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Old 06-23-2006, 11:09 AM   #1
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Question A good illustrated reference?

I'm looking for a good illustrated reference showing basic techniques, so that I can stop saying, "You know that thing where you step like that and turn like that and then extend over there and..." Anyone got one, preferably one currently in print? Or online?

TIA,

lbb
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:14 AM   #2
sullivanw
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Yeah, 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere' is pretty good. Great illustrations.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:40 AM   #3
justin
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

the best aikido or the fundimentials both by Doshu moriteru ueshiba I find of great help.
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:44 PM   #4
odudog
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Go to the library. You can check out books on various styles from various authors to see which one you truely like before you purchase something that will be a waste of money. Don't rely on other peoples recommendations! I did this for about 1 yr. before I decided to start my personal Aikido collection. Everyone recommends Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, however, I hate that book!
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:55 PM   #5
laovel
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

I don't own this so I don't know what it's like..but an interesting take...

http://www.aikido3d.com/
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Old 06-23-2006, 02:02 PM   #6
MikeLogan
 
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Several people have suggested Yamada Sensei's book "New Aikido Complete", or the original "Aikido Complete" I purchased a hardcover addition(, not sure if there are soft cover,) and was then silly enough to loan it to one person who practiced twice, but not three times...

The rule of lending books, lend only what you are prepared to give.

michael.
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Old 06-23-2006, 02:55 PM   #7
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Mike: I've lost two books and two videos the same way. I guess I'm a slower learner than you. Now I only lend to someone who is at least 3rd kyu, or they go through our librarian and put down a deposit. So frustrating. Regarding the original question: It depends on your style, but I agree that the Dynamic Sphere is the most clear and complete one I have ever found.

e ya later
Jill.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:42 PM   #8
xuzen
 
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Aikido and Dynamic Sphere by Ratti et al.... for illustration.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 06-24-2006, 03:51 AM   #9
Mark Freeman
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote:
Everyone recommends Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, however, I hate that book!
I'm not a fan of any illustrated aikido guides, I just think that the best place to learn aikido is on the mat. I little like looking at a painting and hoping that you can learn how to paint from it.

I am however curious to know why you hate this one so much Mike? I liked the text and the illustrations are rather good. What was so bad about it?

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-24-2006, 04:00 AM   #10
alex padilla
Dojo: Manila Aikido Club, Philippines
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

I would also recommend "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere",
I personally regard it as my Aikido bible.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:15 AM   #11
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

There was a time early in my aikido journey when I also hated the book: "Dynamic Sphere." My complaint at the time was that it was "too technical" and I was more interested in a 'big picture'
and poetical approach, so I sold the copy I had purchased. A few years later, I received the book
as a gift, and this time around I looked at it with different eyes and now I am on the side of the fence
that recommends the book, but I also understand when people don't like it. There is some kind of
aikido lesson in this story. In gassho.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:45 AM   #12
kokyu
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote:
Go to the library. You can check out books on various styles from various authors to see which one you truly like before you purchase something that will be a waste of money.
I heartily agree with this. You need to have a clear idea of the type of explanation you are looking for as well as the kind of techniques you want more details on... and then choose the book.

Some books are wholly illustrated (such as Aikido and the Dyanmic Sphere), others are full of frame-by-frame photos (such as Best Aikido). YMMV.

I think the 'book reviews' section of this website covers the major books and could give you good leads.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:39 AM   #13
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
William Sullivan wrote:
Yeah, 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere' is pretty good. Great illustrations.
People always recommend this, and yes, Oscar Ratti's illustrations are beautiful.

But, I think the book's classic status is largely down to its being one of the first books of its kind. Its rather overrated imho.

Even if you love it though, you'd have to admit its pretty hopeless for the purpose Mary is looking for - essentially an aide memoir for the names of techniques.

Does anyone think the Aikido3D visualisation software thingy might a good alternative to a book for this? (As discussed on Aikiweb here.)

Sean
x
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:49 PM   #14
Carol Shifflett
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Sean Orchard wrote:
People always recommend this, and yes, Oscar Ratti's illustrations are beautiful.
But, I think the book's classic status is largely down to its being one of the first books of its kind. Its rather overrated imho.
Even if you love it though, you'd have to admit its pretty hopeless for the purpose Mary is looking for - essentially an aide memoir for the names of techniques.
Wonderful illustrations! Hopelessly turgid text! I bought ADS in my first week of Aikido but it was two years before I could make sense of it. I don't know the history, but the text has the feeling of a doctoral thesis wherein obfuscation is valued over clarity. OTOH, I can see why they thought it reasonable to replace names with a numbering system. OTOH, in real life, Immobilization #5 to Attack #3 just doesn't work.

Not for beginners UNLESS the beginner knows how to use it effectively. Effective use is as follows:

1. Sit down with your instructor or knowledgeable dojomate and identify the techniques per the terms used in your dojo.

2. Study the technique descriptions by breaking the long narratives into individual numbered steps.

3. Rewrite the individual steps into instructions that make sense to you.

4. Dance the techniques according to your own rewritten directions -- then get on the mat and practice, with input on stylistic differences from your instructor or knowledgeable dojomate.

Not to indulge in Shameless Commercial Plug here, but "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training" began as info sheets for beginners having problems with language and terminology. It includes a "Translation Table" of the Attacks and Immobilizations used in ADS and info on the meanings of the highly descriptive Japanese terms. OTOH, it was never intended as an instruction manual for technique -- therefore there are also cross-references to pertinent info in "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere," "Total Aikido," and whatever is appropriate to your individual style.

Bonus: If you disassemble ADS as above you'll notice some back-of-the-book illustrations which are backwards or out of place -- apparently deadlines were looming. And you will be among some of the few who have actually READ the book in detail over the past 30 years. Most of us just look at the pictures.

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:00 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

I am a fan of any Ueshiba family books.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:47 PM   #16
Wiley Nelson
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Carol is just being shy. "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training" would fit what you are asking for perfectly. A large collection of techniques and their descriptions... and from a wide variety of teachers and styles. The book isn't limited to the viewpoint of a single school. Much of the information was compiled from members of the Aikido-l mailing list. Many of the people quoted in the book are now active contributors to Aikiweb, and you will recognize more than a few of the names. The glossary of dojo terms is also one of the better ones out there, again, because it had input from a wide variety of teachers and styles.

You can get the book directly through Carols website:

http://round-earth.com

Personally, I think its about time for Carol to start compiling a "AETT" part 2, with contributions and essays from the Aikiweb community.

What do y'all think?

Anybody have ideas for a format what the major focuses should be?
Basically, if you could design the ideal Aikido text, what would it be like?


If we can talk Carol into the idea, you may be able to contribute to creating the Aikido book you have always looked for, but could never quite find.

Wiley
(Now I'm going back to lurk mode to wait for a frantic and possibly threatening email from Carol...heh..)



Wiley
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:45 PM   #17
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

I second Wiley's recommendation. Carol's book was my bible for at least the first year of training. Probably longer. You know, actually, I should take it out and reread some of it....see if I understand things differently....you know, from my lofty 2nd kyu perspective.... <grin>

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:48 PM   #18
Carol Shifflett
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Wiley Nelson wrote:
(Now I'm going back to lurk mode to wait for a frantic and possibly threatening email from Carol...heh..)
Considered yourself threatened.
Cheers!
Carol Shifflett
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:16 PM   #19
lbb
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Wow, thanks for the excellent responses, y'all! You got the right of it: I'm not trying to learn aikido from a book, I'd just like a visual aid so I won't confuse my nikkyo with my sankyo (ow! don't bend me that way!). I did spend some time looking around bookstores, and also doing a "search inside" of the titles that I could find on Amazon, and nothing jumped out at me as a good match for what I was looking for. As for the library...maybe it's just me and the places where I've lived, but it seems like martial arts books go missing and stay missing more than any other type of library book! All the aikido titles are down as missing, lost, stolen, billed/never returned, etc. I think it will be Carol's book for me!
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:01 PM   #20
Carol Shifflett
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote:
I'd just like a visual aid so I won't confuse my nikkyo with my sankyo (ow! don't bend me that way!).
I taught beginner classes, therefore big on visuals for beginners.
Quote:
As for the library...it seems like martial arts books go missing and stay missing more than any other type of library book! All the aikido titles are down as missing, lost, stolen, billed/never returned, etc. I think it will be Carol's book for me!
Well, there you go! When I started I was actually trying to sell a 500-page manuscript on "Roots & Combining Forms In the Natural Sciences" (i.e., Greek and Latin terminology) but no self-respecting distributor will talk to a First-Book Author UNLESS it's a cookbook or Martial Arts, hence my trial balloons of martial arts books.

There's always hungry people or another crop of martial arts guys so neither one goes out of print EVER. (A hot-tip to you would-be authors out there -- the class notes that you take that everyone makes fun of you for will sell and also be stolen from the library!)

Meanwhile, if you want a copy, just drop me a line and I'll even sign it for you which with $3.50 (will get you a tall latte at Starbucks) and (I trust) clarify the difference between ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, and yonkyo.

I am working on an update for this and "Ki in Aikido."
Happy to hear of any requests for additions or whatever.
Whatever helps. <Bow>

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett
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Old 06-25-2006, 12:44 AM   #21
Bronson
 
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

The problem with using books for something like this is that there's no garauntee that the names of the techs. in the book will be the same as the ones your dojo uses. You can take one technique and it will be called several different names depending on the dojo/organization you go to. Better to learn the name in YOUR dojo so you call it what your sensei wants you to call it.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:23 AM   #22
dunk
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Carol Shifflett wrote:
I taught beginner classes, therefore big on visuals for beginners.
Well, there you go! When I started I was actually trying to sell a 500-page manuscript on "Roots & Combining Forms In the Natural Sciences" (i.e., Greek and Latin terminology) but no self-respecting distributor will talk to a First-Book Author UNLESS it's a cookbook or Martial Arts, hence my trial balloons of martial arts books.

There's always hungry people or another crop of martial arts guys so neither one goes out of print EVER. (A hot-tip to you would-be authors out there -- the class notes that you take that everyone makes fun of you for will sell and also be stolen from the library!)

Meanwhile, if you want a copy, just drop me a line and I'll even sign it for you which with $3.50 (will get you a tall latte at Starbucks) and (I trust) clarify the difference between ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, and yonkyo.

I am working on an update for this and "Ki in Aikido."
Happy to hear of any requests for additions or whatever.
Whatever helps. <Bow>

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett
Will await this new book eagerly as "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training" has been one of the most useful texts in my Aikido training, as is most relevent to the Ki style I study. Thanks
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:07 AM   #23
statisticool
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

I'd recommend Progressive Aikido: The Essential Elements by Moriteru Ueshiba.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:19 AM   #24
wayneth
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

I recommend the books by Shioda Gozo Sensei, even if you are not a practitioner of Yoshinkan Aikido. Because I feel their principles i.e. Atemi, Irimi, center line etc. are all evident in all forms of Aikido.
I especially recommend his book TOTAL AIKIDO: THE MASTER COURSE.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:31 PM   #25
odudog
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Re: A good illustrated reference?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
I am however curious to know why you hate this one so much Mike? I liked the text and the illustrations are rather good. What was so bad about it?
Mark
I hated the illustrations in the book. With all the arrows going in various directions at the same time. I was like, what the F? when I first saw the book. Not to mention the names of the techniques which someone else talked about earlier: attack #5 vs. defense #6. I like pictures. Although you can miss some steps in between the frames. That is why several books are needed so that the frames can be put together completely. I now have 3 Ueshiba family books, 1 Shioda Sensei book, and 1 Daito-ryu supposedly book. Plus video/dvds of Nishio, Yoshinkan, and Yamada Sensei. This way I can get a complete picture of the technique and various variations to go along with them.

Several people in my dojo has the Aikido3D and they absolutely love it! Amazingly I was the one that brought the information about this software before it came out to the dojo and yet I didn't purchase it.

Last edited by odudog : 06-26-2006 at 01:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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