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Drysdale, Alan -- Doing Aikido
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100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0
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Description: "Doing Aikido" is a 128-page instructional manual for intermediate students of aikido, between beginners and black belts. However, it will also be of benefit for beginners and includes material suitable for black belts. It was written without the smoke and mirrors of most martial arts books, making it easier for the the practitioner to understand what he or she is actually supposed to do. There are 37 photographs and drawings illustrating key points of technique. The author is a fourth degree black belt who has been teaching aikido in England and the USA for 20 years. copyright Spitz Publishing 1996
Keywords: Drysdale Doing Aikido
ISBN: 0-96684-440-7


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Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
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Cons:

Author: Janet Rosen
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Janet Rosen

Alan Drysdale Sensei introduces his book by writing that it "is intended for students who are neither total beginners nor advanced yudansha;" noting that he had not been able to find a book addressing the needs of this population. The book now exists, this is it, and by his own criteria it should be judged a success. As Greg O'Connors' "The Aikido Student Handbook" helped smooth some bumps in the earliest phase of my training, so I now find myself reaching for "Doing Aikido." It contains, in a natural conversational tone, the kind of practical advice your sempai and Sensei should be offering on the mat. The advantage here is that (presumably) you are relaxed and focused on reading, rather than trying to listen with your pulse up around 140, panting, red-faced and trying to apply it to a person standing in front of you....

Attention is paid to key principles, such as extension, taking of balance, atemi, etc., that the not-quite-newbie should be starting to work on, now that some basic footwork and distance stuff is internalized. There is a very good section on the role of uke/ukemi.

One thing I found of particular value is that attacks and techniques are dealt with separately. If one wants to progress past simply doing a technique that somebody calls out, to being able to respond spontaneously to whatever is presented, it is essential to have this separation internalized, yet most of the "how to" aikido books I've seen teach them together: shomen uchi ikkyo, for example. This format permits the author to go into more in-depth analyses of intent, mechanics, and the fine points that make or break each one. Weapon-taking, jo-tori and multiple attacks are included; again, the discussion is at a level that assumes one has some familiarity but is not adept, and specific practical pointers derive from the general principles that are laid out.

Highly recommended.
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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Keith Foss
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Keith Foss

Drysdale sensei is the chief instructor of Sand Drift Aikikai. The book is targeted to aikidoka who have been around for a while and are not yet black belts but are beyond the raw beginner stage.

I read this book three or four times during the summer while I was not able to be on the mat. I won't comment on the quality of the "techniques", Alan, is obviously qualified and knows what he is talking about. Even better, he is able to impart this information clearly and effectively to others. Each time I pick the book up I feel as though he is speaking directly to me. Also, Alan teaches in an aikikai style and I train in Yoshinkan.

Despite this difference, I find Doing Aikido to be very valuable. On how to do this or that technique, he gives excelent, clean, clear concise descriptions. Where I find the most valuable parts to be in the "tactical" area. Such as timing, ma ai and the like. Alan, lets the reader know the important of keeping relaxed in both body and mind. Then move!

Why do I think this is such a valuable book? Well, I am not certain about that. I can say that I think the Alan has limited Doing Aikido to specific areas (and in so doing allows valuable insights about living aikido each day, in real life). He does not try to cover each and every technique, cluttering up pages with "hand here, foot there" explanations. Rather, he goes to the essence of attack and technique.

I am a "noh" kyu with about 20 years experience. I can recommend this book, maybe not for someone who is very early in their on the mat aikido training, but for folks who are (reasonably) comfortable with ukemi it is or could be very valuable resource. I would like to thank Alan, for taking the time to write this book and share his years of training and experience with the rest of us.
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