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grasshopper73
06-03-2004, 01:51 PM
If you could only have one Aikido book, which one would it be and why ?

Thanks

(Just curious)

Robert Townson
06-03-2004, 02:01 PM
I have only got the one book so far... but it seems very good!

Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I have found it very insightful, if a little difficult to read (reasonable technical language and words I cannot pronounce..) and there are some diagrams of technique, which is nice.

grasshopper73
06-03-2004, 02:04 PM
Robert,

Have read a lot of good reviews about that on Amazon , may pick it up today.

Russ

James Giles
06-03-2004, 02:17 PM
Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I have found it very insightful, if a little difficult to read (reasonable technical language and words I cannot pronounce..) and there are some diagrams of technique, which is nice.

That was my first book also, and I still like it. It is a good read that gives an overall look at Aikido in general. I would say if I could only have one book, that would be it.

But I also like Principles of Aikido (Saotome) and Total Aikido (Gozo Shioda), although I don't practice Yoshinkan Aikido, Total Aikido does a good job at describing some of the inner mechanics involved in technique that other books do not.

Jorx
06-03-2004, 02:26 PM
I found the Dynamical Sphere really helpful like 3 years ago. Now when I read it I still think it's a great book but it doesn't give me much anymore. Haven't read much else.

BUT as there is now a campaign on ordering books to estonia I would take some advice what to order... what would be a more advanced level book than Aikido and the dynamical sphere was?

James Giles
06-03-2004, 02:36 PM
BUT as there is now a campaign on ordering books to estonia I would take some advice what to order... what would be a more advanced level book than Aikido and the dynamical sphere was?

I am not really sure about any advanced level books. Most of the books I have read describe the basic principles and techniques of Aikido. However, I do have one book entitled: Aikido: The Heavenly Road by Kenji Shimizu. I am not sure if the book is in print anymore, but the techniques demonstrated in this book are a breath of fresh air compared to most others I have read. Some very interesting and advanced techniques are demonstrated in this book. :cool:

Karen Wolek
06-03-2004, 02:53 PM
Aikido Exercises For Teaching and Training by C.M. Shifflett, by far!

This was my bible when I first started and I still refer to it sometimes. Best Aikido is good as far as pictures of techniques.

holmesking
06-03-2004, 03:32 PM
Dueling with O'Sensei

kironin
06-03-2004, 04:15 PM
The blue book.

"This is Aikido" by Koichi Tohei Sensei

The version printed from about 1968 to 1974.

Pragmatic philosophy in a nutshell that actually makes sense,
pictures you can actually follow,
For each technique shown often has several tips on how to teach each technique as well as exercises to communicate important points
from a master teacher.

overall, I have never seen better. and it still stands up to time.

shihonage
06-03-2004, 05:39 PM
"Aikido Shugyo" by Gozo Shioda. Engagingly written, to the point, and addresses most questions that plague Aikido forum dwellers.

grasshopper73
06-03-2004, 06:55 PM
Jorgen --

I really like Aikido and the Harmony of Nature by Mitsugi Saotome. It's not very technical but a lot of history and philosophy. Not sure if this would be appropriate for you or not but it's a good read.

p00kiethebear
06-04-2004, 12:27 AM
The Tao Te Ching

Not specifically aikido, or any martial art, but definitely applicable. I guess if i had to have just one book about specifically aikido it would be aikido and the dynamic sphere or Tohei sensei's Ki in daily life

Bronson
06-04-2004, 12:34 AM
Aikido Exercises For Teaching and Training by C.M. Shifflett


Dueling with O'Sensei

Ooooh, two good choices. I'd be hard pressed to pick between those two if I had to stay aikido specific. If it didn't have to be strictly aikido I would probably pick Beyond the Known by Tri Thong Dang.

Bronson

batemanb
06-04-2004, 01:14 AM
Aikido and the Harmony of Nature - Saotome Mitsugi - my personal fav.

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido - William Gleason - for the challenge - I still haven't read all the way through after 4 years of owning it :crazy:

Greg Jennings
06-04-2004, 10:35 AM
Takemusu Aikido by Morihiro Saito.

I get to cheat and get 6 books under one title.....

Regards,

PaulieWalnuts
06-04-2004, 11:41 AM
BUDO-(the original) by O sensei then have it translated.
The closest version avaliable is saito sensei version

SeiserL
06-04-2004, 12:19 PM
Aikido by Doshu Kisshomaru Uyeshiba

Nacho_mx
06-04-2004, 12:26 PM
Im waiting for the inevitable "Aikido for Dummies"!

Bronson
06-05-2004, 12:02 AM
I$B%((Bm waiting for the inevitable "Aikido for Dummies"!

This (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0764553585/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-3312989-8380130#reader-link) is the closest I could find. :p

Bronson

Charles Hill
06-05-2004, 02:26 AM
BUDO-(the original) by O sensei then have it translated.
The closest version avaliable is saito sensei version

Steff,

Why do you think this?

Charles Hill

Zoli Elo
06-05-2004, 05:00 AM
Takemusu Aikido by Morihiro Saito.

I get to cheat and get 6 books under one title.....

Regards,

Well if you can do that then I can pick, Traditional Aikido. ;)

Don_Modesto
06-05-2004, 07:39 AM
Aikido and the Harmony of Nature - Saotome Mitsugi - my personal fav.

Mine, too.


The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido - William Gleason - for the challenge - I still haven't read all the way through after 4 years of owning it :crazy:

It's a haul. I found that a lot of background reading cleared up some things. There's good stuff there, but you do have to dig your fingernails bloody to mine it.

(Still pounding my head agains the KOTODAMA stuff, though. It doesn't help that Western scholars tend to savage the concept and its applications...)

batemanb
06-05-2004, 10:08 AM
BUDO-(the original) by O sensei then have it translated.
The closest version avaliable is saito sensei version


Charles beat me to the question while I was down stairs checking something out.

I have two different translations of this book, the Kodansha copy translated by John Stevens, and the Sugawara Martial Arts Institute copy translated by Seiko Mabuchi and Larry Bieri. Just looking at these two copies, they differ in their interpretation. Saito Sensei`s version is labelled as a commentary (his interpretation), what makes you think that this a closer translation of the original than either of the other two copies I am looking at ?$B!!(B

Rgds

Bryan

Greg Jennings
06-05-2004, 02:03 PM
Well if you can do that then I can pick, Traditional Aikido. ;)
That would be my second choice. It would be my first except that I could get the "Budo" with Takemusu Aikido.

I have both and find comparing and contrasting them very interesting.

Regards,

Zoli Elo
06-05-2004, 06:01 PM
If only more of the Traditional Aikido series was published, I feel that it would have place itself a significant cut above the rest... I guess the same could be said for Takemusu Aikido. :(

Mark Balogh
06-09-2004, 09:38 AM
I'm Aikikai, but Tohei's old book Aikido: Coordination of Mind and Body for Self Defence would be my choice. ;)

Joe Hansson
06-09-2004, 10:15 AM
I'll say Total Aikido by Gozo Shioda sensei, but it won't be the only book i will ever own on aikido. There's alot to read. thankfully :)

aikidocapecod
06-09-2004, 11:49 AM
Don M Wrote

(Still pounding my head agains the KOTODAMA stuff, though. It doesn't help that Western scholars tend to savage the concept and its applications...)

Don, I do understand what you said. It is a tough book to get through. I go through it a few times a year.
Gleason Sensei is my Sensei. This is just my opinion....I think that perhaps it is not that Gleason Sensei has savaged the concept and its applications, rather, maybe we just do not know enough of the philosophy behind what he is saying. Again, please do not take that has one of the "jabs" some take at others here when expressing a contrary view.

When I get to class, Gleason Sensei will explain different areas of AIkido and use some of what is in his book. Then the clouds part a little.....I am a bit slow...so perhaps it will take more pounding into my thick skull to better understand his point.

I do not get to the dojo to practice as often as I should, but having studied under Gleason Sensei for a number of years, I find that he his very reluctant to express a view that he does not have a very good understanding of.

Anyway...to answer the question this thread asks,
Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere was my first book. I still go through it often. I find the drawing to be much more helpful than a series of still photos. My reason is that Westbrook &Ratti have wisely included many lines with arrows that can give an idea of the motions used to perform the technique. Sometimes with still photots shot in sequence, a crucial movement may be missed or not understood.

And, as always....this is just my opinion.....

Thanks...Larry

Don_Modesto
06-09-2004, 02:14 PM
Don M Wrote

(Still pounding my head agains the KOTODAMA stuff, though. It doesn't help that Western scholars tend to savage the concept and its applications...)

....I think that perhaps it is not that Gleason Sensei has savaged the concept and its applications, rather, maybe we just do not know enough of the philosophy behind what he is saying.

Thanks for responding. I was particularly hoping you would, actually, having read that you're from his dojo.

I think we're missing each other here. I didn't say that Gleason savaged KOTODAMA but that Western scholars did. I'm thinking in particular of Peter Dale's The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness. He's merciless.

I think you're right about us not understanding enough of the philosophy behind what he says (and I feel he could have gone a little further in interpreting this for folks who don't have his grasp of the material).

You can't read too far into the literature on KOTODAMA before finding a connection with MANTRA ala Shingon ("True Word") Buddhism. I find most references purportedly explaining KOTODAMA impenetrable. But at least I can get an intellectual grasp of the concept if I know it's part of a meditation discipline.

I found SUSAN BLAKELEY KLEIN's contribution to the book Buddhas and Kami, "Wild words and syncretic deities" to be very useful to understanding the way the Japanese manipulated concepts. According to her, the Japanese interpret (ed) ideas very broadly based on word games, metaphors, puns, "allegorical etymology", and numerology. KOTODAMA is, beyond its immediate meditative usages, sort of a way to reconcile disparate terms through puns ("Aikido is the way of love" comes to mind, riffing off of two different Chinese characters having the same pronunciation). I think this kind of "reading out" of meaning in tune with an agenda is what Osensei meant when he said aikido is KOTODAMA, i.e., a way to find commonalities and reconcile differences.


When I get to class, Gleason Sensei will explain different areas of AIkido and use some of what is in his book. Then the clouds part a little.....

Yes. I found this, too, at his Tallahassee seminar earlier this year.

....having studied under Gleason Sensei for a number of years, I find that he his very reluctant to express a view that he does not have a very good understanding of.

I got that impression.

Thanks.

jester
06-10-2004, 08:05 AM
The blue book.
"This is Aikido" by Koichi Tohei Sensei
The version printed from about 1968 to 1974.

I'd also pick this one. I got a copy from a Karate instructor that was giving away his book collection.

Plus it's now worth over $100.00 :D

ian
06-10-2004, 08:49 AM
For intermediates: Total Aikido (Gozo Shioda)

For weapons: Saito: traditional Aikido Vol2 (out of print)

Any books for advanced? I found a book called something like 'Sword of no sword - the life of master Tesshu ' by John Stevens to be a very good book on approach to martial arts. Though not specifically aikido it cahnged the way I look at martial arts. (Basically Tesshu was a buddhist who gained enlightenment through sword work).

I think sadly most technique based books on aikido are a waste of time for improving training beyond beginners level; this includes dynamic sphere.

Although not necssarily that useful for learning technique, Budo (Ueshiba) has great photos and I'd probably choose that as my single book for historical and inspirational reasons.

Ian

crbateman
06-11-2004, 06:38 PM
This is a loaded topic...

I've read about a hundred different books (still have a few to go), and I still can't say what's the best. I guess it depends what you're trying to learn. "Dynamic Sphere" is considered by many as the best technical manual, and it certainly has the best illustrations EVER, but it is ponderous to beginners, and the numbering system for techniques is obscure. But it is a pretty good book if you consider that it was the "first and only shot" for the authors, who then promptly disappeared into relative obscurity 30 years ago...

"Aikido Shugyo" is excellent, as well as "Aikido & the Harmony of Nature". Some are more technical, some more spiritual. I suppose that in order to write a book, one has to theme it this way or that. "Enlightenment Through Aikido" is a new book that I found very interesting. Kanshu Sunamadori Shihan, like many of the older masters, waited until very late in life to put his thoughts in print (at least in English), as did Shoji Nishio Shihan, whose new book "Yurusu Budo" is also a great look at the internal side of Aikido.

On the technical side, both of Saito Shihan's sets are very good, as is "Aikido" by Kisshomaru Doshu, "Aikido in Training" (Crane), and Shioda Shihan's "Total Aikido". Someone also mentioned Shifflett's "Aikido: Exercises for Teaching and Training", which was much better than I thought it would be. Many of the available books also give insights into the differences between the various styles of Aikido.

Anything by John Stevens is thought-provoking, from his perspective as a "gaijin" with a lifetime invested in study.

For a LOT of history in a small space, you have to get Stanley Pranin's "Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido", as well as his "Aikido Masters".

For humor, there is "Angry White Pyjamas" and "Fudebakudo". And there is Terry Dobson's "It's a Lot Like Dancing", which is inspirational as well as funny. Not your typical Aikido book...

I guess that the point I've been circling around like a vulture is: Why try to settle on just ONE book, when there are so many, and something to be learned from each? Focus is a great thing, taken in moderation, but true knowledge comes from experiencing a diverse group of perspectives. And remember, YOUR path is yours alone.