This book review is complied by Sensei Henry Lynch, Head of Riai Aikido and Chief Instructor of Auckland Riai Aikido Learning Centre, NZ and is designed to help people deciding on what book is for them! Obviously, the books have been read over a long period of time and in Sensei Henry’s own words “your view of a book changes as your Aikido changes”. As at October 2011, 64 books books had been reviewed and the “Book Review” section of the Riai Aikido website is updated on a regular basis.

5 Star | 4 Star | 3 Star | 2 Star | 1 Star

5 Star Top

***** 5 Star Reviews

Arts of Strength, Arts of Serenity: Nicklaus Suino. Weatherhill, 1996
This book also has appendixes that cover eight identical texts (8 books that the author recommends). Annotated bibliography (books that the author recommends to martial art students – there are 29), Budo Periodicals (obviously a bit out of date now) and Budo Organisations.
A well thought through book that covers training the body, the mind and also 3 martial virtues namely, strength, courage and loyalty.
A quote in the book from KARL W SCOTT III, Karate and Aikido instructor on the essentials for any important task sums up the book and its contents “Right place, Right time, Right frame of mind”.
The Philosophy of Aikido: John Stevens. Kodansha International, 2001
The book has a foreword from Moriteru Ueshiba, Aikido Doshu, and is divided into 2 parts. Part one theory and part two practice.
The theory section covers 5 key areas namely:
1. Essential principles
2. Aikido nature and health
3. Aikido as tantra
4. Aikido and art
5. Aikido and Global Society
The book has crisp photography with extremely good linkage of Aikido photos to other cultures and religions. Whilst it is a small book; only 131 pages it does give a “different view” of Aikido.
Remembering O’Sensei, Living and training with Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido: edited by Susan Perry with a foreword by Moriteru Ueshiba. Shambhala, 2002
The book has a foreword by Moriteru Ueshiba, Aikido Doshu. The book is a collection of stories about O’Sensei basically taken from interviews over 15 years.
The introduction from Susan Perry makes a very good point:
“O’Sensei’s lessons were not always the same for every student. Instead he matched his lessons to what he preserved as a student’s interests and abilities. Accordingly, his live-in students as well as students who trained more briefly under his authority came away with different perspectives of the art and different stories about their teacher”.
There are 31 contributions to this book some of them are:
Seiseki Abe, Kenshiro Abe, Ken Cottier, Terry Dobson, Robert Frager, Mary Heiny, Robert Nadeau, Morihiro Saito, Mitsugi Saotome, Moriterau Ueshiba and Yoshimitsu Yamada.
This is a unique book as the 31 contributors provide snapshots of their training with O’Sensei, their off the mat interactions with him and their observations of his daily life.
The Tao of Bruce Lee: Davis Miller. Vintage, 2000
Budo training in Aikido: Morihei Ueshiba - translated into English by Larry E Bieri. Sugawara Martial Arts Institute Inc, 1997
Total Aikido the Master Course: Gozo Shioda with Yasuhisa Shioda. Kodanshia International, 1996
The Secrets of Police Aikido: Bill Sosa. Citadel Press Book, 1997
Aikido and the New Warrior: edited by Richard Strozzi Heikler. North Atlantic Books, 1985
Aikido for Life: Homma Gaku. North Atlantic Books, 1990
Aikido in Three Easy Lessons – The Power of Harmony. The Performance Edge: Richard Moon.
The Shambhala Guide to Aikido: John Stevens. Boston and London, 1996
Marital Arts Teachers and Teaching: Carol A. Wiley
Tales of Jord’s Storage – Unit Aikido: Rudy Higgens-Evendon with cartoons by Philippe Martin. Arete Press 2000
4 Books for Young People by Terence Webster-Doyle with illustrations by Rod Cameron. Atrium Society Publications, 1988, 1991 and 1992
Eye of the HurricaneWhy is Everybody always Picking on Me
Maze of the Fire DragonFacing the Double-Edged Sword
Angry White Pyjamas: Robert Twigger. Indigo 1997
The Pyjama Game – A Journey into Judo: Mark Law. Atrium Press Ltd, 2007
Mishima’s Sword: Christopher Ross. Fourth Estate, 2006
The Way of Aikido- Life Lessons from an American Sensei. George Leonard, Dutton, 1999
Martial Arts Instruction – Applying Educational Theory and Communication Techniques in the Dojo: Lawrence A. Kane. Ymaa Publication Centre, Inc, 1997
Children of the Martial Arts – An Aikido Point of View: Gaku Homma. North Atlantic Books, 1993
A Dictionary of the Martial Arts: Louis Frederic. Translator and editor Paul Crompton. Charles E Tuttle Company Inc., 1998
Aikido Exercises for teaching and training: C.M. Shifflett. Round Earth Publishing, 1999
Ki in Aikido – A sampler of Ki exercises: C.M. Shifflett. Round Earth Publishing, 1997
Progressive Aikido – The Essential Elements: Moriteru Ueshiba, Translated by John Stevens. Kodansha International, 2005
The Art of Holding – Principles and Techniques: Marc Tedeschi: Weatherhill. 2001
Centre: The Power of Aikido: Ron Meyer and Mark Reeder. Frog Ltd, 2000
Jo: Art of the Japanese Short Stuff: Dave Lowry. Ohara Publications Inc, 1987
Aikido for Self Discovery: Stan Wrobel, PHD. Llewellyn Publications, 2001

4 Star Top

**** 4 Star Reviews

The Book of the Samurai-Hagakure: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - translated by William Scott Wilson. Kodunsha International, 1979
Mind over Matter – Facts and Feats Beyond the Bounds of Nature: Glen Barclay. Native Pan Books Ltd, 1956
The Aikido Student Handbook: Greg O’Connor. Frog Ltd, 2003
Aikido – Its Heart and Appearance: Morihiro Saito. Minato, Tokyo 1975
The Essence of Aikido: Bill Sosa and Bryan Robbins.Unique Publications, 1987
Aikido in Daily Life: Koichi Tohei. Rikugei Publishing House, Tokyo 1972
How to Develop Ki (Co-ordination of Mind and Body): Koichi Tohei. Ki No Kenkyukai H.Q., 1974
Budo, Teachings of the Founder of Aikido: Kisshomaru Ueshiba.Kodansha, Tokyo 1974
Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti. Reed, Sydney 1969
Ultimate Aikido – Secrets of Self Defence and Inner Power: Yoshimitsu Yamana with Steven Pinsler. Carol Publishing Group, 1994
Zen Combat: Jay Gluck. Personally Orientated books, 1962
American Shaolin: Matthew Polly. Gothan Books, 2007
The book of Martial Power – The universal guide to the Combative Arts: Steven J. Pearlman. The Overlook Press, 2006
Aikido Talks – Conversations with American Aikidoists: Susan Perry and Ronald Rubin. Arete Press, 2001
Sumo from Rite to Sport: P L Cuyler. John Weatherhill Inc, 1979

3 Star Top

*** 3 Star Reviews

The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts, The Classic Chinese guide for success in war, business, and life by Hiroshi Moriya: Forward and translation by William Scott Wilson. Kodansha International, 2004
Beyond the Known, The Ultimate Goal of the Martial Arts: Tri Thong Dang. Charles E Tuttle Company, 1993
Teaching Martial Arts, The Way of the Master: Sang H Kim, PHD. Thristle Press, 1997
Ah…. To be a Kid: Michael Friedl. Gandel Printing Centre Inc., 1994
This is Kendo – The Art of Japanese Fencing: J Sasamori and G Warner. Charles C Tuttle Company, 1974
The Samurai: H Paul Varley with Ivan Morris and Nobuko. Penguin Books Ltd, 1974
The Spirit of Aikido: Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Kodansha, Tokyo, 1984
Bruce Lee and Me – A Martial Arts Adventure: Brian Preston. Atlantic Books, 2007
The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens. Shambhala Publications, 1992
Leadership Aikido – 6 business practices to turn around your life: John O’Neil. Harmony Books, 1997
Tuttle Dictionary of the Martial Arts of Korea, China and Japan: Sun-Jin Kim, Daniel Kogan, Nikolaos Kontogiannis and Hali Wong. Charles E Tuttle Company, 1995
Martial Arts of the Orient: Edited by Bryn Williams. Hamlyn 1975
Manual of Judo: E J Harrison. W.Foulsham & Co Ltd, 1952
Junior Judo: E J Harrison. W.Foulsham & Co Ltd undated but probably in the 1950’s

2 Star Top

** 2 Star Reviews

Japanese Finger-Pressure Therapy: Tokujiro Namikoshi. Japan Publications Inc., 1974
The Martial Arts Source Book: John Corcoran. Harper Perennial, 1994
Martial Arts: P T J Rance. Virgin Books, 2005

1 Star Top

* 1 Star Reviews

Aikido and Holds and Locks: Bruce Tegner. Corgi Books, Londarn 1970

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