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Yianie
03-08-2012, 09:54 PM
Hello, I'm starting to take lessons, but I can not be on the mat and still take notes. Is there a handbook of technics so I can refer when I'm off the mat? A great manual will be very helpful thank you.

Alic
03-08-2012, 10:46 PM
My, you're quite the keener eh?

There's a few books published by several high profile masters (Gozo Shioda, the Ueshiba clan, Koichi Tohei, Kenji Tomiki, etc), I'm in Yoshinkan and so the beginner's course and the master's course books are great, since they explain the 150 basic techniques and the advance variations and secret teachings well, with photos of the movements in detail. It's no substitute for training, but it's great as a self-improvement aid. Another one that would benefit all styles of Aikido is Dynamic Aikido and Total Aikido.

Now, I know that Ki Society and Aikikai has books, but I'm not too sure about Shodokan or Iwama-ryu. You can check online catalogues of several bookstores like Indigo Chapters and see. They will usually have Aikido in the name so it should be relatively easy.

You can also use youtube. There's instructional videos online for several techniques. Many schools also publish their own videos online for their students and the general public. Aikido as a style is actually very open about teaching their techniques. I know several schools of martial arts that is totally closed to non-students, and does not allow their students to train in public. This is real bad for growth, as it will make your art less and less well known. You should take advantage of Aikido's openness and search everywhere. There's stuff all over the place. :)

Michael Hackett
03-08-2012, 11:32 PM
Try "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by Westbrook and Ratti. Regardless of style, it is a valuable resource for most.

robin_jet_alt
03-09-2012, 02:05 AM
Try "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by Westbrook and Ratti. Regardless of style, it is a valuable resource for most.

I agree. It is a very clear guide to a lot of different techniques. It is geared towards early ki-society training though (I think Ki Society has changed a bit since then, so correct me if I'm wrong), so it will be more or less useful depending on what style you do.

grondahl
03-09-2012, 02:48 AM
Aikido and the dynamic sphere did not appeal to me at all. Sure the drawings are nice but the information in the book is not that good (sometimes directly misleading).

I would suggest:
Effortless Combat Throws by Cartmell (not aikido but discuss proper throwing technique regardless of style with more explanations, details and clarity than all aikido books that Ive read).
Total Aikido by Shioda (especially the first part regarding principles)
New Edition of Takemusu Aikido by Saito
Yurusu Budo by Nishio
Living Aikido.

Hanna B
03-09-2012, 03:11 AM
Hello, I'm starting to take lessons, but I can not be on the mat and still take notes. Is there a handbook of technics so I can refer when I'm off the mat? A great manual will be very helpful thank you.

If you want books, get books that are as close to your dojo's and teacher's style of aikido as possible. Otherwise it will just get you confused.The "style-less" approach in the first book Peter mentions above sounds great too, but perhaps not what the beginner usually has in mind.

robin_jet_alt
03-09-2012, 04:24 AM
Aikido and the dynamic sphere did not appeal to me at all. Sure the drawings are nice but the information in the book is not that good (sometimes directly misleading).

I would suggest:
Effortless Combat Throws by Cartmell (not aikido but discuss proper throwing technique regardless of style with more explanations, details and clarity than all aikido books that Ive read).
Total Aikido by Shioda (especially the first part regarding principles)
New Edition of Takemusu Aikido by Saito
Yurusu Budo by Nishio
Living Aikido.

If you aren't either doing Nishio aikido or you are already very experienced, I wouldn't recommend Yurusu Budo. A lot of what Nishio says is geared towards people who are already experienced, and it is quite different to many other styles. I got a lot out of this book, but only after training for 10 years and then training at a Nishio style dojo.

crbateman
03-09-2012, 04:31 AM
Ask your primary instructor for his suggestions. There are many paths up the same mountain, and your instructional material should coincide with your instructor. There is nothing wrong with exploring different slants, but wait to do that until you have a grasp on the fundamentals as they are being taught to you, so you will be able to recognize and understand the differences. Doing so too soon will only serve to confuse you.

dalen7
03-09-2012, 08:55 AM
Hello, I'm starting to take lessons, but I can not be on the mat and still take notes. Is there a handbook of technics so I can refer when I'm off the mat? A great manual will be very helpful thank you.

Not a book, but perhaps give Aikido 3D a try as a reference. ;)

Peace

Dalen

Rob Watson
03-09-2012, 02:01 PM
Write the manual yourself ... in your bones.

Yianie
03-09-2012, 03:29 PM
Not a book, but perhaps give Aikido 3D a try as a reference. ;)

Peace

Dalen

What is Aikido 3D?

phitruong
03-09-2012, 03:53 PM
Write the manual yourself ... in your bones.

wouldn't that hurt, like alot? :)

Conrad Gus
03-09-2012, 03:58 PM
When you start doing aikido the movements feel unnatural. It takes 6 months to a year to get over it. There are so many techniques that trying to "remember" them is a chore. Aikido is not techniques, it is a way of movement. We learn the way of movement by practicing a LOT of techniques.

When I started, I asked my sensei about a book (it was "dynamic sphere"). He made a funny face and told me that the book was written by a 2 dan and a 3 dan (not very experienced). His advice: skip the books and come to the dojo. It needs to go into your body, not your brain, and it's going to take a while.

I am a total book lover and have always read books, but I still find that aikido books and videos are not very helpful. After all this time my aikido "library" is just a small handful of books, but training is still great. If you have a good teacher, just train. Youtube can be inspiring, but might not be that practically helpful and might actually make things more confusing.

I know many people love learning from multimedia, but it's my experience that it can be a bit of a red herring. Just relax, train, and enjoy the process. It will be a great feeling when things start to "click" eventually!

Demetrio Cereijo
03-09-2012, 04:01 PM
What is Aikido 3D?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v3vas8ofg8

Walter Martindale
03-09-2012, 04:29 PM
wouldn't that hurt, like alot? :)

Yeah - getting to the bones and then grinding it in with a Dremel.. Ouch
:D

messy, too...

dalen7
03-10-2012, 02:55 AM
When you start doing aikido the movements feel unnatural. It takes 6 months to a year to get over it.

Indeed... ;)

SeiserL
03-10-2012, 04:05 AM
Ask your primary instructor for his suggestions.
IMHO, Ditto!

sakumeikan
03-10-2012, 01:41 PM
When you start doing aikido the movements feel unnatural. It takes 6 months to a year to get over it. There are so many techniques that trying to "remember" them is a chore. Aikido is not techniques, it is a way of movement. We learn the way of movement by practicing a LOT of techniques.

When I started, I asked my sensei about a book (it was "dynamic sphere"). He made a funny face and told me that the book was written by a 2 dan and a 3 dan (not very experienced). His advice: skip the books and come to the dojo. It needs to go into your body, not your brain, and it's going to take a while.

I am a total book lover and have always read books, but I still find that aikido books and videos are not very helpful. After all this time my aikido "library" is just a small handful of books, but training is still great. If you have a good teacher, just train. Youtube can be inspiring, but might not be that practically helpful and might actually make things more confusing.

I know many people love learning from multimedia, but it's my experience that it can be a bit of a red herring. Just relax, train, and enjoy the process. It will be a great feeling when things start to "click" eventually!
Dear Conrad,
May I point out to you and others that when the book ie Aikido an the dynamic sphere ' was written any person who had a second /third dan was in these days looked upon as practically a god? Today we have
seventh/eighth Dans /Shihan [some self promoted] springing up two a penny everywhere. Has your teacher written a book,if so , good , if not why be critical of a book[ which was useful reading material for someone looking for info ]and apparently shows little respect for both the authors of said book. Cheers, Joe

jackie adams
03-10-2012, 06:52 PM
A surprise to me no one yet has mentioned Budo Training in Aikido by the founder? I guess, I am the first!

Malicat
03-10-2012, 07:36 PM
A surprise to me no one yet has mentioned Budo Training in Aikido by the founder? I guess, I am the first!

I just ordered that from Amazon, and should be getting it Tuesday. :) Our schools have a list of recommended reading, so I'm picking up a few books a month off of the list. My problem with the books is that I am not experienced enough to understand some of what they are saying. I've read Aikido and the Harmony of Nature a few times, and I'm still not *getting* several chapters of it. So, I think the books are good to have when you are alone, but regular practice in a dojo is more useful. Plus having a teacher that is patient enough to explain parts of those books to you is also a nice thing to be able to rely on. :)

--Ashley

Autrelle Holland
03-12-2012, 10:18 AM
Write the manual yourself ... in your bones.

AGREE

Conrad Gus
03-12-2012, 12:09 PM
Dear Conrad,
May I point out to you and others that when the book ie Aikido an the dynamic sphere ' was written any person who had a second /third dan was in these days looked upon as practically a god? Today we have
seventh/eighth Dans /Shihan [some self promoted] springing up two a penny everywhere. Has your teacher written a book,if so , good , if not why be critical of a book[ which was useful reading material for someone looking for info ]and apparently shows little respect for both the authors of said book. Cheers, Joe

Haha, good point. I was one of the lucky ones to be taught from day one by a shihan -- not everybody gets that. I never did read the book, so I don't have a personal opinion. The authors of that book are probably pretty wicked teachers by now.

Also, point taken about useful reading material. Sometimes it's nice to have a reference work to just be able to identify names of techniques and stuff when you are just getting into aikido. Technical details would probably go over a beginner's head anyway.

Shadowfax
03-12-2012, 01:27 PM
Iv'e gotten a pretty good collection of books on aikido and martial arts that have given me all kinds of useful insights but only two that listed techniques and one of those with illustrations.

Ultimate Aikido by Yamada sensei was given to me by a friend when I started. Not even the same style as what I practice but it proved extremely helpful to me in identifying the names of what we had done in class that night.

And Aikido the Peaceful martial Art by Stefan Stenudd has a really good aikido glossary in it and is also a really nice read for those just starting out. The glossary is also available on his website for free.http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikido-glossary.htm Most helpful in learning the right terminology.

But really the best way to learn aikido is to do aikido. :)

Yianie
03-12-2012, 03:50 PM
Does anyone like or dislike AKIDO3D?

AiGuiAustin
07-23-2012, 10:02 AM
I really like the idea of aikido 3D. I'm glad to see the price come down and might consider buying it soon. In the mean time however may i suggest another book? I've read all the books so far suggested on this page but have found this one to be ever more helpful. The writer has built from "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" and taken it to a farther, more comprehensive level. Just give it a try.
http://www.amazon.com/Aiki-Secrets-Six-Precepts-Dynamic/dp/0615479987/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1

Basia Halliop
07-25-2012, 12:01 PM
I agree about asking your instructor for recommendations.

Personally, I find that it's hard to learn any technique at all from books. Videos are a little better (though still rather inadequate), but trying to take something that's basically 4-dimensional (3 space dimensions plus time), and that involves interaction between two people, and describe it on a flat page with text and pictures generally always leaves a lot to be desired.

Plus add to that the fact that the chances are good that they're teaching a different version of the basic techniques than your teacher does, and well...

The one thing I found books and written material great for in my first year of aikido was starting to make sense of some of the vocabulary. All those names of techniques, of attacks, of footwork patterns, etc. Vocabulary is something that works well written :). And they don't have to explain the exact same version of the technique for you to pick up the difference between, e.g., sankyo and nikkyo, or the names of attacks.

Of course for that to be useful you need to find a book that uses the same (or at least mostly the same) vocabulary as you do. (some books, even some of the respected 'classics', use systems of naming that aren't much in use in dojos). But that's a more doable task, still, to find a book that explains vocabulary well.

PaulF
07-25-2012, 02:31 PM
Hi John,

I'm another keener :)

I've bought a lot of books (20+) in the few months I've been practicing, mostly picked up cheap 2nd hand on amazon. I think about them in four loose groups, introductory, technical, inspirational and biographical, which to some extent overlap.

Introductory ones were most useful when I got started, covering basics of etiquette and philosophy, etc.

The technique ones are useful for revision, to remind you what you did in class, even more so if you keep a log, and are also good for learning the Japanese terminology as Basia says.

The inspirational ones are good to pick up for a few minutes to dip into, before bed, or in the bath, that sort of thing.

The biographical ones are great for a general read around the subject and to get to grips with the history, they're often more of a compelling read and easier to pick up when you've ODd on the other stuff. :)

The ones I've found most useful/enjoyable so far:

Beginner:
An Introduction to Aikido - Jon Pearson.
Aikido Basics - Dang & Seiser

Technical:
The Dynamic Sphere - Westbrook and Ratti.
The Principles of Aikido - Saotome
Aikido - Traditional Art and Modern Sport - Bagot
The Structure of Aikido - Homma
Living Aikido - Klickstein

Inspirational:
It's a lot like dancing - Dobson
Zen in the Martial Arts - Hyams
Ki in Daily Life - Tohei (this was highly recommended by a senior dan grade who I greatly respect)
Aikido and the New Warrior - ed. Heckler
The Art of Peace - Ueshiba

Biographical:
The Way of Aikido - Leonard
Complete Aikido - Suenaka & Watson

FWIW our society blends ki, iwama and aikikai heritage in varying proportions depending on the dojo. To quote the website, the society "warmly welcomes into its fold many practitioners of differing styles, encouraging reciprocal development so that our Aikido can continue to be enriched as the living, dynamic art". So I've felt OK about taking an "anything goes" approach to my reading.

Hope this is of some use. :)

Cheers

Paul

lbb
07-26-2012, 08:50 AM
When I first started training in martial arts, I was an enthusiastic reader on the subject, but I found that when I started training in aikido, reading about it didn't help. I looked at a few books and found that the technique books didn't show me anything that looked like I was seeing in the dojo, and the non-technique books all talked about concepts that were rooted in experiences that were unknown to me as a newbie. So I decided to stay away from books, and I'm glad I did. I think in a style like aikido, where there are so many variations of waza, a technique book is of very limited value in either teaching technique or in prompting your memory...but YMMV. The impulse to amass a body of techniques is also probably somewhat misdirected. You can't learn techniques the way you learn the times tables -- not techniques that are effective. Effectiveness comes from manifesting the fundamentals, which can play out in many forms -- that's why we have all these variations. And you only learn the fundamentals in practice.

As for the non-technique books, again, I think they're talking in a language that is acquired through practice, about concepts that take on meaning through practice. I don't think they're a bad thing for newbies -- at the least, a newbie could read them and be inspired by the idea that in time, this will have meaning for them. The danger is in reading these books and believing that intellectual understanding is enough.

(To Paul, de gustibus and all that, but Hyams' book is just simply awful. I'm surprised it made your list.)

Gorgeous George
07-26-2012, 09:19 AM
I just ordered that from Amazon, and should be getting it Tuesday. :) Our schools have a list of recommended reading, so I'm picking up a few books a month off of the list. My problem with the books is that I am not experienced enough to understand some of what they are saying. I've read Aikido and the Harmony of Nature a few times, and I'm still not *getting* several chapters of it. So, I think the books are good to have when you are alone, but regular practice in a dojo is more useful. Plus having a teacher that is patient enough to explain parts of those books to you is also a nice thing to be able to rely on. :)

--Ashley

I'd guess it'll be too abstract.

As you say: you can't understand this stuff in the context of actual aikido training (then there's the debate about whether the aikido training you're doing, is the aikido training Ueshiba did, and talks about...).
Regards a book to understand no-nonsense, straight-forward technique, i'd recommend something by Gozo Shioda, as he was all about that, and published several great books with clear, precise explanations of the techniques, what you're looking to do, and what makes them work:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aikido-The-Complete-Basic-Techniques/dp/4770030193/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1343312332&sr=8-10

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Total-Aikido-The-Master-Course/dp/4770020589/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1343312332&sr=8-3

PaulF
07-26-2012, 09:20 AM
Hi Mary, yep, life would be boring if we all liked the same stuff. Hyams' book is certainly on the "light and accessible" end of things (for some that might equate to cheesy and superficial I suppose) but I found it enjoyable enough, some amusing anecdotes and the odd insight with nothing really grating - plenty of name dropping but that's to be expected. As I said, one to pick up and put down. Be interested to hear your critique, by all means by PM if you want to avoid a derail :)

lbb
07-26-2012, 09:57 AM
Hi Paul,

I didn't like it because I didn't think there was any originality in it. There's no personal revelation or epiphany in it. His ideas and insights are not derived from personal experience and practice, but are all taken from others, and when you've basically lifted your ideas and insights from others, you should at least give credit to the original source.

PaulF
07-26-2012, 10:51 AM
Hi Mary

Thanks for the reply. Interesting, you've probably read a lot of source material that I haven't. I found him relatively modest, quite careful to give credit to the people he trained with or learned from along the way. Most of the book seemed to me to be along the lines of "there was this time when so and so showed me something, and I found it had this relevance or application in my life".

lbb
07-26-2012, 12:08 PM
Hi Paul,

Eh, it's just my thing. I tend to prefer books where either a)the author goes to the source, or b)the author's effort and training produce some kind of realization (which is maybe tied in to a), in a sort of "Oh, so that's what they mean by such-and such!" way, or "I mentioned this to my sensei, and he referred me to blah de blah" way).

SeiserL
07-26-2012, 12:13 PM
The ones I've found most useful/enjoyable so far:
Beginner:
An Introduction to Aikido - Jon Pearson.
Aikido Basics - Dang & Seiser

Thanks for the kind mention.

FWIW: I prefer the Ueshiba books.

Hanna B
07-26-2012, 01:28 PM
When I first started training in martial arts, I was an enthusiastic reader on the subject, but I found that when I started training in aikido, reading about it didn't help. I looked at a few books and found that the technique books didn't show me anything that looked like I was seeing in the dojo, and the non-technique books all talked about concepts that were rooted in experiences that were unknown to me as a newbie. So I decided to stay away from books, and I'm glad I did. I think in a style like aikido, where there are so many variations of waza, a technique book is of very limited value in either teaching technique or in prompting your memory...but YMMV. The impulse to amass a body of techniques is also probably somewhat misdirected. You can't learn techniques the way you learn the times tables -- not techniques that are effective. Effectiveness comes from manifesting the fundamentals, which can play out in many forms -- that's why we have all these variations. And you only learn the fundamentals in practice.

As for the non-technique books, again, I think they're talking in a language that is acquired through practice, about concepts that take on meaning through practice. I don't think they're a bad thing for newbies -- at the least, a newbie could read them and be inspired by the idea that in time, this will have meaning for them. The danger is in reading these books and believing that intellectual understanding is enough.

As a Swede, I read Stefan Stenudd's book on aikido before I even got started. It's a non-technique book written in a way so it's acceissible for people who don't have the practice and don't know the concepts - the book describes the concepts. The Iwama-people tend to loathe it since their version of what aikido "is" would be very differently described. Lots of non-aikidoists have read it and liked it. For good and for worse, this book has shaped quite a bit of what general conception there is in the general Swedish mind of what aikido is. It certainly shaped mine.

I do recommend it, for those who can read one of the languages it's available in: Swedish (http://www.arriba.se/aikido/), German (http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/deutsch/) (as free PDF and also as an e-book, also free I think?) and Checzh (http://www.argo.cz/knihy/144327/aikido-mirumilovne-bojovne-umeni/) (sp?)

PaulF
07-26-2012, 03:46 PM
Mary, I shall ponder your words and you've already given me cause to reflect on Hyams' book in a way that I hadn't until now. Many thanks. :)

Thanks for the kind mention.

FWIW: I prefer the Ueshiba books.

You're more than welcome sir, thank you for the book! I've found it one of the clearest and and most instructive. I've watched videos of sensei Dang at the Nakozono memorial event in Wales, 2007, and found them astounding.

I was reading Kisshomaru's "The Spirit of Aikido" this evening and was really loving so much of what he has to say e.g.:

The gates of aikido are open to people of all ages, classes, sexes, nationalities and races.

Aikido rejects all forms of violence, justified or unjustified. Otherwise we would be no different from the forms of martial arts in which fighting and winning are selling points.

Aikido for women is clearly budo, and there is no difference in the training of women or men.

These go to the very heart of what attracted me to aikido in the first place and why I am so happy to get on the mat with my wife and children whenever we can. :)

crbateman
07-27-2012, 02:20 AM
Regards a book to understand no-nonsense, straight-forward technique, i'd recommend something by Gozo Shioda, as he was all about that, and published several great books with clear, precise explanations of the techniques, what you're looking to do, and what makes them work:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aikido-The-Complete-Basic-Techniques/dp/4770030193/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1343312332&sr=8-10

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Total-Aikido-The-Master-Course/dp/4770020589/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1343312332&sr=8-3

A long awaited new Shioda book is due out in November. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. Here's the link (http://www.amazon.com/Aikido-Spiritual-Journey-Gozo-Shioda/dp/1568364113/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1343373490&sr=1-1&keywords=shioda+aikido).

lars beyer
07-27-2012, 06:00 AM
As a Swede, I read Stefan Stenudd's book on aikido before I even got started. It's a non-technique book written in a way so it's acceissible for people who don't have the practice and don't know the concepts - the book describes the concepts. The Iwama-people tend to loathe it since their version of what aikido "is" would be very differently described. Lots of non-aikidoists have read it and liked it. For good and for worse, this book has shaped quite a bit of what general conception there is in the general Swedish mind of what aikido is. It certainly shaped mine.

I do recommend it, for those who can read one of the languages it's available in: Swedish (http://www.arriba.se/aikido/), German (http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/deutsch/) (as free PDF and also as an e-book, also free I think?) and Checzh (http://www.argo.cz/knihy/144327/aikido-mirumilovne-bojovne-umeni/) (sp?)

I think many people believe that other people dislike them even they dont.
Im a socalled "Iwama" person and I have read the book you mention long time ago and maybe not being totally relevant to the kind of aikido I do it is still interresting reading and I do find inspiration in other styles of aikido as well as other martial arts. So... I disapprove of your broad generalisation about other people and what they like and what they do and how they think. In fact how would you know ?

Rob Watson
07-27-2012, 11:21 AM
Takemusu Aikido series by Saito. If you can find it the precursor series Traditional Aikido also by Saito.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/shop/index.php?category=2&subcategory=2

Might as well get the Saito dvds while you are at it.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/shop/?category=7

Hanna B
07-27-2012, 12:53 PM
I think many people believe that other people dislike them even they dont.
Im a socalled "Iwama" person and I have read the book you mention long time ago and maybe not being totally relevant to the kind of aikido I do it is still interresting reading and I do find inspiration in other styles of aikido as well as other martial arts. So... I disapprove of your broad generalisation about other people and what they like and what they do and how they think. In fact how would you know ?

OK, change that to "some Iwama people!" Officially I've never heard anything but praise, at least from people in any kind of position. Further down in the hierarchy and unofficially, that's something else. *waving to someone who is here*

It may be somewhat different also when one lives in a country where another style of aikido than one's one has become "the definition" of what aikido is, through a well-written book. If I taught at a dojo and half of the beginners who arrived there already have conceptions of what aikido is, only it's ki aikido... I would probably be mildly irritated. Which doesn't imply that the book is bad.

I do believe that Iwama stylist beginners spend their money better on for instance Saito sensei's many books, or Klickstein's.

Mark Greenwood
07-27-2012, 01:13 PM
Positive Aikido By Sensei Dave Rogers, Sensei Henry Ellis, and Sensei Eastman.

Gorgeous George
07-28-2012, 08:43 PM
A long awaited new Shioda book is due out in November. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. Here's the link (http://www.amazon.com/Aikido-Spiritual-Journey-Gozo-Shioda/dp/1568364113/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1343373490&sr=1-1&keywords=shioda+aikido).

Thanks a lot.
I'll be asking for it for Christmas.