I bought this book before I started Aikido and it was one of the reasons I started to practice. I think it's a good introduction to Aikido and the spirit in which it was invented and should be practised. The book contains chapters on O Sensei Morihei Uyeshiba's life, basic Aikido excercises, introduces terminology and 50 sample techniques from the point of view of the principles underlying them. Overall a great book!
This is a complete explanation of Aikido history, philosophy, techniques and ethics I've ever read. Untainted by modern interpretation as it is written under the supervision of the original founder of Aikido (O Sensei Morihei Uyeshiba), by Koichi Tohei, Chief instructor at the GHQ Arena of Aikido and holder of the world's highest rank in Aikido. A thoroughly ununtainted comprehensive guide, which will be of interest to all martial artists.
In this book, Tohei (the author and the first to receive his 10th Dan by the founder of Aikido) explains some of the key notes in aikido and also demonstrates some of the martial techniques as well. Aikido is a very different martial art, for the average karateka or other "hard" martial artist, the "combat" aspect of aikido may seem elusive, but reading this book should help clear that up. I recommend this book to all who wants a closer look at aikido and what it really is. This is a great book for the beginner, and good reference material.
A super book on Ki. K. Tohei's sensei is indeed a master of his art. It surprised me that he breaks away from O'Sensei's true synopsis of the art of Aikido. Shiohira Sensei's aikido philosophy makes more sense to the western mind. Jim McPhail yondan The Traditional Aikido and Budo Association