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jvadakin
06-17-2003, 02:16 PM
Hello everyone, I am a new Aikidoka and I was hoping you could recommend some good summer reading to aid my training. My instructors don't typically give detailed instructions for techniques but rather expect students to mimic their movements or "learn by doing." (which I think is standard Aikido pedagogy). I appreciate the value of this approach, but I tend to learn best from reading. It would be nice to have a reference guide I could review and discover what the proper angle is or which foot I should be moving in such and such a technique when I become baffled.

Thanks!

Ron Tisdale
06-17-2003, 02:45 PM
Anything by Gozo Shioda (Dynamic Aikido, The Master's Course)

Yoshinkan training manual (Koichi Inoue)

I just got the 150 basic techniques from the yosh on dvd...vitu vizuri sana!

Ron (very good stuff!)

akiy
06-17-2003, 02:47 PM
In my mind, you can't learn aikido through reading. Only through doing the techniques physically can you learn aikido.

As far as books go, you should ask your instructor for recommendations, especially if you wish to get books on techniques. There are many different approaches in teaching techniques and, as a beginner, it could confuse your learning if you refer to a book that's showing you an entirely different way of doing a technique than your teacher does.

-- Jun

Alan Drysdale
06-17-2003, 03:30 PM
Jun said: "In my mind, you can't learn aikido through reading. Only through doing the techniques physically can you learn aikido."

This is true, especially with regard to the details James was asking about, but books (and videos) can still help in a variety of ways, such as helping you learn movements like the jo kata, so that you can learn the details better in class.

There is a pretty good list of books on AikiWeb, many with review comments by knowledgeable folks.

Alan

http://hometown.aol.com/enmeidojo/

http://hometown.aol.com/spitzpublishing/

Young-In Park
06-17-2003, 03:33 PM
Boyd, John. "Energy Manueverability."

Boyd, John. "Patterns of Conflict."

Cartmell, Tim. "Effortless Combat Throws" (Intoduction). Plum Flower Press.

Coram, Robert. "Boyd." Little, Brown. 2002.

Hewitt, Paul. "Conceptual Physics."

Lee, Bruce. (various books and articles).

Little, John. "The Warrior Within" (re: Bruce Lee). Contemporary Books. 1996.

Muryasz, Walter. "Precepts of the Martial Artist." Torrey Pines Aiki Press. 1984.

Musashi, Miyamoto. "A Book of Five Rings." (multiple publishers and translations).

Tzu, Sun. "The Art of War." (multiple publishers and translations).

erikmenzel
06-17-2003, 05:53 PM
Maybe the best books for you at this point are the ones you make yourself. Take a notebook to the dojo and write down what you did, how it felt, etc etc. Have your own growing personal reference guided.

Only condition fro this to work is that you actually train, but then it is much cheaper than any book you buy.

Charles Hill
06-17-2003, 07:51 PM
Hi James,

You write that you learn best by reading. Maybe you can use your Aikido practice to challenge yourself to learn in another way.

I'm making some guesses here, but it sounds like your instructors teach in a kinesthetic way, meaning you are supposed to feel your way through a technique. Your request for a book to show you about angles and how to move your feet indicates to me that you learn visually. These two learning styles are quite different and can cause trouble for people who are used to one or another.

Also, I would guess you like books because you can read someone's opinion or information and then have time to think about it on your own. If this all sounds about right to you, I have something you can try.

On your own, go over the techniques as if you are shadowboxing them. You can do this both as the attacker and the defender. Visualize what your partner might do and try to imagine what that feels like. The techniques are (or at least should be) logical. By really entering into the experience you can teach yourself correct angles, footwork, weight shifts, etc.

The test will then be when you go to class and find out how right or wrong you were.

Anyway, good luck.

Charles

DanD
06-18-2003, 12:48 AM
In principal I agree with June. You have to do it!

...Between classes take a look at the following. IMHO they're great addition :)

1- Ki in Daily Life

by Koichi Tohei

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0870404369/qid=1055915091/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-0423707-7958554?v=glance&s=books

2- Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training

by C. M. Shifflett, C. M. Shifflett, George Simcox

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/155643314X/qid=1055915044/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-0423707-7958554?v=glance&s=books

sanosuke
06-18-2003, 01:14 AM
1. Dynamic Aikido and Total Aikido by Gozo Shioda

2. Best Aikido by Moriteru Ueshiba

3. Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training by C.M. Shifflett.

Good Luck in your training, make sure you train regularly. All the best!!

Alan Mung
06-18-2003, 03:39 AM
I would go with the Gozo Shioda books. Very clear, especially Total Aikido. It is as thorough as any Aikido technique book I have seen but there are obviously many techniques left out.

Ron,

Where did you get the Yoshinkan DVD from please? Sounds interesting!

Ron Tisdale
06-18-2003, 08:39 AM
http://www.budovideos.com/yosaikboxset.html

I've only gone through the first dvd, but so far its excellent! I really like the detail, and having met or trained with some of the people on the dvd, its kind of interesting to see them demonstate in a formal manner.

I like Erik's suggestion more than the books we've suggested...its what I do for seminars especially, and even for some classes. I highly recommend it. Having to put things in your own words really crystallizes what you learn.

Ron

Kensai
06-18-2003, 09:26 AM
Ofcourse nothing can really be learnt through reading, but thats never stopped my Aikido and general martial art book collection exploding to some 100 books over the last year, due to my thirst for knowledge.

Anyway, I like the following books:

Essence of Aikido

Best Aikido

Aikido: The Coordination of Mind and Body for Self Defence

Total Aikido

Dynamic Aikido

Aikido and the competitive Edge

Ki in Daily life

COmplete Aikido

Aikido and the Dynmic sphere

Invicible warrior

Remembering O Sensei

Angry White Pyjamas.

gasman
06-18-2003, 09:50 AM
i'd just like to say that all the classical treatises on martial arts are not restricted by copyrights and are freely available online, in several versions.

eg 5 rings and art of war should be easy to find, as well as tao te ching and likes.

Alan Mung
06-18-2003, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the link Ron, that looks like a very tempting although pricey purchase!

jvadakin
06-18-2003, 10:16 AM
Thank you all for your advice. I hate feeling new and incompetent so I always work especially hard when I begin any endeavor. Since I've started Aikido, I've been attending classes for 4-5 hours per week and been reading voraciously, starting with Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, which I really enjoy. Do you think the Book of Rings meshes well with the spirit of Aikido? The book begins something like: I am Musashi Minaymoto. I have killed sixty men in duels and in battle.

Thanks again for your advice!

ikkainogakusei
06-19-2003, 12:28 PM
Hello everyone, I am a new Aikidoka and I was hoping you could recommend some good summer reading to aid my training. My instructors don't typically give detailed instructions for techniques but rather expect students to mimic their movements or "learn by doing." (which I think is standard Aikido pedagogy). I appreciate the value of this approach, but I tend to learn best from reading. It would be nice to have a reference guide I could review and discover what the proper angle is or which foot I should be moving in such and such a technique when I become baffled.
Hi James!

I can appreciate the want to know through things other that the learn by doing, but you've got to understand that it is an important part of getting your body into it. Books and talk are good ways to supplement, but that supplement is really only 1% IMHO.

There is another aspect of which I am a victim as well. The 'you think too much' thing (maybe it's presumptious of me, I don't really know you). Your conscious mind is involved in the learning process, but you'd be amazed at how much of your brain is involved that is not part of your consciousness. Just by doing there are parts of your brain that are eliminating the superfluous movements, and honing things. Aslo, by doing this with a partner, you are beginning to train in ways that will allow you to quickly assess their movements as well and respond in the most effective ways.

That said, I think books are a good micro nutrient (1%). They serve to inspire and keep it in mind when training is logistically impossible. So here are the ones I'd recomend

Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere (A. Westabrook, O. Ratti)

It's A Lot Like Dancing (T Dobson)

Takemusu Aikido (a series of I think 5 volumes) (M Saito Shihan)

Everyone has a favorite technique book, it's important to see if it jives with the technique you are learning if you are new to aikido however.

At my dojo, we videotape all of the yudansha tests/demonstrations, this was another source of inspiration for me.

:ai: :) :ai:

E.J. Nella
06-19-2003, 05:13 PM
I'm kind of like you, I must do the physical practice and read, but also write to learn.

My favorite martial arts book is not an Aikido Book per se (although it is mentioned):

"Zen in the Martial Arts" by Joe Hyams.



http://www.epinions.com/book_mu-2787693

Enjoy!

Dave Miller
06-19-2003, 05:34 PM
Although I've not read it personally, the book Aikido: Principles of Kata & Randori

by Nick Lowry, 6th (now 7th) Dan comes highly recommended in my circles.

C. Emerson
06-24-2003, 12:14 PM
Read about other styles. Get well rounded. Too many people don't get the BIG picture. The sooner you get it, the better off you will be.

Lyle Bogin
06-24-2003, 12:23 PM
I agree with Chad regarding reading about other styles.

I think the best source of information about martial arts in print is The Journal of Asian Martial Arts. They print acadmemic level papers, key interviews, and other interesting and high quality essays on all of the arts, aikido included.

www.goviamedia.com

PeterR
06-24-2003, 08:29 PM
I agree with Chad regarding reading about other styles.
I don't. At least the point about sooner the better.

Read your insturctors recommendations first. Train for a bit, let's say six months to a year, and then start reading the works of other styles. I would say the same about cross-training within Aikido.

I have been told by one student who didn't stay long all that was wrong with my Aikido - he could also spout Steven's Doka translations with the best of them. I've read the same books but my impressions were quite different.

Charles Hill
06-24-2003, 08:50 PM
Hi Peter,

What were your immpressions?

Charles

PeterR
06-24-2003, 09:26 PM
What were your impressions?
So many books - so many doka.

This young man had major problems with some of the tsukuri drills that we do and lectured me in no uncertain terms. Apparently I was the first Aikido dojo he had trained in but he had been studying Aikido for quite some time.
There is no attack in Aikido
I distinguish between aggressive intent and sen no sen and don't see any conflict between my view and the of the doka or the writings of the uchideshi of Ueshiba M.

I think the doka are like the bible. You can always find something in them that fits your preconceived notions and happily ignore the rest.

He also had serious problems with the randori that we do. Of course he is not the only one who misunderstands it but really I wasn't that interested in someone who is more inclined to discuss his view than training. I actually sent him to an Aikikai dojo but I don't think he lasted long there either - if he even showed up.

Lyle Bogin
06-25-2003, 09:43 AM
Doka are worth studying.

I see no real reason not to read additonal material in the subject you are interested in.

Also, the gentleman Mr. Rehse mentioned sounds like many people I know. If you patiently show them the advantages of the kind of training you do, they often change their minds. It is simply a healthy argument. Were any of us always modest and clear headed during our time training?

jaxonbrown
06-25-2003, 12:17 PM
Dont read any books until you are about a year into training. Just trust what the teacher says and go with that. After about a year then pick up some books that explain and add to what you have already learned. Use the books to amplify what you know, don't use them to tell you about things/techniques you haven't experienced yet.

My picks: Gozo Shioda's books

Charles Hill
06-25-2003, 02:49 PM
The thing about the Founder's poems is that they were not intended for mass consumption. Morihei Ueshiba clearly wrote them for close students. I think that when people without serious background in the things that M. Ueshiba was into read them and think they understand them, this is a sign that real self-deception is occuring.

Charles

Dennis Hooker
06-26-2003, 11:43 AM
Get the sagacious children's book the Velveteen Rabbit. Then read the wisdom of the skin horse. Study Aikido for a long, long time and have your hair loved off and you joints become broken and loose and you get to be real. Or, you can get all them picture books by guys that want to teach you Aikido at the Books-A-Million dojo.

Jesse Lee
06-26-2003, 02:13 PM
I liked Roy Suenaka's "Complete Aikido." Great first-hand account of the early days and of the Ki Society splitoff after O Sensei died.

Also George Leonard's "The Way of Aikido" is full of lovely writing and real insight, IMHO.

Harry Nguyen
06-26-2003, 05:34 PM
These are the books that I recommend:

1. Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere (A. Westabrook, O. Ratti)

2. Best Aikido by Moriteru Ueshiba

3. Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training by C.M. Shifflett.

Keep your mind open and experience yourself via training. Good luck.

Harry Nguyen

Jesse Lee
06-27-2003, 11:15 AM
"Aikido and the New Warrior" is also one of my faves. Lots of short stories and essays, including the single most mandatory piece in the whole body of aikido literature: "A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath," by Terry Dobson.

Colloquially known as the "train story," this story is as profound and inspiring as any you could hope to read in your whole life.

C. Emerson
06-28-2003, 12:41 PM
Teaching of a grandmaster, I found this book to very interesting.

Living the martial way, was very good.

I enjoy philosophy more than techniques books. Unless I'm trying to study another style. Training is fairly simple, just train. Philosophy is not as easy, If you have a great teacher that teaches it, lucky you. There are a lot of teachers that understand the technique, but are very ignorant about the philosophy of the martial arts. And I m not talking about the arts philosophy, Im talking about living the martial way, which should be fairly close which ever style you practice.

-Chad

Choku Tsuki
06-28-2003, 12:54 PM
I reccomend any of these (http://www.nyaikido.org/books/books.html) .

--Chuck