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Shifflett, Carol -- Aikido: Exercises for Teaching and Training
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 9.6
AikidoExercises_2ndEditionCover2Jun.jpg
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Description: From the Publisher:

The exercises contained in this book are based on hitori-waza, the simple building blocks that underlie the most spectacular Aikido throws. These are augmented with testing techniques, class demonstrations, and underlying phenomena.
Keywords: shifflett exercises ki
ISBN: 155643314X


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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: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Rating: 0 Author: Beate Kawelke
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Beate Kawelke

Carol Shifflett's second book covers the martial art of Aikido in a way I've never seen before. Most of the books I know deal with either the techniques or the philosophy, some try to cover both. Mostly, the technique books are lost on me because I'm not good at learning techniques from photographs - and the philosophy books are often very difficult to understand without guidance. But Carol's book talks of things I haven't found in any other place:

Ever thought about the physics of Aikido? Ever seen a collection of answers to those "silly" beginner's questions? Ever thought about "verbal Aikido"? And - ever gotten advice from people of various Aikido styles from all over the world? This book contains all this and much, much more.

It is like walking around a sculpture you already knew from pictures and finding out that it is three-dimensional and you can see it from angles you never thought of. Each topic, each question is not only presented in one way but with various approaches to help the reader gain a better understanding. Everyday experiences included in the book suddenly reveal a new sight on the principles of Aikido.

But what I like most about this book is that it approaches the art I love with a lot of humor without making fun of it. Thanks, Carol!!

Beate



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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: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Wiley Nelson
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Wiley Nelson

I received my copy of Carol's book earlier this month and read through it almost immediately, but I wanted to wait until I had time to digest it before writing a review.

Even though it has a light style, the book is dense with information. Her approach isn't the standard "Grab-here-push-there" martial arts instructional text. Neither is it a fluffy, feel good, visualize the white light and pretend the world is made of cotton candy book.

What does come through is a direct, vivid view of Aikido, with an almost childlike clarity and sense of wonder.

After a few years around dojos, there is a tendency to become jaded. To see only what you have seen before, and to instantly categorize whatever is presented to you.

By whatever means, Carol has never become jaded.

Reading her book, I was able to remember the first time I stepped into a dojo, the odd stiff feel of my first dogi, the smells and textures and body language of the dojo. Aspects that seem so commonplace now.

It has been said that all of the secrets of Aikido are presented to you in the first weeks of class.

Is there anything that can be more important, and more elusive than the razor sharp and bright awareness that was present when all of this was new?

The underlying theme throughout the book isn't the techniques, or the rituals of the dojo. It is about the "Do" of Aikido. Aikido as a path... a way of perceiving the world. A practice that isn't compartmentalized, but pervades business, social, physical, emotional, and yes...even spiritual interactions.

The quotes used in the book mainly came from the Aikido-L mailing list. The choices were well made. They present a picture of an art and a community that's passionate about what they do but are not overly self-impressed and serious.

The exercises are presented in a logical, concise manner. Since it is nearly impossible to adequately describe complex physical skills in written language, Carol has taken an alternate approach for many of the exercises -- she sets them up as experiments. She offers a basic set of parameters and then instructs the reader to listen to their body and let their body teach the most efficient and effective motions. I believe that if more teachers taught by this method, it would eliminate many of the classic "sticking points" that that frustrate new students.

There were some difficulties that occurred concerning the final editing and printing format of the book, and they have been discussed on the list. Overall I don't feel that they detract from the book any significant way.

Carol has created informative and enjoyable book that would be useful to any student of Aikido, whether they are a beginner or a seasoned teacher. It has an alive and crunchy feel, with all the texture and flaws and flavor of a close and trusted friend.

Wiley
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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: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Ian Dodkins
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Ian Dodkins

I've been doing aikido for around 13 years, and could say this is the first book I've seen that truly is for beginners AND instructors. It doesn't cover technqiues in detail. However it discusses the important parts of aikido better than I've seen in many books, body movement, mai-ai etc. Much of the book is taken up with clever and well thought out replies to common questions which really get to the heart of aikido. Also there are humorous little snippets which I'm sure you'll be reteling to you aikido friends.

I borrowed this book from a friend, but intend to buy it for the club because it is someething that people will always be delving in to for an entertaining and informative read.

There is one draw-back, which paradoxixally is also one of its benefits; the information comes from quite different styles of aikido and therefore there is bound to be something which you disagree with. However it is presented in an equitable way, thus allowing you to formulate your own decisions, and therefore be what all good aikido books should be - something that gently shows you how other people do aikido.

Lots of excercises and bits 'n bobs that I've never seen anywhere else. If you have tons of books on techniques, get this book because they'll be a lot of new stuff in it for you.

(I only gave it a 4 rating because I still have this ideal of the perfect aikido book, which just like my aikido, will never happen.)
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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: Tom Edmond
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Tom Edmond

I have not written reviews of many books but I just had to add my endorsement of this book.

The passion that I have for Aikido has grown through the years and has compelled me to acquire just about any book on the art. There are the picture books, the technique books, and the philosophy books which are all very good in their own right. However, I find myself constantly picking up this book for reference. No book or video can take the place of the experience of practicing Aikido but the good ones can be very good supplements. And, it also provides some excellent insights that can be used to try different approaches to teaching that can take many of us higher than our current plateau.

It has been one of the best investments of $20 that I've ever made!
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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: Gary Madore
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Gary Madore

This is the first book for which I've been moved to write a review.

I found Shifflett's work to be the very first successful 'all-in-one' books ever written for the martial ways. In it she presents valuable information for both the beginner and the beginning instructor. In fact, when one considers that even seasoned instructors may need reminding of that which is important to the beginner, this book indeed has something for all of us.

"Aikido: Exercises for Teaching and Training" presents the reader with answers to frequently asked questions, physics lessons, myth-busting, some "how-to", and even some Aikido for everyday life. This information is drawn from many styles and so some may find some concepts foreign (Ki Testing, for example) but that is part of the beauty: It's non partisan, plain ol' Aikido, and it's presented in an easy to read, light-hearted manner.

Interspersed among the pearls of Shifflet's aiki-wisdom I found many contributions from the denziens of the Aikido-L mailing list, a veritable who's-who of Aikido knowledge. These quips and quotes are worth the cover price themselves.

I unreservedly recommend this book both as an invaluable aid for the beginner and as a worthwhile addition to anybody's Aikido library. It has earned a permanent place in my bedside table.
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RobertFortune


Registered: November 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 36
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Provides beginners with details on Aikido - how to act in dojo, philosophy, practical how to advice outside dojo.
Cons: A little too much on beginner\\\'s questions. Wish there was more on specific exercises and suggested training regimens.

If you are new to Aikido or considering taking up Aikido and want to buy only one book you canh\'t go wrong buying this one. It\'s perfect for the beginner who wants to get their toes wet on the subject yet feel they have a good idea of what to expect and how to act their first time in an Aikido dojo. The other information contained in the book is all extras (and there\'s plenty of additional information on the Art of Aikido in this little book)l. Buy it!
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Linda Eskin


Registered: May 2009
Location: San Diego County, California
Posts: 325
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Clear, friendly, readable, and practical.
Cons: None.

I am lucky to have stumbled onto this book just as I am taking my first Aikido classes. It is a tremendously valuable resource, and I'm grateful to have it. It answers all the basic questions (how on earth am I supposed to tie this belt, and what is that they are saying at the start of class?), and opens up vast areas for additional exploration (verbal self-defense, how we learn, etc.).

The information on exercises, stretches, and injuries has been a great help. I would find learning techniques from any book alone difficult, but it's great to be able to look them up, learn a bit more about them, and confirm (or correct) what I thought I remembered from class.

There is lot of detail and depth. I expect I will still find new things to learn from this book even years from now.

------------------------------
Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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