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Old 05-26-2020, 10:45 AM   #1
akiy
 
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Favorite Aikido Book?

Hi folks,

I was thinking of Clark Bateman and thought I'd start this thread in memory of him.

What's your favorite aikido book, and why?

-- Jun

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Old 05-26-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
Michael Hackett
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

My favorite is "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere", by Westbrook and Ratti.

I was introduced to the book when I began training years ago and the authors explained a great deal of the actions we were learning in our dojo. Overall, it was just a terrific introductory text on our art. There are many other books that are extremely valuable, but most are focused in narrow areas. "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" has answered many, many questions for me over the years and is always informative and entertaining.

Michael
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

My favorite aikido book is Ellis Amdur's "Dueling with O-sensei."

Encountering the book after taking part in numerous Internet discussions and having been exposed to a fairly good deal of perspectives on aikido, I found Ellis's book to be a refreshing take--a "demystification" of the founder and the art, as well as a personal reflection on his various experiences with aikido and the world of budo.

(If I could pick another book, I'd probably point to Michael Hacker's "The Language of Aikido." Language is such an important aspect of learning anything, and (in my opinion) its misuse and obfuscation has been a disservice to folks practicing aikido. Michael's book provides a great reference point that can help deepen into the art.)

-- Jun

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Old 05-26-2020, 05:27 PM   #4
Michael Hackett
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Thanks Jun, I just ordered the Hacker book and look forward to reading it. Like you, I've really enjoyed and respected "Dueling with O-sensei" and everything else that Ellis writes.

Michael
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:43 PM   #5
Michael Hackett
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Woooow! "The Language of Aikido" is an excellent book and I'm glad Jun San mentioned it. I've been sitting around in quarantine and doing a Japanese language study for several weeks and this book fits right in with both the vendor and other texts I have. It probably won't ever become my favorite, but it is excellent and I would join Jun San in recommending it.

Michael
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

You're welcome! Please be sure to thank Michael, too.

To return to the original intention of this thread, I'd love to hear from others:

What's your favorite aikido book, and why?

-- Jun

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Old 05-28-2020, 03:57 PM   #7
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

"Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere", by Westbrook and O. Ratti is the most influencal book on the technical side of Aikido.

Not a book but was intended to be, all the columns of Professor Goldsbury for ; context, culture and O sesnsei's place in history. www.aikiweb.com/columns
Read with a bottle aspirin nearby.

dps

Last edited by dps : 05-28-2020 at 04:02 PM.

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Old 05-28-2020, 07:32 PM   #8
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Yes, I sincerely hope that Peter can compile his Transmission, Inheritance, and Emulation columns into a book some day. It is already such an amazing perspective into the art, and a tremendous gift to practitioners.

Others? What's your favorite aikido book, and why?

-- Jun

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Old 06-01-2020, 07:25 PM   #9
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.

I'm usually a lazy reader but the pictures more than make up for it. It also appears to be very easy to read. I have not finished reading it.

It was also recommended to me by two people in the past: my aikido instructor, and someone else who I used to consider a close friend but has mostly neglected me for the past 2-3 years or so.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:58 AM   #10
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
My favorite aikido book is Ellis Amdur's "Dueling with O-sensei."

Encountering the book after taking part in numerous Internet discussions and having been exposed to a fairly good deal of perspectives on aikido, I found Ellis's book to be a refreshing take--a "demystification" of the founder and the art, as well as a personal reflection on his various experiences with aikido and the world of budo.

(If I could pick another book, I'd probably point to Michael Hacker's "The Language of Aikido." Language is such an important aspect of learning anything, and (in my opinion) its misuse and obfuscation has been a disservice to folks practicing aikido. Michael's book provides a great reference point that can help deepen into the art.)

-- Jun
Hello Jun,
Yes, this book - I have bought the new edition on your advice and I've just read it in one go - is really an excellent recommendation.
Thank You.

In the course of my life I have bought many books on Budo and martial arts, sometimes only because of two or three sentences that gave me hope that they were really honest and written with the best of intentions. All too often their content turned out to be either banal or sometimes even irresponsible .

But well, I too, heartily recommend this book by Ellis Amdur and it is certainly a very good gift for people whom we assume are open to an honest, deeper examination of a not always trivial matter.

Best,
Bernd
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:21 PM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

After Dueling, you need to read the other two books that Ellis has written. But read them critically. Ellis has a very good, persuasive, writing style and readers can be lulled into a sense of security that encourages relaxation of one's critical outlook. I was very happy to have written my PhD on dialectic, or the art of finding holes in arguments, and I was very lucky to have done much of the research under two of the best teachers around at that time. Dialectic is like putting something through an intellectual sieve, without any forethought of what might be left afterwards. This kind of intellectual attitude is sadly lacking in books on aikido.

As for other books, the five Saito volumes are important, as are two volumes in Japanese: Budo Renshu, and a volume published in June, Showa 13, which I think is 1938. The volume bears the name of Ueshiba Moritaka. Those who have managed to get through Budo Renshu (there is a translation) will find the other book at least manageable.

As a footnote, I began with Westbrook and Ratti, and now have a few hundred books, many in Japanese.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-02-2020 at 08:27 PM.

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Old 06-03-2020, 03:42 AM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

My previous post might have seemed somewhat critical, so, for an example go what I mean by a critical outlook, I suggest that readers go to my TIE columns elsewhere in this forum and read my review of the first edition of Hidden in Plain Sight. Ellis has revised this, but the review of the revised edition is still in the planning stage.

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Old 06-03-2020, 01:27 PM   #13
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Largely for sentimental reasons, one of my favorite books is Saotome Sensei's book, The Principles of Aikido. It was the first book I checked out of the library when I was doing research on which martial art I wanted to start learning. I loved the images and the messages in it.

I also really enjoyed Hidden in Plain Sight, by Amdur Sensei, for it's detail and his writing style, which is always fun and compelling to read.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-06-2020, 05:41 AM   #14
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Clark would be honored, thank you.

I would have to go with Aikido by O'Sensei Ueshiba.
It was the first book I bought back in the early 70s, but wasn't ready for that big of jump in my martial evolution and couldn't find anyone I thought could really make it work. But, it got me interested and my journey started. When asked, I usually recommend people go directly to the original source material.

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Old 06-06-2020, 10:39 AM   #15
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Correction: K.isshomaru Uyeshba (1972)

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Old 06-07-2020, 09:34 PM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

This post probably shouldn't be in this thread, but I would like to call attention to the two different spellings of ue in the name Ueshiba. Lynn also used the older spelling of uye, which can be found in Kisshomaru Doshu's first book, and so we have Uyeshiba. The old spelling is used in the English translation of Aikido and Aikido Giho. These Japanese works were published in 1958 and 1962, respectively, and the English translation appeared in 1973. I bought my copy in the USA and it came in a cardboard slip cover. A young-looking Kisshomaru applies the waza and the ukes, equally young-looking, are N Tamura and K Chiba. (Chiba looks as mean as he looked when I knew him.) It is curious that the translation is published "under the direction of Morihei Ueshiba," but he must have acquired very special powers to do this, for he passed away in 1969.

The surname Uyeshiba appears in this older translation. In newer works, the name has become Ueshiba. Why the change? Probably one reason is that the y is not pronounced in Japanese, but it can be pronounced in English, as in yes. So it would be uyeshiba. Since I am a language nerd, I went to my kanji dictionaries and discovered that the ue in Ueshiba is not one of the characters in general use. It can be found on page 148 of P G O'Neill's Japanese Names, but not tied with Shiba. Ue can also be read also as shoku, jiki, tane and nao, and common examples are given: Uesaka, Uehara, Ueki, etc., but also Tanenaga and Taneie.

I recommend O'Neill's book if it is still available. I bought my copy in 1979.

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Old 06-08-2020, 08:00 AM   #17
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post

A young-looking Kisshomaru applies the waza and the ukes, equally young-looking, are N Tamura and K Chiba. (Chiba looks as mean as he looked when I knew him.) It is curious that the translation is published "under the direction of Morihei Ueshiba," but he must have acquired very special powers to do this, for he passed away in 1969.
..
.
Well, actually not at all.
Or I should have had acquired them too, because I owned an edition back in the 1960s that said: Aikido, Kisshomaru Uyeshiba, Hozansha Publishing Co., 1963

A good book, but the translation sometimes sounded a bit artificial and esoteric.

Best,
Bernd

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Old 06-08-2020, 05:53 PM   #18
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Quote:
Bernd Lehnen wrote: View Post
Well, actually not at all.
Or I should have had acquired them too, because I owned an edition back in the 1960s that said: Aikido, Kisshomaru Uyeshiba, Hozansha Publishing Co., 1963

A good book, but the translation sometimes sounded a bit artificial and esoteric.

Best,
Bernd
Thank you. I think it is clear from your post that the book I purchased in 1973 (and dated 1973) was a reprint.

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Old 06-12-2020, 05:37 AM   #19
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Thank you. I think it is clear from your post that the book I purchased in 1973 (and dated 1973) was a reprint.
It may be well worth taking a closer look at the various "reprints" of the "first edition". If you look closely, you may notice that at the start Kisshomaru changed direction almost unnoticed. The most striking thing at first was that two big pictures were replaced, e.g. the one representing a young, very muscular Tamura and an anticipating pro-active Kisshomaru in a shomen uchi attack.
Some passages of the translation were also "smoothed".

The passing of OSensei obviously was an important turning point while creating "modern trade-mark-aikido". And so it was certainly not Kisshomaru's intention that every reprint remained an exact copy of the original printing..
Photos of Moriteru appeared as he was groomed into his future role, and then in consequence and inevitably, other new books came to the fore ...

Best
Bernd
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:14 AM   #20
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

An interesting list worth considering:
https://bookauthority.org/books/best...g-aikido-books

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 06-17-2020, 02:20 PM   #21
Larry Feldman
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

Tohei's Ki in everyday life. Summarizes his first book on the subject of Ki. Shows his method for understanding it, and how to use it in plain English...no one had done so prior.
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:28 PM   #22
Robert Cowham
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Re: Favorite Aikido Book?

I'm another for "Ki in Everyday Life" Tohei sensei - it was my gateway to Aikido. In Italy at the time, I bought the Italian edition which had a list of dojos in the back - called my local one up in Turin and got started!

After that, I bought lots of Aikido and related books over the years.

Other favourites include "Aikido and the New Warrior" edited by Richard Strozzi Heckler, "Twelve Winds" by Karl Geiss, "Mastery" by George Leonard.

I was lucky enough to travel to California a number of times in the 90's, and looked up various authors - always with good experiences - Aikido of Tamalpais with George Leonard and Wendy Palmer senseis, Richard Strozzi Heckler sensei's dojo (plus various other teachers in Bay Area). Visited my sister in Houston and met Karl Geiss sensei for an enjoyable visit.

Was lucky to meet Ellis Amdur sensei in London (via David Reuben's sensei) and have kept up the connection, enjoying all his books. Peter Goldsbury sensei's writings have been a great pleasure and education, and we share a connection to the Meiji Jingu Shiseikan.

Prior to getting started in Aikido, had been collecting books on Zen, Buddism etc. Enjoyed Alan Watts among others.

Met someone who worked for North Atlantic Books (via William Gleason sensei visit) and who said that "Aikido people buy lots of books!" Guilty as charged!
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