Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
Anybody bought "Best Aikido": Kisshomaru, Moriteru Ueshiba
I can't find reviews on it anywhere. I've been looking for a good book that really details the underlying mechanics of aikido (rather than techniques or spiritual waffle). Total Aikido (Shioda) is the closest I've seen, but even then there could be so much more said. Why aren't these types of books out there; we go on about aikido being more than just techniques yet half the books on aikido are just techniques (and often poorly done!). Sometimes I wish sports scientists would grab a group of Shihan, stick them in a room and force them to write a book about the mechanics and psychology of aikido. Are these things too difficult to put down on paper?
"Best Aikido" is an English translation (by John Stevens) of a Japanese manual called 規範合気道基本編 Kihan Aikido Kihon Hen = Standard Aikido: Basics Volume. The English translation omits some of the introductory material, which is a pity in my opinion.
There is another volume (called 応用編 oyo hen = Applied Volume) and this is good for the fairly wide range of techniques illustrated.
I have used both volumes (in Japanese) in training courses I have given in Holland and, to my surprise, a number of participants bought both volumes.
A set of 7 tapes has been published to go with the books. The tapes (3 for the Basics volume and 4 for the Applied volume) cost 7,000 yen each.
As for books on the physics / mechanics of aikido, a number have been published in Japanese and the subject is studied in some depth in places like the International Budo University, in Katsuura, which holds a seminar every year. Personally, I did not find the presentations on the subjuect at this seminar of much value.
It is also a fact (fortunate or unfortunate: you can take your choice) that most aikido shihan did not have time to study the physics and mechanics of aikido. If at all, they learned this as a practical side effect of training.