Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn more Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars75
4.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 5 November 2003
I have the hard-back edition of this book and it helped me get to grips with Aikido when I went back training in the art after a few years away from training. I had started training when in college but couldn't get my head around the mind-set of Aikido (i had trained previously in Karate) and as a result found it hard to 'stick with it'. When I found this book, everything clicked into place and I understood (better if not completely)the basic physical and mechanical principles of the techniques and also a whole lot more about the underlying philosphy of the art and of O'Sensei.
This helped me pick my next teacher well and his teaching style has me running to this book every so often to highlight key points and scribble in the margins. My only gripe is that some of the line drawings (very beautifully done) and diagrams are a little hard to follow, but having the technique applied to me/applying the technique to my training partner for real soon helped me to figure out which way was up.
DO NOT rely on this book to teach you Aikido. To learn Aikido (and any MA for that reason) you need a competent, qualified teacher who understands and has a passion for what they are teaching and aren't just going through the motions in a McDojo to pay the mortgage. DO rely on this book to supplement your experiences and learning in an Aikido. Works for me guv.
11 comment|38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 October 2001
This is a superb reference book, focusing mainly on the core forms: holds, attacks and projections that beginners and intermediates will find continuously useful. A good account is given on the background philosophy of O'Sensei, and the representation of the "dynamic sphere" (often a difficult area to broach with beginners).
I highly recommend this text to any students of Aikido as an accompaniment to your formal training.
0Comment|20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 August 1996
The world of martial arts can often be confusing. There is
a spiritual aspect that is often hinted at, but when the
practice invloves techniques for bone-breaking and face
Then there's Aikido. And the quality of this book in explaining
the concepts of attack, the sphere of defense and the
philosophical standpoint of Aikido is impressive.
It goes beyond just Aikido and provides a deep understanding
of what a martial art can be (not just crunchy-bones!).
However, Aikido is obviously what it addresses and it does
so amazingly well. It's worth the price for Part V alone!
To has excellent inllustrations, and is printed
on high-quality paper that smells good!
ooooo----you should buy this book.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 May 1998
I have read more than 10 books and read countless articles on the martial art of aikido, and this book was by far the best one. The philosophy of aikido clearly comes through and gives the reader more than just technical information on various techniques. Great illustrations too. While the drawings aren't as easy to follow as photos or video, they are profuse, with over 100 different techniques illustrated.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 July 2005
Not your run-of-the-mill martial arts book. Thoughtfuly and intelligently put together.It is almost impossible to put such a volume together without including some form of instruction, but normally I would advise against it, as the subtleties of execution cannot be appreciated in a few line drawings. Nevertheless, the authors give it a good shot.
In some ways I feel the book is a little too pseudo-philosophical, but the sense of the spiritual inherent in aikido is adequtely conveyed. Well worth a read as an expert or aspirant
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2002
Every once in a while I happen upon a book which opens up new horizons for me. Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere is one such book(along with Mas Oyama's This Is Karate).
Westbrook & Ratti's thoughtful and intelligent text explains the rationale behind one of the most effective yet graceful of the martial arts, the theory of sphericity of movement and its application in neutralizing and redirecting the force of an opponants attack is superbly illustrated through the hundreds of line drawings. In fact I found the drawings easier to follow in explaining the techniques and clarifying the text than in many more recent photographically illustrated martial arts books.
Aikido & the Dynamic Sphere belongs on your martial arts bookshelf. But don't leave it there, study it!!!
0Comment|19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 March 2009
I recently started Aikido practice and was looking for a book to improve my effectiveness at "homework" and understand the context and philosophy a bit better. After all, class is mostly non-verbal, and for beginners, the new techniques can be a real physical puzzle.

This book is an excellent introductory text that covers history, philosophy, etiquette and core techniques in a very accessible way. The chapter structure is clear, and there is a good balance between text and illustrations. Out of a number of books I purchased on this subject, at this stage in my Aikido life, I think this is the most useful. Strongly recommended.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 August 2001
A Classic. This book is worth its price just for the line drawings alone! I do not practice Aikido but it still has a place of honour on my bookshelf from which it comes down frequently. As other reviewers have said it is an ideal first book for Aikidoka but I can recommend it wholeheartedly to Jiu Jitsuka, Tai-jutsuka, Tai-chi Chuan and Pa-kua students. As Terry O'Neill used to say in his Fighting Arts magazine 'On the bookshelf this book sell's itself - buy it - you won't be disappointed...'
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 June 1998
This is one of the books you will keep referring to as long as aikido is in your life. It is as pertinent to me today as when I bought it in 1976. The illustrations are clear and much easier to follow than many books with photographs. The text takes you from beginner basics to advanced techniques. I wish the authors would collaborate on a new book giving us the benifit of their 30+ years of experience.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
`Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere' is one of the better Aikido books out there and the one recommended to me by my Sensei when I first started this martial art. It has extensive illustrations that show each technique clearly and that manage to show motions of force and movement, something photography never seems to achieve, no matter how good. This book looks at explanations of Aikido, it's history and ethics, organizations, the theory of practise and defence, warming up and preparing for training, posture and motion, basic and advanced techniques and it also has an extensive glossary. The writing is clear to understand and completely engaging and the illustrations add to the text whether they are describing a technique or not. My one minor gripe is that the techniques are labelled `Immobilization No: x against attack No: y', although you know what the immobilization is as that is what's being described in that particular section, it is harder to remember what all the attacks are. It would be good if they added the actual Aikido terms beneath the label so that you know exactly what attack and technique are being demonstrated and also so you can learn the terms for use in the dojo. This is a minor point and one that would improve on an already superb package. This is a good introduction to this beautiful and effective martial art, with clear descriptions and diagrams and it would make a worthy addition to an Aikido book shelf. Well worth a look.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)