October 2022 Book Survey Part 2
Welcome to the October 2022 book survey, part two. I decided to break this month's survey into three posts.
In October 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan. My last post described the first batch of books. This post describes 8 more books. The next post will describe the last batch. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Moriteru Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens, 1997/2002
My copy of Best Aikido: The Fundamentals is a Kodansha black and white hardcover measuring 7 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches, with 173 pages. The authors are the son and grandson of the founder and the Aikikai Foundation authorized the publication. The idea behind this book seems to be as an "official" introduction to Aikido.
The book begins with six pages of questions and answers, which is unusual in any book. Next we read material on basic techniques, including ukemi or breakfalls. The early photos show practitioners in gis, which make following footwork easier. The pictures are too small at times.
Best Aikido 2: The Aikido Master Course, Moriteru Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens, 2001/2003
Best Aikido 2 is obviously the sequel to the previous title. The founder's son passed away in 1999, after the first title was published in Japanese. This book shares the same size and format as the first title but has more pages, with 208.
This edition includes an introduction, throws, throws and pinning combinations, weapon disarms, multiple attackers, and the origin and development of Aikido. Again, some of the photos appear too small, and details are missing due to the photography choices. Like the previous title, it's best used as a reference for readers already familiar with the material.
Total Aikido: The Master Course, Gozo Shioda and Yasuhisa Shioda, translated by David Rubens, 1996/2012
Total Aikido: The Master Course is another Kodansha book in the same format as the previous two, offering 206 pages. This book is a sequel to the 1977 title Dynamic Aikido. However, readers will enjoy improved presentation of the material. The photographs sometimes offer overhead views, zoom-ins, drawings, and other details to better communicate the techniques.
This book offers sections on principles, Tai Sabaki (body movement), Kihon Waza (basic technique), Goshin Waza (self defense -- only 11 pages) and Ogi (hidden techniques -- only 7 pages). The hidden technique section seems to depict ukes doing a lot of "falling down for sensei" maneuvers.
Progressive Aikido: The Essential Elements, Moriteru Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens, 2005/2012
Progressive Aikido: The Essential Elements is similar to the previous three titles, although it is 1/4 inch wider at 7 3/4 inches. This book offers 196 pages and emphasizes "mastering the basics" in six chapters. It shares similar presentation elements with the previous book by sensei Shioda.
Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, introduction by Kisshomru Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens, 1991/2013
Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido is another Kodansha title, although this one measures 7 1/4 inches by 10 3/16 inches and provides 131 pages in a paperback with an unusual heavy dust jacket. This book is based on a private instruction manual written in 1938. That content occupies pages 25-72.
The text claims that it is the "only instruction manual for which Morihei himself actually posed for the photographs illustrating the techniques."
The second main part of the book includes the "Nama Dojo Techniques" on pages 73-131.
I recommend this book due to the unique content and quality presentation, as it serves as a primary source concerning the founder's Aikido.
Budo Training in Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, translated by Larry E. Bieri and Seiko Mabuchi, 1997/2002
Budo Training in Aikido is another unique title featuring the founder's content. My copy is a second printing with a copyright assigned to the founder's son Kisshomaru. It measures 7 3/16 inches by 10 inches and is a black and white paperback published by the Sugawara Martial Arts Institute.
This is the first of two books by the founder, originally titled Budo Renshu (budo training), published in 1933. The book states it is a "transcription of lectures and explanations which was later reviewed by the founder and approved as a teacher's manual." It was later published as Aikijujutsu Ogi (secrets).
The technical illustrations and explanations include simple yet artistic line drawings. This is a pretty cool piece of history that I recommend pairing with the previous title.
Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Larry E. Bieri, 1985
My copy of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba is a black and white paperback measuring 7 inches by 10 inches with 190 pages. It is an English "revised translation" of two earlier books, Aikido and Aikido Giho. The first was apparently the "first English book to introduce Aikido to the world," published in 1957.
For this edition, Larry E. Bieri "completely revised and rewrote the text," such that readers might consider it a "second edition." Techniques occupy pages 17-144, followed by a history section and appendix.
Most of the photographs in this book are too small. It's an interesting snapshot of Aikido in 1957.
Aikido's Hidden Ground Techniques, Jose Andrade and David Numeroff, 2018
My copy of Aikido's Hidden Ground Techniques is a black and white paperback print on demand edition measuring 8 inches by 10 inches. There's also a color version for double the price and a DVD. Mr. Andrade (born 1953) is the founder of "Mukei No Ryu Aikido," and this book is mainly about that system. The author claims that the "newaza [ground techniques] demonstrated in this text is a natural extension of aikido's core set of techniques."
In other words, it's not really about ground techniques in Aikido, but the author's integration of ground techniques into his Aikido. I'm fine with that, and I applaud the authors' extension into this area.