Aikido Books Recommendations Thread

Konrad

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Greetings!

I am in a search for some great aikido books, and was wondering what are the members of this community reading in that regard. So what books about aikido and martial arts in general did you read? Which ones would you recommend and why?

The first one would obviously be The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba, but what else is worth-while reading in your opinion?
 

seasoned

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Look around for the book "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by A. Westbrook and O.Ratti............Great book with many Illustrations.
 

SuperFLY

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i havent read many aikido books but personally i can recommend this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Positive-Aiki...6688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321269125&sr=8-1

the illustrations arent always the clearest but there is a wealth of information available and a damn good read :)

my draw to this book was initially the fact it is written by the senior instructors that run the school i'm taught at. in fact my instructor is pictured a number of times in the book. (Sensei Andy Lyon)
 

Chris Li

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Depends what you're looking for in a book, and why. Most technique oriented books are of limited use outside of the particular style that you practice (they usually put me to sleep, anyway). "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" has great pictures - and a lot of mistaken information.

"The Art of Peace" has some interesting stuff, but you can't get to much of the meat without the original Japanese.

IMO - "Hidden in Plain Sight" ought to be required reading: http://www.edgework.info/buy.html

Best,

Chris
 

Aikikitty

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I really liked Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I'm partway through reading "Center: The Power of Aikido" by
Hiroshi Ikeda, Ron Meyer, Mark Reeder and so far it's been quite good.
:)
 

puunui

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I have a couple of hundred aikido books, and to me the best are those by Ueshiba Sensei and his family, or Tohei Sensei.
 

O'Malley

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Agreed that Hidden in plain sight by Ellis Amdur should be required reading. As well as many articles on Chris Li's Sangenkai blog. They helped me conceptualise Morihei Ueshiba's aikido with a coherence I haven't found anywhere else.

On technique, Total Aikido: The Master Course by Gozo Shioda is the best technical manual I've come across, and the Takemusu Aiki series by Morihiro Saito is the most complete. Tegatana: The Secret Weapon of Aikido by Eddy Wolput is a good technical read as well.

Atemi: the thunder and lightning of aikido by Walther Von Krenner is also thought-provoking and addresses a neglected aspect of the art, but it also includes an interesting chapter that connects back to the ideas in Amdur's book. Von Krenner's book on aikido ground techniques is also interesting, but with the caveat that it's not supposed to teach "proper" ground fighting but to show how aikidoka can use their existing skillset on the ground.

That's for the aikido books, but there are many other books from outside the art that I find interesting for aikidoka.
 

Taiji Rebel

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The Ellis Amdur books are essential reading materials for all aikidoka - if you have not read them yet, then what are you waiting for?
 

punisher73

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I really enjoyed "Invincible Warrior" which is a biography of Ueshiba. Also, "Budo" by Ueshiba.
 

O'Malley

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I really enjoyed "Invincible Warrior" which is a biography of Ueshiba. Also, "Budo" by Ueshiba.
Are you referring to the 1938 technical manual by Ueshiba, or the book "Budo" where Ueshiba's name is on the cover but was really written by John Stevens? (here's the latter: Amazon.it: Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido - Ueshiba, Morihei, Ueshiba, Kisshomaru - Libri )

The problem with John Stevens is that he takes many liberties in his translations, often influenced by his own views (and religion? IIRC he practices zen buddhism?). Among many concepts, the classic Chinese notion of "six directions" becomes "60 degrees angle of the feet", etc. He also tends to romanticise certain things.
 

O'Malley

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I have this book, I started reading it, but got sidetracked and have not gotten back to it. It was recommended to me, but at this point I cannot recommend it, since I have not read it... but I will throw it out there just incases anyone else wants to look into it

Searching for O-Sensei: Learning and Living the Wisdom of the Warrior

Ironically, Morihei Ueshiba hated zen but he's often referred to as "an inspiration" by people who are into it.

Edit: putting the source in for interested people: Interview with Henry Kono, direct student of Morihei Ueshiba
 
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punisher73

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Are you referring to the 1938 technical manual by Ueshiba, or the book "Budo" where Ueshiba's name is on the cover but was really written by John Stevens? (here's the latter: Amazon.it: Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido - Ueshiba, Morihei, Ueshiba, Kisshomaru - Libri )

The problem with John Stevens is that he takes many liberties in his translations, often influenced by his own views (and religion? IIRC he practices zen buddhism?). Among many concepts, the classic Chinese notion of "six directions" becomes "60 degrees angle of the feet", etc. He also tends to romanticise certain things.
Yes, but I should have included the worth of the book is to see the photos of Ueshiba performing the techniques. I didn't pay too much attention to the "religious" stuff in it. Students can see how Ueshiba used atemi in a lot of his techniques and his use of pressure points.
 

Taiji Rebel

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Aikido in America was very good, highlighting some prominent aikido pioneers in the US.
This book was a good read. It gave you different perspectives on the art

Another book I enjoyed reading back then was Women in Aikido by Andrea Seigel. Discovering how women felt about learning the art of aikido was really interesting. I suggested it to my old sensei but he refused to read it - unfortunately, he was trapped in a time-warp where women were still viewed as inferior to men
 
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