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Old 12-26-2006, 12:23 PM   #1
Ryan Sanford
Dojo: Northwest Aikido
Location: Oregon
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Book Recommendation

As a new student, there are plenty of things I wondered on my first day, and even a month later, there are plenty of things I still have questions about. Well, for Christmas, I got an Aikido book called "Aikido Basics" by: Phong Thong Dang and Lynn Seiser (who I'm fairly sure I've seen post here before... ). It's a great resource for new Aikido students, or people who are considering taking up Aikido but want to know more about it. It covers things like the purposes of Aikido, how you should behave in a Dojo, things I wish I knew before I started. So, I really recommend this book, from one Aiki-newbie to other Aiki-newbies.
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Old 12-26-2006, 01:01 PM   #2
statisticool
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Re: Book Recommendation

Ditto.

They also have an advanced aikido one, and I believe a new one on aikido weapons.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:59 PM   #3
crbateman
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Re: Book Recommendation

You are correct, Justin, and all of them are excellent. Here are some links to bibliography listings with reviews over on AikidoJournal.com:

Aikido Basics: http://www.aikidojournal.com/bibliog...ails.php?id=20
Advanced Aikido: http://www.aikidojournal.com/bibliog...ils.php?id=263
Aikido Weapons Techniques: http://www.aikidojournal.com/bibliog...ils.php?id=281

Availability is excellent for all three from the usual sources. Can't go wrong with these.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Book Recommendation

I agree with all the positive reviews here for Aikido Basics and Advanced Aikido. Truly a treasure trove for any level student. I own both, and would heartily recommend them any day of the week, and twice on Tuesdays. Whenever I'm scrolling through a thread and I see Dr. Seiser's photo, I immediately stop and eagerly read what he has to say. And the books are a nice collection of both his thoughts, and those of his teacher. You can't go wrong with that.

So please keep this in mind when I mention this tiniest of blemishes. I really wish Mr. Phong Thong Dang and Mr. Seiser had run the Japanese in the book by someone proficient in the language before it went to publication. Certainly I can live with "O'Sensei" (after all, everyone has a little Irish in them!), and I suppose "Way of Harmony" is a decent enough loose translation for "Aikido", especially in a book for beginners. But "Kicks (Geri)" is a little too incontinent. "Dori" being Japanese for "grab" also jumped out (although a little rephrasing would probably make it okay, I think it jumped out being very close to "geri"). "Shayu-undo" should be "sayu-undo" (left and right exercise). Some of these mistakes carry over to Advanced Aikido (geri and shayu), which also has a few typographical errors (e.g., torri, udefri-choyaku-undo).

I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. The authors get right, and very right, far, far, far more than they get wrong. And it's not really "wrong". Most of these I'm sure are just typos and simple mistakes anyone (including me) can make, and they just weren't caught by the editor. In a sense, this isn't a criticism of Mssrs Phong Thong Dang and Seiser, but rather of Tuttle Publishing, which is based in Tokyo after all, and really should have someone who can check this kind of thing.

It's a blemish. Take it with a grain of salt, but if you don't have the books, by all means do get them.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:05 AM   #5
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Re: Book Recommendation

One book I think is worth getting and reading when you start is aikido and the dynamic sphere. I re-read this book every few months and usually learn something new from it. Its the first aikido book I read that helped me better understand what I was doing wrong in my movements, and the only aikido book I've read that helped my bjj and judo practice.

It's a little wordy, and probably not good for newbies. But I think it's worth reading complex material, so you can read it a few months later and see how your understanding has changed.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:17 PM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: Book Recommendation

Thanks for all you kind words and comments. We hoped the works would be of some small contribution and assistance.

Any errors or mistakes are mine rather than Phong Sensei's or Tuttle's. They trusted me to get it right and I did my best. But, if that's the worse you can say, I'll take it as a compliment and will attempt to get it incorporated in any future additions.

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 12-28-2006, 11:46 AM   #7
Tinyboy344
 
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Re: Book Recommendation

Is there any good book written about training stories? I've read a couple books (Angry white pajamas, Aikido in America). Right now I'm into stories more than techniques and philosophy. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:05 PM   #8
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: Book Recommendation

Quote:
Duy Trinh wrote:
Is there any good book written about training stories? I've read a couple books (Angry white pajamas, Aikido in America). Right now I'm into stories more than techniques and philosophy. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated!
A good book is "Remembering O Sensei - Living and Training with Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido" Edited by Susan Perry.
A collection of recollections of O Sensei's students and aquaintances.

I have a spare brand new copy if anyone is interested, pm me ( I am away for a week from now )

Cheers,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:59 PM   #9
crbateman
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Re: Book Recommendation

As for training stories, there are a few books, although they are not necessarily without "philosophical" content, as many stories are at least anecdotal. Remembering O'Sensei is a good one (kudos to Mark for suggesting it). Also, try these:

Training with the Master (John Stevens)
Twelve Winds (Karl Geis)
Tales of Jord's Storage Unit Aikido (Judy Higgens-Evenson)
It's a Lot Like Dancing (Terry Dobson)
Aikido Talks (Susan Perry and Ron Rubin)
Aikido Masters - Volume 1 (Stanley Pranin)
Aikido Shugyo: Harmony in Confrontation (Gozo Shioda)
Women in Aikido (Andrea Siegel)
Invincible Warrior (John Stevens)

These will get you started. There are others, so if you get through these and want more, contact me here. Enjoy!
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:01 PM   #10
makuchg
 
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Re: Book Recommendation

I truly enjoyed "The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons of an American Sensei" by George Leonard. Great read.

Gregory Makuch
Wandering Ronin
Chesapeake, VA
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:55 PM   #11
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
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Re: Book Recommendation

Quote:
Duy Trinh wrote:
Is there any good book written about training stories? I've read a couple books (Angry white pajamas, Aikido in America). Right now I'm into stories more than techniques and philosophy. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated!
Richard Strozzi Heckler's "In Search of the Warrior Spirit" is awesome. It is about his experience training some Special Forces with some other fine instructors. Well worth the read - I have read it at least four or five times. Also recommend Funakoshi's "Karate-Do, My Way of Life." Not aikido (obviously) but still worth the time and energy to read.
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