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Old 01-26-2004, 07:43 PM   #1
troul
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Aikido Books

I am looking for some good books on Aikido that has good demonstrations.

Thanks
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:56 PM   #2
PeterR
 
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Yawn - same thread keeps on popping up.

Two options. Do a search for old threads or go to Books in the Databases section (look to your left) and read the reviews.

In any case my advise is stay away from books until you've been on the mat for a few months, then read only what your teacher recomends for the first year and then, if readings your thing, explore.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:00 PM   #3
Mashu
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Straight Face

Total Aikido: the master course by Gozo Shioda Sensei is pretty nifty.

This is Aikido by Koichi Tohei is good if you can get it.

The danger of budo books is buying too many. They can be useful but it's much more important to practice with an accomplished Sensei who has good students.

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Old 01-26-2004, 10:28 PM   #4
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Matthew Zsebik (Mashu) wrote:
The danger of budo books is buying too many. They can be useful but it's much more important to practice with an accomplished Sensei who has good students.
Luckily its only happened once and the person did leave but one of the most difficult moments I had was when I first started teaching. Now granted my Aikido is a little different but a person came in and started quoting one of John Steven's translations halfway through class. He actually had the book with him. I don't even think he had been on the mat before.

Extreme example but there is a truism there. Many books reflect a particular style and emphasis, quite often conflicting. I also like "Total Aikido", I did Aikido for about three years before I even cracked that book. "Aikido and the Competitve Edge" I recommend to my students and I know one Aikikai Shihan who uses the Japanese version for his High School students. However there are things in that one that your teacher might disapprove of.

Anyone who frequents these forums knows which famous book I can not stand.

Once again - ask your teacher.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:53 PM   #5
Lone Swordsman
 
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I agree with the importance of learning from good senseis and students. The students are sometimes even more important, since you don't practice waza or ukemi with the sensei most of the time. The best students at the dojo have definitely kept me on my toes, sometimes literally!

I'm beginning to wish there were instructional books about Yoseikan, though. Since I can't practice much by myself it would be nice to study the grabs and stances in illustrated form.
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Old 01-26-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
Jamie Stokes
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Hello All,

I agree with Peter Rehse and Matthew Zsebik and Roger Fingas.

Aikido' like most other forms of physical activity, is a "living" art.

compare this to learning to (classical)dance.

you can get out those old floor mats, you know the ones, that have the footprints pre printed on them, numbered in order of how you step on them.

(and a one-two-three, one-two three....)

as opposed to going to a dancing hall, and dancing with a real human being (usually different parteners.) with music and a dance floor with numerous people on it, all trying the same movement as they go.

(Hey, that sounds a bit like a Dojo!)

Always better to learn it from a live, human being, get the hang of it, and then read some books.

Don't bog yourself down with "the book".

warmest regards,

Jamie.

PS. As an aside, Rehse-san, that most despised book you hinted at, is your commentary in the "books threads"?

JS
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Old 01-26-2004, 11:54 PM   #7
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Jamie Stokes wrote:
PS. As an aside, Rehse-san, that most despised book you hinted at, is your commentary in the "books threads"?
Nope.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-27-2004, 12:17 AM   #8
Bronson
 
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I agree with Peter on this one. Which may be surprising to people who know me as I have shelves full of books. The problem is when people read the books and watch the videos before training and don't realize that actual training will probably be nothing like what they've seen/read.

I had one gentleman who watched an entire class. When I asked if he had questions he told me he was a "student of ki" (he pronounced it kai). He'd read books and articles and was quite knowledgeable. He asked if we did any "kai" training and I said "all the time, training the techniques is great ki training". He left after two classes. It didn't fit his idea of what learning aikido was. There were no flashes of golden light, or people being tossed with a finger flick. Just students struggling to get better, sweating and falling.

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 01-27-2004, 01:19 AM   #9
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Nope.
I misread the question - I didn't do a book review in the "Books" section of Aikiweb, but I am sure somewhere on either aikiweb or e-budo I ranted and raved.

The reviews of said unmentioned book that do exist hint at what troubles me.

The thing is as a book goes its not completely terrible - fine as a coffee table book to placate Aunty Mae. It is just so far removed from the Aikido I know that I cringe when someone calls it definative or other high praise.

I love to read - almost everything but Aikido books. My approach to it seems to be very organic.

Last edited by PeterR : 01-27-2004 at 01:24 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-27-2004, 03:40 AM   #10
bob_stra
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Quote:
Roger Fingas (Lone Swordsman) wrote:
I'm beginning to wish there were instructional books about Yoseikan, though. Since I can't practice much by myself it would be nice to study the grabs and stances in illustrated form.
Well, I don't know if your still interested, but you should be able to find that kind of thing here -

http://www.jandejong.com.au/

(IIRC in student handbook format, under products)

Or some online (probably you've seen this one?) -

http://bama.ua.edu/~usbudo/taisabk6.htm

To the original poste - As for books and videos and such, I really can't recommend many because I haven't seen many. Segal's 'A path beyond thought' is interesting. Yoshimitsu Yamada's (with Donovan Waite) is very good - it actually *teaches* aikido a little. *Most* instuctional tapes I have are simply a catalog of moves.

The best book I've read on aikido is "Going for a Walk in the world". Google to find a downloadable version, or you can try here -

http://tinyurl.com/yqw45

"Dynamic sphere" has great pictures, but is damn stogey to read.
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Old 01-27-2004, 07:32 AM   #11
aikidoc
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Best Aikido by Nidai Doshu and Sandai Doshu; and Best Aikido 2: The master course by Sandai Doshu. Lots of good pictures.
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Old 01-27-2004, 08:24 AM   #12
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Hafta admit, I still love Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. It was the first I saw and read.

Also like Best Aikido by Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba and The Aikido Master Course: Best Aikido 2 by Moriteru Ueshiba.

Also agree that you can learn about Aikido from books and videos but you cannot learn Aikido except in a Dojo with a competent Sensei.

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 01-27-2004, 06:23 PM   #13
Lone Swordsman
 
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Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich (bob_stra) wrote:
Well, I don't know if your still interested, but you should be able to find that kind of thing here -

http://www.jandejong.com.au/

(IIRC in student handbook format, under products)

Or some online (probably you've seen this one?) -

http://bama.ua.edu/~usbudo/taisabk6.htm
Although I'm sure a lot of the techniques they refer to are the same (it's still aikido, after all), none of the books on De Jong's site are about Yoseikan specifically. And I'd really want something in print as opposed to online.
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Old 01-31-2004, 04:42 AM   #14
Nick Simpson
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When I started I got Total Aikido by Shioda after Id been training about a month and it helped me learn the terminology and attacks and stuff. I still have a bad habit of saying things the Yoshinkan way when im infact an aikikai student, I didnt learn much technique from it but it definately helped me get a foot on the ladder so to speak.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 01-31-2004, 05:03 AM   #15
indomaresa
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call me cheap, but I never bought a single aikido book.

borrow... borrow.. borrow...

hey, btw didn't someone on this thread say he has shelves full of books?


The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:35 AM   #16
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Maresa Sumardi (indomaresa) wrote:
hey, btw didn't someone on this thread say he has shelves full of books?
I'm also very far away

Bronson (who's doesn't lend out books anymore because they never seem to make it back home)

"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 02-02-2004, 09:15 AM   #17
John Boswell
 
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I'm surprised at the lack of mention of: Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.

To me, this book is invaluble and SHOULD be a part of any aikidoka's library. It has good basics with regard to terminology, understanding specific concepts in aikido, outstanding diagrams illistrating techniques and is just a good overall reference to have.

When I first got involved in aikido, I was two months on the mat before I got this book and it really helped explain a lot of what I was seeing but due to class being a very practical thing, I leaned heavily on the book to get the theory behind a lot of things and have not been disappointed.

It really should go without saying, though we do anyway, that aikido can not be learned from a book. A skilled sensei is always and forever the essential ingredient to learning the art of aikido... but getting the theory from books and videos could never hurt unless it was of poor quality.

I think an equally important question in addition to the original posters query would be: what books/materials are worth avoiding?? Thankfully... I don't know.

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Old 02-02-2004, 09:39 AM   #18
justinm
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Some of the books on my shelf....

"Total Aikido" is my technical manual. Goes with me to the dojo often.

"Aikido and the New Warrior" is a frequent inspiration.

"Duelling with O Sensei" brings me down to earth and makes me train harder.

"Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" never gets opened any more.

"It's a lot like Dancing" is also inspiring. Love the photos.

"A Book of 12 Winds" intrigues me and makes me think deeply about what I am doing.

"Ki in Daily Life" reminds me occasionally to feel as well as think.

"Complete Aikido" (Suenaka) was a good read as a biography. Second half - photos etc are interesting but not learning material to me.

That's all that jump to mind at the moment.

Justin.

Justin McCarthy
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:47 AM   #19
PeterR
 
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Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
I'm surprised at the lack of mention of: Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.
It's been mentioned.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:32 AM   #20
Robert Bodine
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I recently read an advanced copy of Linden Sensei's new book, On Mastering Aikido, and wish he had written it about twenty years ago when it would have done me some good. I don't know when it will be available, but I do know that Onmasteringaikido.com is taking advanced orders.

Be warned, you will probably not like everything he says. I didn't, yet cannot fault him his Westernization of the Principles. He is dead on in that, and it is the only Aikido book I have ever read that I enjoyed as a book. Most read like math textbooks. He wrote this in dialog and it is very rich in living detail. I trained with him years ago in a seminar and even though I can't say I really favor him, he has a strong personality, it is a terrific Aikido book.

Last edited by Robert Bodine : 02-02-2004 at 11:35 AM.

All the Best,
Robert
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:19 PM   #21
DGLinden
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I don't remember you, Robert. I thank you for your kind (I think,) remarks concerning my book.

However, as you don't seem willing to answer my private e-mails - How did you get your hands on one of the (very few) advance copies?

Just curious.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:50 AM   #22
DGLinden
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Robert, Okay, got it. It must be some weird glitch in the machine.

Thanks.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:16 AM   #23
indomaresa
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Kodo, the ancient ways - is a good take on zen in martial arts (generally), and in aikido specifically. It also provides a lot information on sensei-student moral and ethics.

Total Aikido - is the guidebook on aikido principles.

I'd suggest that people download aikido videoclips in addition to reading technical manuals. There's heaps of good videoclips out there.

--------------------------------

J.R Tolkien's Lord of the rings - is just plain fantastic and provides many hours of enjoyment. Although it has nothing to do with aikido

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 02-11-2004, 05:01 PM   #24
Larry Feldman
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You can get philosophy and history from books, Aikido from class.

General rule - stay away from technique books, but if you are going to break that rule, try to stick to your 'style'.... until you have done a lot of training.
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Old 02-11-2004, 10:19 PM   #25
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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My two favorites:

The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei

(by George Leonard-sensei)

and

Aikido and the Harmony of Nature

(by Mitsugi Saotome-sensei)

Both are primarily about the philosophy of aikido, rather than techniques. Although Saotome-sensei's book does have many lovely depictions of techniques and thoughts on specific ones. (Leonard-sensei's text seems intended to be readable by non-aikidoka, and thus doesn't have nearly as much about 'the moves'.)

I remember Leonard-sensei's book in particular for its emphasis on translating aikido to everyday situations, from dealing with a crisis ("Taking the Hit as a Gift") to his story about learning that there are other ways of dealing with jerks than mocking them into submission. Sometimes the book becomes a bit too ... left-wing in the aikido spectrum, maybe? ... for me. (No, that's not a political comment; I'm quite liberal.) He does the "mystical energy" thing, which I'm not opposed to, but take this as a warning - I know some people are quickly turned off by that sort of thing. (It's a shame that they are, as this book demonstrates.)

Saotome-sensei has many beautiful essays in his book, as well as some fascinating illustrations.
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