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Total Aikido: The Master Course (Bushido--The Way of the Warrior) Hardcover – February 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Bushido--The Way of the Warrior
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1st edition (February 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770020589
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770020581
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese

From the Author

The basics are only a guiding principle. Your strongest posture is the one that fits your constitution. That cannot be taught to you, you have to find it for yourself. It is not a question of widening your stance or narrowing it, if the truth be told. But, people will do what is comfortable for them, so if you allow them to, they will just make it up for themselves. That is why, you must always return to the basics. This is what is important. —Gozo Shioda

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 46 customer reviews
I had borrowed this book from my dojo and wanted to get my own copy.
Syria Low
The detailed explanations combined with the very clear photographs and illustrations, make this book a MUST OWN for anyone who is studying Aikido.
Joseph J. Truncale
The best set-up for an Aiki technique is to first belt your opponent.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've purchased several Aikido/Martial Arts books in the past few years and I must say that this one is the best. It is difficult, if not impossible, to describe Aikido techniques in text; thus, proper illustration and easy to follow photographic sequences are critical to any Aikido text. This book has the most illuminating graphic representations of Aikido techniques of any that I have read so far. They even thought to number the photos in the sequences (a supprisingly novel concept). The accompanying description and explanation are quite well written. I wish all Aikido books were this well done.
It should be said that this book was written by Gozo Shidoa, the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido. Yoshinkan is a style that your local dojo may or may not practice. However, I find myself continually comming back to this book despite the fact that my own dojo doesn't practice Yoshinkan.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Christian White on June 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Aikido is different from other martial arts I've studied: There are so many parts to any given maneuver that it can be hard, in one's mind, to assemble the pieces into a fluid movement. This book's photographs and captions are the most instructive I've seen, and it has taken a lot of my confusion out of learning aikido.
This isn't your book if you want to read on spirituality or history. However, Shioda does an excellent job of detailing, and giving proper emphasis to, throws and "controls" found again and again in variations of techniques. He points out common mistakes. I find that reading this book enables me to duplicate classroom demonstrations I'd previously found much more difficult to understand. I think Shioda's combination of meticulous photography, along with the book's comprehensive scope, makes this book a great text if you practice for fitness, love of physics or aesthetics, or self-defense.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great overview of Aikido. It explains the principles of aiki without getting into too much philosophy. The author mentions that Aikido is 70% striking ("atemi") which is very different from what you'll hear from most Aikidoka. Most Aikidoka that I come into contact with seem to forget that Aikido is a martial art and not a dance. The best set-up for an Aiki technique is to first belt your opponent.
The basic techniques (which is all you'll really ever need for self-defense) are explained in detail and demonstrated with clear black-n-white photos.
If you're already a martial artist, these techniques will be a great supplement to your existing arsenal.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book on aikido I have in a extended collection. Yoshinkan Aikido is explained in a very detailed manner, exactly pointing out the do's and don'ts of aikido's basic techniques, both ura and omote as well as tachi as suwari waza.
I myself find it especially helpful to review a specific technique when I encounter problems with them myself. Sometimes the fluent movement from my instructor in class is a bit too fluent to pinpoint certain details. Shioda's book offers the possibility to keep a certain detail in mind for the next time.
In any case, Total Aikido is a buy you'll find hard to regret.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Riehle on December 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There is always a problem learning any martial art from a book. No matter how good the pictures and explanation are, it doesn't translate well to the "real" world. This book does a little better than most. The pictures are good and the explanations are generally pretty clear. If you're looking for help in remembering what you're supposed to be learning, this book may help you. There are a couple of complaints I had, though I think they're fairly minor. First, some of the picture sequences were arranged oddly and I found this confusing. Once I worked it out, it was ok. Second, the names of the techniques are different than I've seen used by most other Aikido dojos. This was also easily overcome as the differences were pretty minor (ikkajo instead of ikkyo), but it was annoying in a niggling sort of way.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
First, I am not dissapointed and it is worth buying it. It is completely concentrated on the basic techniques and illustrations are good. You can not become aikido expert just by reading it but you can find some good advices. The one thing it lacks is a little bit about aikido philosophy and different variations on different techniques. However, this is an excellent training manual for a beginner, as myself, although no book can replace training. It is all about practicing.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By rationalist on May 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Like most americans, I practice Tohei's ki society. So the book doesn't match class, but it's great to see the hard fighting aikido, and understand how the softer Shin Shin style is the same idea, really. I find this book is great and deepens my ki aikido practice. I don't actually practice these movements with a partner, as I fear that would confuse my muscle memory for class. This book also shows fine points of the controls lacking in other books, and for this it is valuable and immediately useful in any class. A great effort, makes me want to learn more about shioda :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bill Gallagher on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Total Akido is a an excellent guide for Yoshinkan Aikido written by its founder Gozo Shioda. Taught by the father of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, Shioda was an extraordinary student who soon became a legendary instructor. Yoshinkan means to "cultivate mind and spirit," and Shioda accordingly approaches Aikido, not just as a defense mechanism, but as spiritual practice and tool of self-betterment. (For a fuller but very accessible treatment of the spiritual/philosophical aspects of Aikido I recommend The Philosophy of Aikido*

Total Aikido gives detailed how-to directions and -- since words alone cannot do Aikido justice -- the instruction within this book relies extensively on visual aids. Shioda incorporates detailed photography and diagrams on every page accompanied by thorough descriptions and explanations of each image. The illustrations are especially insightful since they break down motion sequences which are often too fleeting and fluid to be comprehended in the dojo or on video.

In Total Aikido, you will find neither rambling philosophy nor history lesson, but instead you will come away with a detailed understanding of the common mistakes and effective tactics in Aikido. Of course this book cannot replace practice, but offers a very helpful supplement to Aikido students regardless of style. In fact, it is likely to benefit any practitioner of martial arts.

At this writing there is no search inside available, so I've included the section headings in the table of contents. I hope you find it helpful.
-Translator's Introduction
-Prologue
-How to Use This Book
-The Principles of Aikido
-The Basics of Body Movement (Tai Sabaki No Kihon)
-Basic Techniques (Kihon Waza)
-Self-Defense Techniques (Goshin Waza)
- Hidden Techniques (Ogi)
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