View Full Version : Aiki Secrets Book

Please visit our sponsor:

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

12-13-2011, 03:59 PM
Hi there,

Yesterday i saw this book advertised on Amazon,and wondered if someone here had read it...
If it's any good,and especially from an IS/IP-perspective:)


12-13-2011, 04:20 PM
Sorry forgot to include a link to the Amazon page of the book-http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=aikisecrets&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAiki-Secrets-Six-Precepts-Dynamic%2Fdp%2F0615479987&ei=nd3nTtCDBNDtOYHHkM4K&usg=AFQjCNGSaGxI8depzX35G5ZavXy_qDk3BQ

12-13-2011, 05:26 PM
Sorry forgot to include a link to the Amazon page of the book-http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=aikisecrets&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAiki-Secrets-Six-Precepts-Dynamic%2Fdp%2F0615479987&ei=nd3nTtCDBNDtOYHHkM4K&usg=AFQjCNGSaGxI8depzX35G5ZavXy_qDk3BQ

This one?

12-13-2011, 10:09 PM
ah-Yeps thats the one ;-)

Demetrio Cereijo
12-14-2011, 05:29 AM
More about the book here:


12-14-2011, 11:26 AM
yes.anyone have experience with the author or the content that's written in the book?

07-13-2012, 10:09 AM
Yeah, I've read the book and know the writer. I feel the concepts to be quite insightful. I'd suggest getting it and playing with the ideas.

07-13-2012, 10:34 AM
Yeah, I've read the book and know the writer. I feel the concepts to be quite insightful. I'd suggest getting it and playing with the ideas.

Do you know if the author is still teaching aikido? I noticed the website is not up anymore. JustThisAikido.com Are they still open?


Michael Varin
07-14-2012, 04:03 AM
I read this book about a month ago and considered posting a review, but decided against it.

I got the feeling the author was genuine, but seriously lacking in many areas. Note: The author was not a shodan in aikido when he wrote this book (not that rank is everything).

I read the book in four days, in roughly equal portions. After the first day I had to force myself to finish the book.

Several of the definitions and conceptualizations are just plain wrong in my opinion. The way the author describes connection is a perfect example.

I'm not the most informed when it comes to the IP/IT/IS perspective, but something tells me that Dan Harden would say that the contents of this book are a far cry from what he is teaching (or at least I hope so).

Don't get me wrong, this book does have some useful information, if you are struggling to access some of these things. I have actually used ideas from this book to help some of the people I work with, who have been slow to learn, grasp some basic mechanics.

But anyone who has a solid base in Iwama style aikido, like I do, just learns these lessons without them being specifically taught.

There really is no aiki in this book, and certainly no secrets. It is not well written, there are numerous typos, and the layout is poor.

If you are an aikido junkie, read it... If not, or you are looking for "secrets," don't waste your time.

Mary Eastland
07-14-2012, 06:57 AM
The secret is that there is no secret.

Carsten Möllering
07-15-2012, 04:22 AM
The secret is that there is no secret.
This I was told and believed for years.

Until I met a teacher who told me he would reveale the secrets to only a handfull of students.
Until I met anothe teache who told that he didn't teach "his" aikido openly.
Until I met a aikido/koryu teacher who told me about omote and ura. And about aikido classes that where not openly but only few had been invited to join.

And so on. For me this was not frustrating, but in the contrary I was fascinated because this meant that there had to be more to learn than the "usual stuff" that was "a lot like dancing".

The secret is that there is no secret.
This I was told and believed for years.

Until I met teachers (I have in mind three certain persons, saying this) who revealed certain secrets to me.
I don't know whether "secret" is the right word. It is just that there are things to be experienced and to be learned which I don't see taught openly, widely. It is just that I came to know that there is omote and ura in aikidô also. At least in the context, where I practice.

07-15-2012, 05:45 AM
For me it's interesting that his background is Tomiki - his teacher Moe Steven's is pretty old school.

I can't comment on the book since I have not seen it but I will repeat a little of Tomiki dogma. There are no secrets in Aikido - you see everything the first day of practice. Understanding and making it work may take a bit of time but the drills and exercises are there to help you develop all you need. There is actually very little discussion of Ki or Aiki so perhaps it is akin to what Michael Varin describes for Iwama.

Benjamin Green
07-15-2012, 09:51 AM
The parts of it that aren't flat out wrong are certainly fairly common knowledge in the martial arts. Definitely give it a miss, unless you're the kind of person who just reads everything.

Chris Parkerson
06-30-2014, 06:35 PM
Moe is definitely a demanding (always genlty demading) and patient traditional teacher. But he does not hide things at all. The issue at hand in this discussion reminds me of Heraclitus' observation that "Nature Hides itself."

By saying that everything is in plain sight and unhidden can be misleading in Old School teachng. Often, small movements, sequential movement and how connection transfers between two bodies in motion are not readily seen unless they are broken down and iolated. The query into body mechanics, kenematics and dynamics often needs to be deconstructed and reconstructed in order for these issues to be fully trusted by both the mind and body. Often, what seems natural goes counter to what the body must do to make technique soft and powerful at the same time.

This is what Bill means by "Secrets". And I can attest to his ability to learn, do and put the doing into language. When I arrived at Moe's dojo in 2006, Bill was eager to go deeper in his art. Moe, Bill, myslef and another yodan began conducting our conversation as a round table rather than a traditional herarchical protocol. As such, all questions demanded honest and humble answers. Even an answer like "I do not know" coming from Moe or myself was the norm if it was the truth and authenic to the problem. And that kind of conversation created a magic that few dojos experience, I suspect.

Moe's technique as well as mine got better as Bill's background in engineering and his passion began to create very specific language that assisted him in internalizing what had no previous language for him and many other people we know. This experience does not make the language a dogma. It makes it useful. And if it is not useful, give it a pass and find your own language. But the key is to take the time to look closely, as did Heraclitus,at all portions, even the most minute portions of nature, so what is indeed hidden in plain sight, reveals itself.

Bill, himself states that his query and writing is time stamped and located within his first black belt. That is the greatness of Bill's style. He is a scientist/engineer who remains open ended and ready for his next revelations.

Chris Parkerson
06-30-2014, 06:42 PM
Regarding Fajin (structural power), we do practice Zhang Zhong (standing like a tree) and that, too, is a very deep inquiry that requires patience, disciplined inner yogas, and experimentation against other forces. But, given posutral power, technical skill is its twin brother, unless you just want to be a halfback or lineman on a football team.

Bill Dockery
07-01-2014, 09:47 AM
I haven't posted on Aikiweb in years. In fact, I'm having trouble just keeping up with my own web page!

But as the author of "Six Precepts" I thought I should leave a bit of insight for those that might find this thread in the archives. (someone just recently let me know this exists)

The secret is, there really are secrets.

A secret is something that no one will tell you. Not always because they are trying to be mean but because they may be trying to tell you in a way you don't understand (e.g., by showing you but not telling you). Another version of a Secret is the "unwritten/unspoken" stuff that they assume you already know.

Here are a few more secrets to consider:

Secret 1
Good athletes don't always make great teachers; sometimes the best teachers are those that are not yet masters.

Just because you are really good at a sport doesn't mean you are just as capable of teaching what you do. The people that excel often have the greatest of intention to try to help you along. They say "do what I do" only because they have no other way to express themselves (e.g., language barriers). They love you dearly, have an open heart, want to see your success, but they can't give what they haven't got. What is missing in most classes is a way to talk about what we do as Aikidoka.

Secret 2
Some classes will not talk at all and let you flounder endlessly/needlessly.

It is folly to think everyone is a great athlete. You are taking your abilities for granted to think so. Many that are interested in Aikido can barely walk and chew gum. These people have great desire to learn, but their body awareness is not highly developed. Taking the time to describe in words and then offer a drill that focuses on something as simple as tucking your hip in a forward CAM doesn't seem like much, but for some it is the equivalent of magic and will save them years of frustration. For the ‘expert', the talk of the CAM won't help you physically, as your body already knows it, but it will help the expert in that it reminds them others don't, and now you can have the conversation.

Thank you Michael for the greatest of praise in your commentary above because in the middle of your overall negative critique you revealed the greatest truth and reason the book was made.

"I have actually used ideas from this book to help some of the people I work with, who have been slow to learn, grasp some basic mechanics."

Mission accomplished!

Secret 3
There are secrets (stuff people won't tell you in the way you need to hear it), what doesn't exist is Magic.

It is almost an absolute truth that everyone wants to believe in magic. That somehow we can take a pill or get knighted and suddenly all of our problems go away, that we no longer have to put in the work and allow ourselves to grow into the person we desire to become. For some it is the belief that some force outside of our selves is responsible for all of our failings/successes. Others want to use Ki like a Jedi Knight. (I do!)

And just like the Fountain of Youth, none of that exists.

"Six precepts" deals strictly with mechanics. We aren't talking about Ki, spirituality, or ethics. I did my best to remove as much opinion as I could. (It is impossible to not reveal yourself in every action you take).

What you are going to find is an open dialogue of one person's view of how the mechanics work. I'm not even going to claim it is how it all works together. Those books are already written by others that can play Aikido far better than me. This book was intended to highlight some of the pieces so that you might get there quicker. These are the discussions I wish someone had with me, that I didn't have to come up with myself.

So if you're thinking that Secrets = Magic, "Six Precepts" is not for you

Secret 4:
This book (and any other media) is not for everyone.

There are many that will reject "six precepts" for a lot of reasons. That's life, there's no way to please everyone. If you are confident you know what you're doing, and can explain what you do in graphic detail, then "Six Precepts" is not for you. Preach your own version, but do us a favor, write your version down! We want to hear from you!

I understand why someone won't write their version down. It takes A LOT of time, money, and you have to bear your soul for others to critique. In short, it's a PITA. You write the book for two reasons. Selflessly, you do it for the small percentage of people that take the time to email you a "thank you" knowing that at least twice as many have benefited. Those persons have made it worth it. Selfishly, you do it to put yourself out there so others can critique and help you grow. I've received a lot of great advice since the book came out.

Any book (media) makes great fodder to open the discussion. Delve into what you agree with and what you don't, but do it in detail. Keep the focus on the book and avoid having to take the critique directly/personally.

"Six Precepts" is a very different perspective on Aikido and sports theory. It truly is one of a kind, unlike any other Aiki(do) book I've ever seen. It is not a coffee table book, it is a conversation piece.

(It's not a secret) 5:
A couple of very personable Aikidoka out of Miami area do a great podcast where they dive into all things related to martial arts. Caution, there are periods of adult language when they vamp, but the interviews are excellent and generally family friendly. There's a lot of personality there and I hope someday to play Aikido with them. They had read "Six Precepts" and honored me greatly with a positive review and through some email correspondence it lead to them asking for a quick interview. The interview is tucked away on the end of the fourth episode. Their library of pod casts is at http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/martialthoughts for those of you without iTunes access. Their main site is "Martial Thoughts" (http://thinkingmartial.blogspot.com/))

I suggest you listen to the interview and decide for yourself if "Six Precepts" is for you. "Six Precepts" is written in a conversational tone, and you can get a quick glimpse into what to expect from the book.

Last secret for today:
Never ask for advice on AikiWeb, it is a recipe for disaster. Use AikiWeb to research others perspectives. There are many that should author a book, but won't ever, but are at least publishing smaller snippets that can help you get outside your box. I strongly suggest you ignore the nay-sayers that will flame what they say. Instead, and most importantly…

Ask your Sensei the questions that you have and how they feel about what you've encountered. Even this section of this thread should be subject to that rule. No one on this blog is invested in you the way your Sensei is. If your mind must explore outside of the dojo, be sure to discuss what you come in contact with the experts in your dojo. There's no place like home!

Thank you!