Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge Paperback – 1 Mar 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
If you do Tomiki Aikido and you want a book on the subject get this one. If you don't do Tomiki's aikido and want a book on Aikido you may find the ideas contained here stimulate thought and the many photographs show very high class technique and not just by uke! Pity they are not BIGGER.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The reality is that aikido is a powerful martial art that requires intelligence, commitment and discipline to master. It can be devastatingly powerful even while remaining true to the goal of being a purely self-defensive martial art whose goal is not to inflict mortal or permanent injury. This book is a stirling example of how it can be done right: the book as well as the martial art.
Aikido : Tradition and the Competitive Edge by Fumiaki Shishida
and Tetsuro Nariyama is a rare treat, for it provides a depth of historical background and a detailed analysis of techniques that is -- in my opinion -- unequalled in any other book about aikido. The history is precise and pithy. It does not waste our time with irrelevant and unverifiable supposition. It gives us the facts, and only the facts.
The true meat of the book is in the description of a comprehensive training methodology that takes us from the basic warm-up, through the core techniques (waza), to advanced techniques and kata. The book explains in a delightfully logical and easy-to-grasp manner the basic skills that underpin all aikido, and then analyzes them in context: (1) techniques against grasps and (2) techniques against punches and kicks. Those are the types of attacks we can expect, and that's the type of analysis we deserve.
Finally, the book explains how aikido -- which is purely self-defensive in nature -- can also be practiced in a competitive setting to improve tremendously the actual effectiveness of this beautiful martial art. The point that comes across so well is that the purpose of the competition is not to win or lose but rather to improve everyone's level of ability.
All in all, I recommend this book without reservation to anyone interested in martial arts generally or aikido specifically.
With the excellent history of aikido and daito-ryu the book goes on further in explaining the basis and aikido techniques independently of any style, although it is based on Tomiki aikido strong and modern methodology.
What I like is sorting of techniques by attack which helps in understanding aikido in its self defense aspect.
Explanation of aikido practice - without resistance, with moderate resistance and with full resistance gives insight into Tomiki's way of thinking and opens the mind to this way of practising aikido ( which I personnally prefer ).
Really worth of buying and studying !
The chapters on the histories of aikido and Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu were very informing. I also liked all the photos and descriptions of kihon waza, because shodokan has some techniques I have not encountered in my style. In other cases, the techniques are the same but the names are different.
I completely agree with the authors on the necessity of randori in aikido for it to be considered a gendai budo. The competitive aspect of Tomiki-ryu probably makes one's aikido more realistic for self-defense purposes.