Aikido, lets look at one of the best aikido books on the market at the moment. Any aikido practitioner would benefit from this invaluable book. The book I am talking about is Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere by A Westbrook and O, Ratti. I will carry out a book review that will assist you in your decision before purchasing this book.
What is Aikido
well explained after completing the 1st couple of pages you will understand why aikido was practiced by so many and still a very large following in the martial arts world today. Develops, integration, and utilization of a persons powers, physical, and spiritual making this one of the great aikido book
A great defensive system against single or multiple attackers.
The energy system is mentioned and is explained as to where the energy comes from? the importance of fusion of mind and body.
The Strategy of neutralization, covering techniques’ and immobilization.
Benefits of the aikido training are detailed with explanations, this is a great insight as aikido is geared towards the individual and you train to your own abilities.
The Foundations of Aikido
Covering the founder and explanations of how aikido was founded, details of the founders previous martial arts and training.
There is also a great table of details, information on other Japanese martial arts and their influence this is normally not found in many aikido books.
This section covers the hierarchy with the aikido system, with a great section for beginners to help them understand what is to train in aikido and what to expected on their aikido journey, Covering all the ranks and grading information, uniform, sitting, bowing classes etc This is detailed more than most aikido books.
The Practice of Aikido
A system that philosophy of integration, of a blending of the attack and to master this you will need plenty of practice in Aikido. Aikido is a defensive art mostly needing an attack of some sort to carry out a technique as the defender uses the energy of the attacker to produce a technique. This is more detailed within those pages, making them easy to understand.
The Theory of attack covers information regarding being attacked and explaining the physical factors.
Dynamic factors: this is a great section getting into the aikido principles, Explaining speed, vertical stability and vertical mobility in regard to resistance from attacks. Then moves onto basic holds, blows and combinations as an aikido practitioner you will learn to defend against those.
There is much more interesting information in this section and the good thing is it is explained in simple terms this is one of the best aikido books.
The Theory of Defense
Again this section explains in very simple terms the theory covering solicitation, perception, reaction and evaluation.
The basic 4 principles of control are listed, and then covered in great detail over a number of pages for each one.
Centralization: lots of information regarding this subject to integrate into your training, the importance of being centered and how to remain centered during an attack.
Extension: This is in regard to the extension of Ki or energy throughout the body a very informative section, you may need to be read a couple of times to grasp the full amount of information within this section.
Leading Control: how to control an attack, this is a great section again the reader will need to be trained to a good level of aikido to fully understand, detailing how to take control and lead the attacker. To achieve this it will take time and practice to develop this wonderful aikido skill.
Sphericity: centralization and extension those are applied in techniques’ and is well explained in this section again this section is not for a beginner but the knowledge could be helpful for the future, plenty of information well laid out in great sections. This chapter has a load of information and for me is the best chapter. Anyone practices aikido would benefit from the information within this chapter.
The Physical Preparation
To get the best out of aikido it`s best to keep fit as you can this will also be good for your general health. Suppleness is needed and a number of preliminary exercises are detailed. Also, various turning exercises single and paired. You will also ensure you are able to fall out of throws. This means you will have to carry out forward and backward rolls etc. You will need to be proficient in fall in order to avoid any injuries.
The Posture and Motion of Defense
The main posture in Aikido is defensive and the motion is aimed at evasion,
The basic posture hanmi or ai hanmi is ideal for moving and changing direction very fast you will improve over time. As with all the sections there are great images which help the reader see exactly what is going on.
The Basic Techniques of Neutralization
This chapter covers many pages and covers many techniques, there is also an intro which covers various techniques’ centralization, neutralization, immobilization, projection and combinations.
Those techniques’ are predetermined patterns and are practiced over and over allowing the students many times to perfect those techniques’.
This section outlines the basic techniques’ and their names, showing various immobilization techniques’ and there are many.
The images are all hand drawn are fantastic showing the exact technique details step by step but I would not recommend you learn those from book. For confirmation of techniques’ Great! and reference purposes great!
Moving onto projection this is also a great section great images and detail showing many types of project example standing, kneeing, body, arms etc
This is a great book I have really enjoyed reading this book and completing this detailed review
From the beginning to the end this book provides great information and as a practitioner of aikido myself the information in this book is spot on. You learn all those things that sometimes in class you do not have the time to learn without disrupting the lesson.
This book is idea for beginners to advanced students it has something for everyone.
The information regarding the techniques’ are great but, for me the real information is in the first 7 Chapters which explain the whole aikido practice and theory in simple terms easy to understand.
I would recommend this book for anyone practices or looking to practice aikido
This is one of the best aikido books out there,
let me know your personal experiences with Aikido?
Train hard, focus and practice