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Taylor, Michael W. -- Aikido Terminology: An Essential Reference Tool In Both English and Japanes
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No recommendations None indicated 6.0


Description: From the author/publisher: An Essential Reference Tool In Both English and Japanese, is the most comprehensive Aikido Terminology book currently in existence. It includes a description of all fundamental Aikido terms, the Japanese kanji characters as used in Aikido, their meaning, a phonetic guide and cross-reference to a kanji guidebook for those who wish to study further. The body of text is conveniently broken down into logical categories: stances, grasps, strikes, falls & rolls, fundamental techniques, various Aikido actions, body parts, weapons, Aiki-wear, ranks, special training and miscellaneous items. Most importantly, all terms are quickly and conveniently referenced by two complete indexes located at the end of the book. The result is the most useful Aikido Terminology book on the market. It is an indispensable tool for all practitioners of Aikido. Enjoy.
Keywords: Michael W. Taylor
ISBN: 1-4116-1846-7

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Registered: October 2015
Posts: 65
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Lists the Kanji, Hiragana (as furigana), Romaji, English pronunciation, and English definition of 138 Aikido related terms. Terminology is divided into topical "chapters". Has two quick indexes at the back of the book.
Cons: 138 terms is actually fairly limited. Alternate terms from Aikido lineages other than the Author's are not listed. English pronunciations are the author's creation, and use no academic standard, and seem particular to his own dialect/accent of English. De

This book offers a total of 138 Aikido terms, organized by topic, with two lookup tables (one sorted by Japanese Romaji, the other sorted by English) at the back. Each "chapter" of the book is a collection of Aikido terminology on a given topic. Each term lists it's Kanji, with the Hiragana for each Kanji (furigana), Romaji spelling, English pronunciation, and English definition. Compound words are further broken down by their components, with the components listed by their "dictionary forms"; this can be confusing at times, especially to a reader new to the Japanese language, as the word ending frequently changes, and in some cases the reading is entirely different, with no further explanation by the author.

The author's selection of terms appears to also be restricted to his particular lineage of Aikido, without offering alternate terminology for other lineages. For example: all of the opening attacks that are grabs/holds use the term mochi without an alternative of tori / -dori being listed, the same occurs with tori in favor of nage / shite (in reference to partner roles).

There are other parts of the book that are more confusing than helpful:
1. When Hiragana is used inline with Kanji (that is, Okurigana), the author inserts parenthesis into the Romaji spelling
2. The Romaji spellings are neither Hepburn form (using macrons: ō), nor modern form (using u for hiragana う: ou), but instead uses a dash following a long vowel (like Katakana). The additional problem is that the author already uses dashes as syllable/moro breaks in the Romaji.
3. The author's English pronunciation note seem to be his own scheme, with no academic basis. At times, it also seems particular to his own dialect/accent of English
4. The author's definitions of some terms are restricted to his dojo's implementation of that term. (Example: randori is defined as "round robin" and does not reference a freestyle and/or multiple-opponent attacks)

There are two index/lookup tables at the back of the book, one listed alphabetical by Romaji and the other alphabetical by the author's definition.

Verdict: while this could be a good reference guide for an Aikido student who is already somewhat familiar with Japanese, the relatively small number or terms covered prevents it from being a comprehensive desk reference for those who are experienced in Aikido and/or Japanese, while the author's unusual conventions prevent it from being a good guidebook for the novice.
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