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Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu (Kodansha) -- Progressive Aikido: The Essential Elements
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.0
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Description: John Stevens translation of Doshu's "Aikido Jotatsu"
ISBN: 4770021720


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crbateman


Registered: April 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1447
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: layout, format, ease of use
Cons: none in particular

This book is a new John Stevens translation of the earlier Japanese-language book “Aikido Jotatsu”. It follows two other Kodansha publications by the same author, \"Best Aikido” and “The Aikido Master Course”. The new book is well formatted, and profusely illustrated with black/white photos.

This book hearkens back to the fundamentals, with clear descriptions of breakfalls, stances, shikko (knee-walking), body movement and breath power. Of particular note here is that Doshu’s categorization of movements includes a description of “tenshin” (sweeping turn) right up there alongside “irimi” and “tenkan”.

The book is basically technical in nature, but throughout there are explanations of principles, and many emphasized, or amplified, thoughts (identified as “points” in the text) which represent keys to the proper execution of the techniques being discussed. These points are highlighted by bold text and printed in text boxes, making them easy to get to in a glance. It’s a very nice format, and brings the text closer to providing the pointers one might actually receive in the dojo from the instructor.

The book includes a discussion of “ki” and unification of mind and body. Although brief, it will seem remarkably “Tohei-esque” to the reader. There is coverage of the author’s views on absorbing training on the basic level, variations of techniques, and the process of progressing into more advanced training. There are tanto-dori techniques, but no other mention of weapons work, so buki-waza people will have to get their fix elsewhere. Techniques are named only in the Japanese vernacular, without English translation, but you should not have a problem if you are an anglophile with even basic experience in Aikido.

In summary, although there is no new, groundbreaking information here, the book is an easy read, and there is a lot of beneficial material, presented in an excellent format. This book would make a good addition to any Aikido library, regardless of your particular style. The “traditionalists” will also say there is always a little extra weight given to those teachings which come “direct from the source” (sort of). Recommended. (Availability is good, even a little ahead of the official Jan.’06 release date.)
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