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Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated Introduction Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated Introduction + The Art of Peace: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido + The Aikido Student Handbook: A Guide to the Philosophy, Spirit, Etiquette and Training Methods of Aikido
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Product Details

  • Series: Tuttle Martial Arts
  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; New edition edition (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804832846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804832847
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"…one of the best books on Aikido on the market. Not only for the beginner, but for the advanced practitioner. It's well respected by most people in Aikido. If you're looking for a good, in-depth book, this is the one you'll want."—RyukyuBooks.com

"…an outstanding introduction to the art of Aikido. Anyone starting out in aikido would do well to buy this book, read the beginning chapters of it and then review it from time to time. Great book!"—AikidoJournal.com

"If you are a student of Aikido, this book should definitely be in your library. If you're not a student of Aikido, this book can still be a useful way to familiarize yourself with the art on a theoretical level. It's also an interesting resource for anyone who wants to do some serious thinking about their martial art. Anyone who has ambitions to write a book on their own martial art should read this one; this is how an art should be presented."—Examiner.com

"…this is a fine addition to any library. […]the book definitely is worth owning."—BestJudo.com

"It has been a most useful reference for me over the years and I'd highly encourage any adult to make it a part of your personal Aikido library."—Teresa Mastison Sensei, Aikido of Phoenix

About the Author

Oscar Ratti received his degree in classical studies and law from the University of Naples where he was intercollegiate Greek-Roman wrestling champion and a member of the championship judo team. He later came to the United States and began to study aikido with Yasuo Ohara, one of the first instructors to teach in New York.

Adele Westbrook studied philosophy at Columbia University at the same time co-author Oscar Ratti was doing graduate work in the classical languages. They began to practice aikido together, and while studying under a variety of instructors in the United States and Europe, started the collection of notes and sketches which finally developed into this illustrated introduction to the art of aikido.

They also authored Secrets of the Samurai, and Mr. Ratti, now deceased, also provided the illustrations for Code of the Samurai, both available from Tuttle Publishing.

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Customer Reviews

This book provide a very clear teaching about the art of aikido.
Enton Kaculini
I decided to download the Kindle edition so that I could always have it with me (I read the book every couple of years).
Gadget_Guy
One of the biggest strengths is the discussion of the ethics of self defense.
Michael C. Riehle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos VINE VOICE on June 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you wish to learn the art of Aikido and could only have one book; this would be it. It is effectively illustrated, better than photos. From history and theory, dojo etiquette and fundamental techniques of defense...all is covered. This book will give you broad overview of the mental and spiritual underpinnings of Aikido as a whole. Must have this book in every library.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ever since age, 5; I've been an absolutely avid collector of martial arts books; believe me, I've collected tons; honestly, this one is 'THE BEST!' I brought this book when I was aged, 14/I'm now aged, 36. I go back and refer to this book, at least, once, for every single fortnight of my entire life! The book introduced me to the art of Aikido; it is, truly, the Aikido bible! Explaining Aikido on every possible level, techniques/history/philosophy. It, immediately, got me hooked on Aikido, forevermore. I used the think all martial arts were like beat em up/but, this book taught me, otherwise/martial arts is not about offence/but, self-defence, phsyical skill based on clear scientific principles/ furthermore, wisdom, deep spirituality; and, finally, enlightenment. I no longer want to beat up people; instead, I now wish only to save them!
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90 of 106 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Last month I started aikido lessons at age 30, with no previous martial arts experience whatsoever. I chose aikido because of its pacifist nature, which I learned about, albeit superficially, while doing a little bit of internet research. It didn't hurt that the dojo was in walking distance from my apartment. When I stepped into my first class, though, I felt like I was drowning, figuratively. The senior students were throwing around Japanese phrases left and right, and I was embarrassingly ignorant about the rituals. And there are lots of rituals. Believe me. I decided after my first class that I needed a book that would 1) explain the basics of each exercise, 2) have a glossary of Japanese terms used in aikido, and, most importantly, 3) describe the rituals in a typical aikido class and what they're all about. This book has all these things. It turned out to be an ideal supplement to what I'm learning in class. The only thing that prevents me from giving this book five stars, however, is that the, um, excessive style of writing is irritating at points. An example: "The practice then is the way along which a man can proceed from the basic, utilitarian consideration of learning an efficient means of self-defense which will follow certain ethical guidelines, to the 'high country' where the art becomes a Discipline of Coordination [sic] aimed at the harmonizing of opposites or alternates- not an art bent on or resulting in destruction, individual or wholesale." Quickly, someone, take away that man's thesaurus...
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Gordon on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Though I am not an Aikido practicioner I have been involved in Martial Arts for most of my life and most of the instructional books available simply do not convey the necessary information in any usable way. Ratti and Westbrook took the time to make this as thorough as posible and it is the finest instructional manual for any Martial Art that I have ever seen. However, like all books, videos etc. I only reccomend this material to someone with a strong Martial Arts background.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is perhaps best book for bringing the beginner up to
speed when practicing Aikido. The many excellent
illustrations make for particularly easy understanding of
the movements that make up Aikido. This is an important book
to have on hand in order to lessen the frustration of early
practice and serves to answer some of the questions that the
student may have, but may not be able to ask his or her
teacher.

This book sets itself apart from other works on Aikido in
its approach to the philosophical side of Aikido. The
western analytical approach is not ignored, and neither is
the eastern/oriental. The authors have produced a synergy
that makes sense from both an ancient martial arts
tradition perspective and the perspective of the American or
European student.

Key concepts are appropriately highlighted throughout, and
there is ample material for advanced practice. The
fine illustrations make this an art book of the highest
quality. This is a marvelously well rounded book and is
highly recommended for both beginners and not-so beginning
beginners.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lamb on April 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoy reading this book. Note the present tense here, as this is a book I often pick up and re-read sections of. The first time I read part of it a few years ago, I found it very 'academic' and thought it difficult to understand, but that was before I began to practice aikido. Since them, I still find it a little 'bookish', but now have some physical experience to match with what the authors were attempting to describe. I think that this is one of the only books that attempts to systematize aikido training, or at least systematize some of the various techniques used in aikido. It provides a great under-pinning to ones mat-work by putting a bit of theoretical base and structure to what you learn while on the mat. I only gave this a 3-star because I think it could do with a bit of spruce-up given that it has been over 20 years since it was first published, and much has happened in the world of aikido since then. This is definitely not a work that a beginner will get much out of at first, but should be part of any serious practitioner's collection!
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