What if you downloaded nothing but videos by a Suenaka school, when your Sensei is Aikikai. I'm sure if you showed up the next day telling your Sensei that there is no practical use for Gokkyo, you'll get more than a well deserved ear-full.
Just never walk up to your teacher and say "But, I saw it done this way on youtube". :(

I personally would listen to your teachers, go to seminars as much as possible, and yes buy books and DVD's.. but be well rounded. I find that learning only from videos is as narrow of a training experience or worse than a Sensei with no student base that hisses upon Seminars.

Be well rounded regardless.

Rayleen Dehmke
03-02-2010, 09:39 PM
Oh, I do highly respect my Sensei and would never question his authority. It is an Aikikai dojo, btw. I am here asking my questions and making my comments as a supplement to what I'm learning.

RED
03-02-2010, 09:42 PM
Oh, I do highly respect my Sensei and would never question his authority. It is an Aikikai dojo, btw. I am here asking my questions and making my comments as a supplement to what I'm learning.

SWEET! :D

have fun!

lbb
03-03-2010, 08:35 AM
I personally would listen to your teachers, go to seminars as much as possible

I don't think the typical seminar is appropriate for a beginner. With many students from different schools who haven't trained together before, you want to have solid ukemi before you try a seminar.

Mark Peckett
03-03-2010, 12:12 PM
When I was starting out, I bought many books. Thirty years down the line, I have have enough knowledge to get something out of one or two of them!
My advice would be, turn up to practice as much as you can and leave the technical manuals til later.
Histories and biographies are good ead though, and I agree with the poster who mentioned David Lowry. He has interesting things to say on many aspects of things martial.

Eric Winters
03-03-2010, 12:41 PM
I agree with Mary. You should have a good solid base in ukemi before going to seminars. I also agree with Maggie somewhat, but I think you should not go outside of your style until your shodan or about 4 or 5 years of consistent training. I believe this to be important because you also need to have a good understanding of your body mechanics. Then after shodan level it would be imperative to study with different teachers occasionally because there are many teachers out there with very good stuff that are not within your selected style and they might give you some good insights to your own style and how you do your techniques.

Best Wishes and good training,

Eric Winters

ninjaqutie
03-03-2010, 12:48 PM
Histories and biographies are good read though, and I agree with the poster who mentioned David Lowry. He has interesting things to say on many aspects of things martial.

Thanks for spelling his name correctly. I always get it wrong despite reading tons of articles and having a book by him... :rolleyes:

Conrad Gus
03-03-2010, 02:17 PM
When I was a beginner, I found Aikido & the Dynamic Sphere at a used book store for cheap. I asked my teacher (Inaba Sensei (http://calgaryaikikai.com/home/inabashihan/)) whether I should buy it.

I remember his response so vividly! He got this kind of uncomfortable look on his face and said the equivalent of: "Don't try to learn any aikido from books. Just come to the dojo and train as much as possible." After a moment, he elaborated a bit more: "That particular book was written by two nidans." Now I am a nidan and I know exactly what he meant. NOBODY should buy a book about aikido written by me! :D

Anyway, I think "The Spirit of Aikido" by nidai doshu is my favorite of all time. It is so full of gems and I think really captures the essense of what O Sensei wanted people to know about aikido in general.

Conrad

Adam Huss
03-03-2010, 02:52 PM
Rayleen,

Don't be afraid to have a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend take videos of you training. You can learn a lot from watching yourself! There is a really awesome dvd my teacher has about all the traditional martial arts of Japan...it's a really cool (kinda old) video. I have class tomorrow night, I'll try to see if I can find out the name of it. It has aikido on it as well.

RED
03-03-2010, 02:57 PM
I don't think the typical seminar is appropriate for a beginner. With many students from different schools who haven't trained together before, you want to have solid ukemi before you try a seminar.

You might be right about that. Small friendship seminars I don't think would hurt a beginner. But yeah, I wouldn't throw some one with poor ukemi in the middle of a Shihan ran, 100 person on the mat seminar.

Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 03:01 PM
Thanks for all the useful information everyone :D

MattMiddleton
03-03-2010, 03:15 PM
Disclaimer: I'm quite new at Aikido, so your mileage may vary.

I've found that there's no substitute for the physical training, but that books and videos can be excellent aids when not in the dojo

What I've been trying to do is balance "technical" books like Aikido & The Dynamic Sphere, with more of the "philisophical" books like A Life in Aikido, or The Art of Peace. As for DVDs, I haven't bought any yet, but I'm thinking of picking up Donovan Waite's ukemi DVD - the clips on YouTube have been quite helpful with a couple of things I was struggling with.

On the subject of seminars, I disagree that newbies shouldn't attend. Yes, it does require you to be more careful, since the people you're practicing with aren't familiar with your limitations, but on the other hand it gives you an opportunity to practice with a group outside your usual one, as well as learn from a different teacher. I've attended 5 seminars so far, including one about 4 months after I started, and have had only positive experiences. As well, if you feel like things on the mat are getting too intense to handle, you can always bow out and watch - even just that can be educational.

Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 03:25 PM
Hi Matt,
That's cool. How long you been practicing? You going to attend the seminar in June at the Japanese Cultural Center in Don Mills? There is a big one being held here in Calgary to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aikikai Association, I may attend. I will see what my Sensei has to say. I've only been practicing about a month, I love it! Something just 'clicked' for me right from the first class.

Cheers!

MattMiddleton
03-03-2010, 03:34 PM
Hi Rayleen!

I've been practicing a little over a year, twice a week (most weeks). I'll very likely be at the June seminar at the JCCC, as long as my schedule doesn't have me out of town that weekend. I think it's an excellent idea to check with your sensei - they can often see things we newbies can't :)

Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 03:41 PM
That's for sure :cool:

Shadowfax
03-03-2010, 06:45 PM
I attended my first (mini) seminar after only a month of training and my second (full) after only 5 months of training at the encouragement of my teachers. Not only were these amazing and valuable experiences but I never once felt that I was not safe with the many different people I got to met and train with. I just made sure to let them know I was a beginner and they were very helpful and made sure to not go beyond my abilities in the ukemi department.

Never once felt as if anyone was unhappy to work with a greenie like me.

As for books.I tend to read more of the philosophical stuff both about aikido and martial arts in general. Most recently read "Be Like Water" by Joseph Cardillo. Really enjoyed it.

I avoid technique books. That I want to learn in the dojo not from a book. But a good technique book can come in handy when you are trying to remember what it was you did in class that day, in the beginning.

Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 07:31 PM
Yes, a good technique book would come in handy as a reference, only. I am no where even close to trying to learn anything from a book anyhow. I just love information and will keep things in check so as not to confuse myself. I sometimes feel like I have to learn NOW, I have a tendency towards impatience. I am making great strides in that area ;)

Rob Watson
03-03-2010, 08:19 PM
Shameless stylistic plug ....

Get everything Stan has on O'sensei. Also get M. Saito Traditional & Technical Aikido books, Aikiken and Aikijo DVDs then work through the lost seminar series. Lastly the friendship seminar sets.

I believe beginners should get Donovan Waite, Bruce Bookman and Ellis Amdurs ukemi videos.

Certainly ones sensei is the primary source but better to have too much info than too little. It is ones own responsibility to take charge of their own training.

See my posts on the canon of aikido for more thoughts on materials.

I wish I knew about aikiweb when I started ...

Chris Farnham
03-03-2010, 08:37 PM
I forget the name, but I have a book that Doshu recently put out with Waka Sensei that has an accompanying DVD. It goes through a lot of basic Ukemi and Tai Sabaki movements as well as a pretty good selection of basic waza. The nice thing is that every Waza in the book is also in the DVD. My copy is in Japanese and it was given to me by my Japanese sensei, so I am not sure if it is available in English or not.

Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 08:45 PM
I will check it out Rob. Yes, it's great to have this site available. I just happened on it.

crbateman
03-04-2010, 03:08 AM
My copy is in Japanese and it was given to me by my Japanese sensei, so I am not sure if it is available in English or not.Not, unfortunately...

sakumeikan
03-04-2010, 03:22 AM
Depends on what you want. The Aikido & the Dynamic Sphere is pretty good. If you like reading about things from another persons view, Dave Lowrey has a few books compiled of his essays he has written over the years. Also, The Book of Five Rings is decent as well. I haven't read it, but some people say Angry White Pajamas is worth a read. It just really depends on whether you want an instructional book, inspirational book, history, etc.

Hi Ashley,
As a member of Bluhm Sensei ' s dojo I would have thought you would have mentioned Sansho as an mag of interest.As far as Dvd is concerned all material gleaned from USAf /British Birankai seminars [especially ones conducted by Chiba Sensei] are an incredible source of Aikido material.
I would be grateful if you would pass on my best regards to Bluhm Sensei , Robert /Christina Needleman . We are old friends.
Best Regards, Joe.

ninjaqutie
03-04-2010, 11:33 AM
Hi Ashley,
As a member of Bluhm Sensei ' s dojo I would have thought you would have mentioned Sansho as an mag of interest. As far as Dvd is concerned all material gleaned from USAf /British Birankai seminars [especially ones conducted by Chiba Sensei] are an incredible source of Aikido material.
I would be grateful if you would pass on my best regards to Bluhm Sensei , Robert /Christina Needleman . We are old friends.
Best Regards, Joe.

I haven't heard of this magazine. I will have to look it up or ask sensei if he has some. He has a library and I know some magazines are on it. Right now he is away at a robot competition with his son and wife. I will be sure to pass the message along upon his return. :D Did you train with sensei in CA?