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07-07-2014, 12:04 PM
Posted 2014-07-06 11:17:44 by Steve Earle
News URL: http://www.aikidoinjapan.com/?product=aikido-japan-way-less-traveled

William Gillespie, 5th dan Aikikai and Dojocho of Beijing Aikikai, has written a provocative and entertaining account of his experiences while training at Hombu Dojo in the late 1990s called "Aikido in Japan and The Way Less Traveled." (http://www.aikidoinjapan.com/?product=aikido-japan-way-less-traveled ) This book will serve as both an introduction for those who have never been to Hombu to the Hombu experience and as an invitation to those who have been there to look for what they might have missed. Gillespie also gives us his views on topics as diverse as Aikido in an MMA world and the origins of BJJ.

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07-09-2014, 09:13 AM
A really enjoyable book!
William has accomplished writing something that not only gives a feeling of the training and experiences at Aikikai Hombu Dojo, but also of the culture of Japan in general, including quite a few history lessons, all written in a very comfortable, easy to read fashion. (Thanks for reminding me of a bunch of stuff I had forgotten about!) The thing is, the time of his experiences is gone, and things are different now, so this is a good feel for how it was 15-20 years ago at Hombu (when we were still young, and training 6-8 hours a day, right???).
I think it's a good book for anyone interested in more than the nuts and bolts of training.
Thanks, William, for the effort you put into writing it, and thanks for the memories!

08-04-2014, 07:54 PM
Are you interested in contemporary Japan, or in living there? - Read this book.
Do you do aikido? - Read this book.
Do you wonder what it's like to follow your dream and live your passion? - Read this book.

This is a great read. As someone who overlapped with William in living in Japan and training in aikido seriously, I am very happy William was the one of the gang who put in the effort to share his adventure with the world by publishing a book about it. Why William? Because he is dedicated and scholarly without taking himself too seriously. Because he is observant, and articulate enough to share his observances with all of us in a way that even the jaded among us see something new in his perspective. But mostly because he trained (trains) hard and lives his life with a passion for serious aikido.

There are even a couple fights in the book :-)

The Epilogue "Aikido Keiko in a MMA World" is an excellent essay on how aikido is still relevant despite UFC and the like redefining martial training and calling traditional martial arts into question.

Give it a read, and share your thoughts.

09-04-2014, 07:45 PM
I liked it... Good perspective...