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on 17 March 1999
This is the worst book on Aikido I have seen to date. Most of the techniques are plain dumb and dangerous. They author is supposedly a 10th degree master (of his own style) yet looking at the techniques he shows, I must say that most 4th Kyus could better than him.
The author also claims to be a 3rd degree black belt in Yoseikan Aikido. Oddly enough, nobody at the International Yoseikan Budo Federation has heard of him and he hasn't been seen at the Yoseikan dojo in Japan either.
I bought this book as it showed (apparently) some Yoseikan Aikido techniques. I should have checked it out first, as this is a complete misconception of Yoseikan Aikido. This book is not Yoseikan Aikido or any other Aikido for that matter (other than BAD aikido). Plese don't judge Yoseikan Aikido on the basis of this book, it is entirely different! Tejitsu Aikido (this is what the author's style is called) is very dangerous, for the person using it!
The Grand master is a fake.
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on 5 June 1998
First let me qualify my opinion of this book by saying that I am a forth dan student of Saito Morihiro Sensei. Upon seeing this book I was disappointed that any publisher had touched it. It is yet another of those books, produced by someone of limited skill, doing little more than depleting the World's forests. The techniques illustrated are ineffectual and clumsy, as is the explaination of them. It tires me to say more than please do not reward the author's self promotion and pretention by giving him your money.
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on 16 April 1999
The stiff, ineffectual techniques shown in this book, only faintly resemble aikido and miss the entire art of real aikido: fluidity. I returned the book under the premise of "false advertising" and do not recommend it to anyone.
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on 5 March 1999
This book not only striped me of the 15.95 sticker price, it also got me jumped. After reading the so-called grand-master book, I practiced the techniques on my friend. They seemed to work(on him). Later that week at a concert, a few loud mouth drunks started harassing my wife. Having the confidence to physicaly stop them, I atempted a simple wrist-lock. I was stiffed by the larger assilant and thrown to the groud. Soon I was pounded upon by him and his buddies while my wife ran for security. Needless to say I spent the rest of the concert in the back of an ambulence. To top it off, the police could do nothing because there were witnesses saying I attacked first!
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on 27 March 1998
The author of this book is a self proclaimed "grandmaster" who purportedly invented his own style of aikido. It is apparent from reading the description that the author actually possesses a limited knowledge of aikido techniques. And it is obvious from the photographs that neither the attacker nor the defender know what they are doing. The attackers who attempt to punch or kick look like they are off the street and have never thrown a punch or kick in their lives. The people executing the techniques do not exhibit the attributes of successful or skilled practitioners. Their stances appear stiff and awkward, their distance is incorrect for effective technique and there is no imbalancing of the attackers necessary for a successful execution. The sequences or photographs are ofter useless for following a description. For example a sequence showing a ikkyo-like defense against a straight punch shows 3 weak punches by a less-then-sincere attacker, and next shows the completing of the immobolization. How did he get there? The reader really can't tell. The description is general and rather vague and the photographs show the attack and the final form - nothing in between. Consequently the book has an artificial quality to it as if written by someone trying to explain a subject they know very little about all the while trying to convice the unwary they are an expert. Certainly a true "grandmaster" would be able to demonstrate techniques at a high level of proficiency or at least recognize a correct technique when he sees it. The martial arts is a largely unregulated buisness with its share of ...instructors and schools. Prospective students are usually not knowledgeable enough to judge a competent intstructor and need to be cautious to avoid decepetion. As an aikido instructor I am not impressed. I will tell my students that this book is just plain terrible and a waste of time.
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on 19 November 1998
The founder of aikido said, "The true secret of aikido is to cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things." This book shows none of this and is merely a manual for those who wish to learn how to break arms and apply painful locks. If it was a book on jiu-jitsu or some such art where these were the aims then it would be acceptable enough. It is, however, very unfortunate that the authors have sought to misrepresent this macho rubbish as aikido.
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on 24 March 1998
One of the _worst_ books on aikido I have ever seen. Books like this make aikido seem like a joke.
The author "Grandmaster" Gary Bennet supposedly holds a "10th degree black belt," one that I can say was _not_ commisioned by the International Aikido Federation in Japan -- most likely given to himself (or by some random person off the street) to inflate his otherwise apparent inexperience in the martial arts.
The techniques shown in the book are shoddy, sloppy, ineffectual, and plainly wrong. The author, supposedly a grandmaster, only shows us how to lift weights and punch and block, leaving the bulk of the "aikido" techniques to his white belts (beginners) to demonstrate. Strange.
I wouldn't recommend this book to _anyone_ who is interested in aikido, even if I were paid $10 per book.
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on 1 September 2002
the techniques demonstrated in this book don't seem to convey any sense of movement or most importantly evasion during the life of any of the techniques shown. Most of the other principles of Aikido you would expect to see aren't much in evidence either. This book may well have value to practitioners of the Author's own style (after all they get to see the whole thing in motion whereas we have only this book to go by) but for the rest of us who practice in other styles this book has little or nothing to offer.
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on 16 February 1999
This is a perfect source of information for martial artists or just regular people who want to learn how to effectivly neutralize an attack.
For myself, I found it to be a perfect guide for what I was looking for - an effective way to end a fight, without having to kill or knock your opponent out. This is ideal for any street situation where you would have to use justifiable force. And you have to admit that it is pretty hard to justify yourself when your attacker is lying unconcious in a pool of blood on the street after an unarmed attack.
Anyways, it is perfect for the person who wants to just hack away at the unessentials and learn the skill, without having to get in too deep into the philosophy and history of Aikido. This is not to say that the history and philosophy is not important, because it is, and the book does touch on these aspects. But what the book does not do is hammer spiritual this and spiritual that, into the reader so that he drifts further and further from the true essence of the martial arts. Which is what I find unique and enjoy.
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