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Aiki Secrets: Six Precepts and the Dynamic COB Paperback – September 25, 2011
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About the Author
With more than 20 years of martial arts experience, William B. Dockery investigates many styles of martial arts as a method to improve and better understand his primary style, Tomiki Ryu Aikido. He focuses on explaining the physical aspects of Aikido from a western point of view. He holds a black belt in Tomiki Ryu Aikido and studies martial arts in central Ohio.
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Williams Dockery wrote a book that was desperately needed by the aikido world. Aikido, like many martial arts, has a mystery to it. This mystery can be part of the attraction for people in the first place. Some of the mystery is caused by the different cultures and languages that these arts were created in. Because English was not the language of instruction, there was usually something lost in translation, or the initial instructors weren't able to accurately describe what was actually occurring. Mr. Dockery has broken through some of language gap by describing the principles of aiki in terms of physics.
I know, I know, I can hear the groaning now "ughhh... physics. I didn't understand that is high school, how can I understand it now." The book is well laid out to help with this, and it explains all the physics ideas used in term of aiki, so it anyone who studies an aiki art should relate to the descriptions. The first section of the book gives you background definitions, and puts them in terms of the human body. Since everyone has a human body, it is easily applicable. Then the book goes one to use these now understood definitions in what are called the Six Precepts. Each one sort of builds on the others to actually describe what is happening during aiki movements. It also uses well illustrated pictures for those of you like me that are visual learners. What was also helpful was the exercises that were presented in each section. They give you a way to test the ideas shown, and to practice the precept in order to improve that skill.
Positive points for the book
1. Simple language to describe the physics that are occuring
2. Good illustrations to add to the description.
3. Each section also give "exercises" or "practices" to apply the ideas just presented.
4. Gives instructors of aiki the language to describe what is occurring, which should enhance learning by students.
5. This book can be used by ALL martial artists, not just those in aikido.
Negative Points of the book
1. Not intended for the beginning student. But in fairness, Mr. Dockery does declare this in the beginning and repeats it often. You do need to have experience to be able to understand the aiki presented.
If you'd like to hear the author in his own words, I conducted an interview with him on my podcast Martial Thoughts, which can be found on http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/martial-thoughts-episode-iv_10875
I have struggled with many of Aikido's concepts and teaching methods and I do not consider myself a particularly stupid person.
I have read numerous books and articles on Aikido and watched far too many YouTube clips. Mostly to no avail. I still struggled.
After googling and lucky research I came across the concept of Aiki and eventually William Dockery's book which I had sent to England from Amazon USA. As we don't have it in England. I ordered it with scepticism but hope. And eventually it arrived on a Friday.
After reading the first few pages I was hooked and I read the book over a weekend.
MAKE NO MISTAKE. THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT. A SEMINAL PIECE OF WORK.
Now I don't presume to talk for everybody and everybody's aikido life story even life story is obviously different. But this book answers many of the questions I have asked and asked myself in aikido. And answers them in a very clear and non esoteric way.
Having asked many questions of Aikido and been told just do this or more esoterically "just unite heaven and earth" . Well I'm afraid it just didn't work for me. I don't think or work like that. But Mr Dockery has put Aikido in a form and reason I can understand.
Books and martial arts are obviously open to subjective opinion due to experience.
But in my subjective opinion this is a true work or dedication and genius.
The hours Mr Dockery must have put in the not only understand what is going on within his body and the body of the opponent. But the then be able to translate this and convey it for others to understand is genius and the mark of a true teacher.
My whole hearted congratulations to Mr Dockery and many many thanks for this book.
It's brilliant and it's been a long time coming.
I only hope the aikido community truly embraces this seminal piece of work.
After all. May I be so bold as to say that O'sensei codified Daito Ryu and added his own martial experiences in and thoughts to create Aikido. Subsequent students of O'sensei have re codified their own thoughts and experiences of Aikido and created their own styles.
Shioda Sensei, Tohei Sensei , Tomiki Sensei to name but three. All three of these great masters/teachers took O'sensei's teachings and made them their own and founded a system to teach Aikido and it's principles.
Mr Dockery is no different. He has found a way to teach some very hard and fundamental principles of aikido and aiki in a very understandable and new way.
I look forward to the second book .
Thank you again Mr Dockery for your dedication and patience.