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troul
01-26-2004, 07:43 PM
I am looking for some good books on Aikido that has good demonstrations.

Thanks

PeterR
01-26-2004, 07:56 PM
Yawn - same thread keeps on popping up.

Two options. Do a search for old threads or go to Books in the Databases section (look to your left) and read the reviews.

In any case my advise is stay away from books until you've been on the mat for a few months, then read only what your teacher recomends for the first year and then, if readings your thing, explore.

Mashu
01-26-2004, 10:00 PM
Total Aikido: the master course by Gozo Shioda Sensei is pretty nifty.

This is Aikido by Koichi Tohei is good if you can get it.

The danger of budo books is buying too many. They can be useful but it's much more important to practice with an accomplished Sensei who has good students.

:)

PeterR
01-26-2004, 10:28 PM
The danger of budo books is buying too many. They can be useful but it's much more important to practice with an accomplished Sensei who has good students.
Luckily its only happened once and the person did leave but one of the most difficult moments I had was when I first started teaching. Now granted my Aikido is a little different but a person came in and started quoting one of John Steven's translations halfway through class. He actually had the book with him. I don't even think he had been on the mat before.

Extreme example but there is a truism there. Many books reflect a particular style and emphasis, quite often conflicting. I also like "Total Aikido", I did Aikido for about three years before I even cracked that book. "Aikido and the Competitve Edge" I recommend to my students and I know one Aikikai Shihan who uses the Japanese version for his High School students. However there are things in that one that your teacher might disapprove of.

Anyone who frequents these forums knows which famous book I can not stand.

Once again - ask your teacher.

Lone Swordsman
01-26-2004, 10:53 PM
I agree with the importance of learning from good senseis and students. The students are sometimes even more important, since you don't practice waza or ukemi with the sensei most of the time. The best students at the dojo have definitely kept me on my toes, sometimes literally!

I'm beginning to wish there were instructional books about Yoseikan, though. Since I can't practice much by myself it would be nice to study the grabs and stances in illustrated form.

Jamie Stokes
01-26-2004, 11:27 PM
Hello All,

I agree with Peter Rehse and Matthew Zsebik and Roger Fingas.

Aikido' like most other forms of physical activity, is a "living" art.

compare this to learning to (classical)dance.

you can get out those old floor mats, you know the ones, that have the footprints pre printed on them, numbered in order of how you step on them.

(and a one-two-three, one-two three....)

as opposed to going to a dancing hall, and dancing with a real human being (usually different parteners.) with music and a dance floor with numerous people on it, all trying the same movement as they go.

(Hey, that sounds a bit like a Dojo!)

Always better to learn it from a live, human being, get the hang of it, and then read some books.

Don't bog yourself down with "the book".

warmest regards,

Jamie.

PS. As an aside, Rehse-san, that most despised book you hinted at, is your commentary in the "books threads"?

JS

PeterR
01-26-2004, 11:54 PM
PS. As an aside, Rehse-san, that most despised book you hinted at, is your commentary in the "books threads"?
Nope.

Bronson
01-27-2004, 12:17 AM
I agree with Peter on this one. Which may be surprising to people who know me as I have shelves full of books. The problem is when people read the books and watch the videos before training and don't realize that actual training will probably be nothing like what they've seen/read.

I had one gentleman who watched an entire class. When I asked if he had questions he told me he was a "student of ki" (he pronounced it kai). He'd read books and articles and was quite knowledgeable. He asked if we did any "kai" training and I said "all the time, training the techniques is great ki training". He left after two classes. It didn't fit his idea of what learning aikido was. There were no flashes of golden light, or people being tossed with a finger flick. Just students struggling to get better, sweating and falling.

Bronson

PeterR
01-27-2004, 01:19 AM
Nope.
I misread the question - I didn't do a book review in the "Books" section of Aikiweb, but I am sure somewhere on either aikiweb or e-budo I ranted and raved.

The reviews of said unmentioned book that do exist hint at what troubles me.

The thing is as a book goes its not completely terrible - fine as a coffee table book to placate Aunty Mae. It is just so far removed from the Aikido I know that I cringe when someone calls it definative or other high praise.

I love to read - almost everything but Aikido books. My approach to it seems to be very organic.

bob_stra
01-27-2004, 03:40 AM
I'm beginning to wish there were instructional books about Yoseikan, though. Since I can't practice much by myself it would be nice to study the grabs and stances in illustrated form.
Well, I don't know if your still interested, but you should be able to find that kind of thing here -

http://www.jandejong.com.au/

(IIRC in student handbook format, under products)

Or some online (probably you've seen this one?) -

http://bama.ua.edu/~usbudo/taisabk6.htm

To the original poste - As for books and videos and such, I really can't recommend many because I haven't seen many. Segal's 'A path beyond thought' is interesting. Yoshimitsu Yamada's (with Donovan Waite) is very good - it actually *teaches* aikido a little. *Most* instuctional tapes I have are simply a catalog of moves.

The best book I've read on aikido is "Going for a Walk in the world". Google to find a downloadable version, or you can try here -

http://tinyurl.com/yqw45

"Dynamic sphere" has great pictures, but is damn stogey to read.

aikidoc
01-27-2004, 07:32 AM
Best Aikido by Nidai Doshu and Sandai Doshu; and Best Aikido 2: The master course by Sandai Doshu. Lots of good pictures.

SeiserL
01-27-2004, 08:24 AM
Hafta admit, I still love Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. It was the first I saw and read.

Also like Best Aikido by Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba and The Aikido Master Course: Best Aikido 2 by Moriteru Ueshiba.

Also agree that you can learn about Aikido from books and videos but you cannot learn Aikido except in a Dojo with a competent Sensei.

Lone Swordsman
01-27-2004, 06:23 PM
Well, I don't know if your still interested, but you should be able to find that kind of thing here -

http://www.jandejong.com.au/

(IIRC in student handbook format, under products)

Or some online (probably you've seen this one?) -

http://bama.ua.edu/~usbudo/taisabk6.htm
Although I'm sure a lot of the techniques they refer to are the same (it's still aikido, after all), none of the books on De Jong's site are about Yoseikan specifically. And I'd really want something in print as opposed to online.

Nick Simpson
01-31-2004, 04:42 AM
When I started I got Total Aikido by Shioda after Id been training about a month and it helped me learn the terminology and attacks and stuff. I still have a bad habit of saying things the Yoshinkan way when im infact an aikikai student, I didnt learn much technique from it but it definately helped me get a foot on the ladder so to speak.

indomaresa
01-31-2004, 05:03 AM
call me cheap, but I never bought a single aikido book.

borrow... borrow.. borrow...

hey, btw didn't someone on this thread say he has shelves full of books?

:) :)

Bronson
02-02-2004, 12:35 AM
hey, btw didn't someone on this thread say he has shelves full of books? :)
I'm also very far away :D

Bronson (who's doesn't lend out books anymore because they never seem to make it back home)

John Boswell
02-02-2004, 09:15 AM
I'm surprised at the lack of mention of: Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.

To me, this book is invaluble and SHOULD be a part of any aikidoka's library. It has good basics with regard to terminology, understanding specific concepts in aikido, outstanding diagrams illistrating techniques and is just a good overall reference to have.

When I first got involved in aikido, I was two months on the mat before I got this book and it really helped explain a lot of what I was seeing but due to class being a very practical thing, I leaned heavily on the book to get the theory behind a lot of things and have not been disappointed.

It really should go without saying, though we do anyway, that aikido can not be learned from a book. A skilled sensei is always and forever the essential ingredient to learning the art of aikido... but getting the theory from books and videos could never hurt unless it was of poor quality.

I think an equally important question in addition to the original posters query would be: what books/materials are worth avoiding?? Thankfully... I don't know. ;)

justinm
02-02-2004, 09:39 AM
Some of the books on my shelf....

"Total Aikido" is my technical manual. Goes with me to the dojo often.

"Aikido and the New Warrior" is a frequent inspiration.

"Duelling with O Sensei" brings me down to earth and makes me train harder.

"Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" never gets opened any more.

"It's a lot like Dancing" is also inspiring. Love the photos.

"A Book of 12 Winds" intrigues me and makes me think deeply about what I am doing.

"Ki in Daily Life" reminds me occasionally to feel as well as think.

"Complete Aikido" (Suenaka) was a good read as a biography. Second half - photos etc are interesting but not learning material to me.

That's all that jump to mind at the moment.

Justin.

PeterR
02-02-2004, 09:47 AM
I'm surprised at the lack of mention of: Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.
It's been mentioned.

Robert Bodine
02-02-2004, 11:32 AM
I recently read an advanced copy of Linden Sensei's new book, On Mastering Aikido, and wish he had written it about twenty years ago when it would have done me some good. I don't know when it will be available, but I do know that Onmasteringaikido.com is taking advanced orders.

Be warned, you will probably not like everything he says. I didn't, yet cannot fault him his Westernization of the Principles. He is dead on in that, and it is the only Aikido book I have ever read that I enjoyed as a book. Most read like math textbooks. He wrote this in dialog and it is very rich in living detail. I trained with him years ago in a seminar and even though I can't say I really favor him, he has a strong personality, it is a terrific Aikido book.

DGLinden
02-02-2004, 04:19 PM
I don't remember you, Robert. I thank you for your kind (I think,) remarks concerning my book.

However, as you don't seem willing to answer my private e-mails - How did you get your hands on one of the (very few) advance copies?

Just curious.

DGLinden
02-03-2004, 05:50 AM
Robert, Okay, got it. It must be some weird glitch in the machine.

Thanks.

indomaresa
02-03-2004, 10:16 AM
Kodo, the ancient ways - is a good take on zen in martial arts (generally), and in aikido specifically. It also provides a lot information on sensei-student moral and ethics.

Total Aikido - is the guidebook on aikido principles.

I'd suggest that people download aikido videoclips in addition to reading technical manuals. There's heaps of good videoclips out there.

--------------------------------

J.R Tolkien's Lord of the rings - is just plain fantastic and provides many hours of enjoyment. Although it has nothing to do with aikido :)

Larry Feldman
02-11-2004, 05:01 PM
You can get philosophy and history from books, Aikido from class.

General rule - stay away from technique books, but if you are going to break that rule, try to stick to your 'style'.... until you have done a lot of training.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
02-11-2004, 10:19 PM
My two favorites:

The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei

(by George Leonard-sensei)

and

Aikido and the Harmony of Nature

(by Mitsugi Saotome-sensei)

Both are primarily about the philosophy of aikido, rather than techniques. Although Saotome-sensei's book does have many lovely depictions of techniques and thoughts on specific ones. (Leonard-sensei's text seems intended to be readable by non-aikidoka, and thus doesn't have nearly as much about 'the moves'.)

I remember Leonard-sensei's book in particular for its emphasis on translating aikido to everyday situations, from dealing with a crisis ("Taking the Hit as a Gift") to his story about learning that there are other ways of dealing with jerks than mocking them into submission. Sometimes the book becomes a bit too ... left-wing in the aikido spectrum, maybe? ... for me. (No, that's not a political comment; I'm quite liberal.) He does the "mystical energy" thing, which I'm not opposed to, but take this as a warning - I know some people are quickly turned off by that sort of thing. (It's a shame that they are, as this book demonstrates.)

Saotome-sensei has many beautiful essays in his book, as well as some fascinating illustrations.

Williamross77
02-11-2004, 11:17 PM
Please forgive me but what is wrong with the Dynamic Sphere Mr Rhease? i assume it's the book you do not approve of? well i am not defending it, just i have about 12 minutes a day to browse this site and post maybe between running a restaurant and a dojo and a family and such. i found the book to be helpful.

i think i like the Doshu's book too, Best Aikido, i read it the other day and found it fun. actually i have never found a book on any aikido or samurai subject that i did not like or at least appreciate. i don't rally have time to debate over any of this i just wanted to hear your side if possible.

thanks so much in advance.

PeterR
02-11-2004, 11:54 PM
Please forgive me but what is wrong with the Dynamic Sphere Mr Rhease? i assume it's the book you do not approve of? well i am not defending it, just i have about 12 minutes a day to browse this site and post maybe between running a restaurant and a dojo and a family and such. i found the book to be helpful.
The book had a thread all to itself a little while ago. Please go here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4407&highlight=Dynamic+Sphere) for that. My opinion is given there.

Williamross77
02-12-2004, 11:57 PM
thanks... i'll go

check it out.

Dario Rosati
02-13-2004, 10:06 AM
I am looking for some good books on Aikido that has good demonstrations.

Thanks
I bought one as a beginner, but was a bit disappointed... It only helped me in one thing: names, category and logic/organisation of the tecniques, which are a bit confusing at the start for a beginner because you train them "sparsely".

As curious as I am, since I practice in a small dojo and wanted to know the differences in training around the world, I tried videos but omg... leave them alone unless you can have a little view of them before buying.

Most of them are total crap (especially if made "on purpose" for teaching via video) compared to the real thing, even if performed by a 9th dan (I watched a demonstational video made by a guy named Saito, 9th dan, and I cannot believe my eyes for the sloppy/crappy stuff I was watching).

Videos with stages, real practice or cross-train material are a bit more interesting because they transmit a bit of the "real" thing.

Before someone starts a gigantic flame, I'm talking from a beginner and purely "view based" sensation when watching... in videos the perform is often too slow and blatantly coreographed to result attractive or interesting (I'm starting to understand why other MA trainees call us aikidokas "the uneffective dancers": they're probably looking at the videos, too, and not the real thing).

Maybe when I'll be a bit more skilled, I'll take a watch with a different look and may be able to appreciate the "unreal" thing, but for now on I think I will hear, watch and DO aikido in only one place: the mat.

Bye!

Mel Barker
02-13-2004, 01:34 PM
Most of them are total crap (especially if made "on purpose" for teaching via video) compared to the real thing, even if performed by a 9th dan (I watched a demonstational video made by a guy named Saito, 9th dan, and I cannot believe my eyes for the sloppy/crappy stuff I was watching).
I'm sure there will some reaction to this.

Mel

willy_lee
02-13-2004, 01:42 PM
Sidestepping the potential flamefest....

Just to give another perspective, although I have plenty of aikido books, I also value looking at books on non-aikido martial systems. I can learn aikido on the mat; it seems more interesting to me to look at other systems and check out the differences and similarities (so many and so striking, sometimes).

I particularly have enjoyed books on Daito-ryu, and wrestling. Am also itching to get my hands on some European sword manuals.

=wl

Dario Rosati
02-16-2004, 06:34 AM
I'm sure there will some reaction to this.

Mel
Why? I don't know him, maybe mr. Saito is one of the best IN THE REAL THING given his rank, I don't doubt that... but he has to accept he fact that one of his videos look crappy, as many other videos from other sensei worldwide... I named him only because his video was one of the latest i've seen.

I think too many senseis produce too crappy/sluggish/unattractive "learning videos" and this is a bad thing, 1) for the sensei who does the video 2) for aikido in general.

Stage/real material is FAR better for learning purpose, IMHO, than most of "learning videos".

I hope it' a bit clearer now, no pun intended for mr. Saito on anyone in particular.

Bye!

justinm
02-16-2004, 07:05 AM
My own experience is that demonstration videos by mid level, say 2nd-5th Dan, instructors are clearer than top instructors.

IMHO, this is because the more advanced practitioners have got it down to the minimun and no longer do the expansive, clear movements that a beginner needs to see - they get a bigger result in a small movement. So I find I usually learn more watching a 3rd Dan instructor than a 8th Dan instructor.

It seems to me that this 'basic form' peaks around 2nd - 3rd Dan, and after that the personal style of the individual starts to have a significant influence, resulting in a form less clear to a beginner.

For instance, I can watch videos of O Sensei and learn nothing that helps me at this point in time. The exception for me (because there has to be one) is the Yoshinkan teaching videos, where the basic form remains clear even at the top level.

Justin

Greg Jennings
02-16-2004, 07:58 AM
<snip> but he has to accept he fact that one of his videos look crappy, <snip>
He doesn't have to accept anything. He passed away March 13, 2002.

tedehara
02-16-2004, 10:22 PM
...I particularly have enjoyed books on Daito-ryu, and wrestling. Am also itching to get my hands on some European sword manuals.

=wlHave you checked out Medieval Combat: A Fifteenth-Century Illustrated Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1853674184/qid=1076994923/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/104-7218753-8220728?v=glance&s=books)? They're coming out with a paperback edition. Really neat! A reproduction of a classic manual by Talhoffer. It gives illustrations of different weapons and fighting techniques. Not just your Dad's foil and saber.

:D

Dario Rosati
02-17-2004, 02:37 AM
He doesn't have to accept anything. He passed away March 13, 2002.
:(

Greg Jennings
02-17-2004, 05:23 AM
:(
You mentioned that you, as a beginner, had bought a teaching video by M. Saito Sensei.

Do you train in an Iwama-style dojo?

willy_lee
02-17-2004, 01:44 PM
Really neat! A reproduction of a classic manual by Talhoffer. It gives illustrations of different weapons and fighting techniques. Not just your Dad's foil and saber.
Yes, that's one of the ones I've been thinking about getting ... :)

The paperback is good inasmuch as that means cheaper. Am also looking at Christian Tobler's book on Sigmund Ringeck (color photos in armor!).

Still haven't decided on which one to loose my credit card :)

=wl

mantis
02-24-2004, 02:29 PM
books I like:

"Total Aikido" by Gozo Shioda. a well designed reference book. beautifully done!

"aikido tradition and the competitive edge" F.Shishida, T.Nariyama. is one of the only tomiki aikido books available. great content and great overview of tomiki aikido.

"A Book of 12 Winds" Karl Geis, while not a demonstration book, is nonetheless a great aikido book.

Dario Rosati
02-26-2004, 11:32 AM
You mentioned that you, as a beginner, had bought a teaching video by M. Saito Sensei.

Do you train in an Iwama-style dojo?
Uh no, I don't think so... never heard of it.

I only know that Iwama was the most famous dojo of O'sensei in the past.

I just choosed the video out of curiosity because it showed some "bo" techniques and Saito was 9th dan, but as said, the video disappointed me (like other videos from different masters) for some reasons (the first being the fact that half of the total time he's sitting on a chair reading on a book showing b/n still photos of 50 years ago).

Should I presume he was a "special" Sensei, since you're speaking of a different style?

The only different style I actually know is Yoshinkan but I was hardly able to spot differences, if any, when I looked at it (again, this is probably due to my "beginnerness").

If you are an adept of this style and Saito the style starter, I mourn your loss.

I intended to criticize a video, not generalizing to a Sensei nor to a style nor to his adepts.

Actually, I'm going to use my best ally (the browser) to find more info on this "Iwama" style.

Oh well, things are ever more complex of what you think, even in Aikido it seems :)

Bye!

adwelly
03-01-2004, 12:00 PM
Philosphy - but interesting. Also freely available online.

The Power of Extraordinary Listening (259K)

Life in 3 Easy Lessons (120K)

Ten to the Tenth (114K)

Healing With Ki (38K)

All available via http://aikidoofmarin.com/richardmoon.html