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Old 11-27-2002, 11:16 AM   #1
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A new review has been posted in the AikiWeb Book database:
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Book Title: Aikido: Tradition and the Competetive Edge
Book Author: Shishida, Fumiaiki; Nariyama, Tetsuro

Review author: Larry Camejo
Rating given: 5 (out of 5)

Review:
Honestly one of the best all round Aikido books I have ever read.

This long awaited translation from the original Japanese publication gives a detailed analysis of practically all the major elements of Aikido training.

The book begins with a very detailed history of Aikido, taking care to outline and name the various forms of bujutsu practiced by O-Sensei M. Ueshiba until he formed Aikido. Interestingly, this historical account shows the common foundation that Aikido and Judo share in Kito Ryu Jujutsu.

There is also one of the most detailed histories on the development of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu that I have ever read, with information taken from both Tokimune Takeda and Takuma Hisa, giving different perspectives to the evolution of Daito Ryu and its relevance to modern Aikido.

The book also covers everything from preparations before practice, a very practical explanation of what "Aiki" is supposed to be, ukemi and technical applications.

There is a great section on kuzushi that I think will be of great use to any Aikidoka. In the technical sections, one understands the anatomy of kata applied in a practical context... "what makes techniques work under resistance and why" so to speak.

Full of detailed pictures, the book covers applications to kicks, weapons, tachi waza and suwari waza in a systematic and logical approach.

The book ends the technical section with an explanation of the mindset and reasoning behind competitive Aikido and why it may be seen as an epitomisation of M. Ueshiba's ideal of control and harmony in the face of contention. The basic 17 techniques of the Randori no Kata are also covered in detail, giving the foundation of the randori system as practiced by the Shodokan and the Japan Aikido Association. There is even a little area on combination techniques as applied in tanto randori.

All in all, I recommend this book to every Aikidoka, especially those who practice the Tomiki styles. It takes the various elements of training and breaks it down into common language with pictures to aid in understanding. This, along with "Aikido and Randori" by Scott Allbright should be utilised as text books or reference books for anyone who is serious about undersanding the depths of applied Aikido training.

The only negative that I could see in this book is the low quality of some of the pictures, but these in no way detract from the effectiveness of the publication itself.
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