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Old 10-14-2005, 03:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Question wanting to compare 2 books

I couldn't fine the correct spot to ask this question. I hope it will get answered here

I have been looking for something to supplement my training in aikido.
I found the following 2 books on amazon.com.
Both say they are geared for training.
Both get great reviews & are both rated 5 stars (average by 23 people)
I know there are reviews here on this site too, but I was wanting though; to know if one book really is better then the other. I am sure that both books are good. but i want the one that covers the techniques the best.

Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training - C. M. Shifflett; Paperback

Total Aikido: The Master Course (Bushido--The Way of the Warrior) - Gozo Shioda; Hardcover

* But I can't decide just because I sure to get 23 good reviews both have to be good.
I am leaning more to the Total Aikido: The Master Course but can't decide/figure out which would be the best for training. Because I was able to find it at Borders Books but I will probably order it from amazon.com; it is cheaper & I get free shipping because I am ordering other books I want. (of course I can't afford both books at this time)

Has any one read both of these books? (or at least looked at both of them?)
That is willing to say which book "THEY THINK" best covers the techniques.
Which one has the most techniques in it?
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:50 PM   #2
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 387
Re: wanting to compare 2 books

You are comparing apples and oranges.

Shioda's book has more techniques.

You can't learn Aikido from a book.

If you study Shioda's style (or a related one) of Aikido then it may be helpful as a reference to supplement your teacher, but you can't learn Aikido from a book....

Shifflet is especially valuable if you are a beginner in Shin Shin Toistsu Aikido or any of the offshoots. Seidokan, Kokikai, Shin Budo Kai, etc.

I usually only recommend Aikido books that cover philosophy, history or 'verbal aikido'.

If you are insistent on a technique book buy a DVD instead.
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:12 PM   #3
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 823
Re: wanting to compare 2 books

I have both boths and I agree with Larry they are apples and oranges. Total Aikido is more of an introduction to Yoshikan Aikido, but useful and illustrative if you train in another aikido style. Carol Shifflet's book has been helpful for me and I practice Aikikai. There isn't too much emphasis on ki exercises and does a good job of explaining the exercises in class. I like the way she describes the difference between ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo. But I wouldn't rely on it as you basis of understanding if you don't train under ki society styles. If your Aikikai, it's better to go with Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba or Best Aikido 1 and 2 by Moriteru Ueshiba.

But these are only good as supplemental training aids to actual real training in a dojo.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:11 PM   #4
crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
Re: wanting to compare 2 books

Shioda Sensei's book will give you some good overview of technical matters, particularly in his style, but it will be difficult to practice the techniques by yourself, and unwise also (beginners should always train under the direct supervision of an instructor).

The Shifflett book shows exercises, both physical and mental, that you can do at home, and by yourself. It will probably be the more useful of the two in your case. Read it after midnight, and get in the dojo during the day or evening.

Just one more suggestion: Books do have their place, and I have learned much from them, but I know what to expect and what not to expect. I also know that no single book ever written can be relied upon by itself. For a better perspective, don't limit your reading to a single title. Read as many as you can get, and learn to set aside those things that make no sense or are of little use. You don't have to own them all (I didn't listen to my own advice, though), but visit the library, borrow from your friends, or use the reading room at Barnes & Noble. Don't let anyone pooh-pooh your enthusiasm, and enjoy the journey.
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:16 PM   #5
Adam Alexander
Dojo: none currently
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 499
Re: wanting to compare 2 books

Either one is a winner in my book.

"Exercises" will give you more than technical info...it's an incredible book.

"The Master Course" will give you more key info than you could ever imagine. Plus, in the introduction of "Dynamic Aikido" which is, I guess, the first edition, Kancho Shioda says to use the book as an instructor until one is available.

So there you have it, you can learn from a book. I think that's how I've learned most of my stuff...by solo-work.

What ever works for you.
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:41 AM   #6
Adam Alexander
Dojo: none currently
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 499
Re: wanting to compare 2 books

Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Kancho Shioda says to use the book as an instructor until one is available.
That is a foot...That is a foot in my mouth.

It doesn't say that (either copy of "Dynamic" I have). It says that you should use it as a reference.

However, I'm pretty sure "Total" says it...but I can't recall...and I loaned my copy out...

After rereading your post, I don't know how the issue of training without an instructor got mixed in, but, the book for technique is definitely "Total Aikido".

I'd say buy them in this order if you're from a Yoshokai orYoshinkai (I'm from Yoshokai...so maybe I'm not one to tell you about Yoshinkai....but...you know) : "Total Aikido," "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere," "Dynamic Aikido" and then "Aikido Exercises."

In "Exercises," Shifflet says that "Total" can't be beat for technical. Further, he/she (?) says that the principles are all the same.

So, maybe if you're not from one of the cited styles, it might be best for what you're looking for.

I found, Shifflet, from a Ki Society background has a different perspective on breath power than I do...that could just be that I don't know what I'm doing.

"Dynamic Sphere"and goes way off into some things that I wasn't on board with. However, after training for a year or two, that book illuminated Aikido for me in many respects.

So, from a technical perspective, I'd say (even though it wasn't asked) that "Sphere" should come before "Exercises."

However, for what I consider to be a real down-to-earth perspective on Aikido that I didn't really get out "Sphere" you've got to go with "Exercises."

If you're from the Yosh family, I'd say you've got to own all four...and a handful of others...
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