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Attacks in Aikido: How to do Kogeki, the Attack Techniques Paperback – October 12, 2009
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About the Author
Stefan Stenudd is a Swedish author and 6 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor, Vice Chairman of the International Aikido Federation, member of the Swedish Aikikai Grading Committee, and President of the Swedish Budo & Martial Arts Federation. He has practiced aikido since 1972. He is also a teacher of the sword art iaido.
In addition to his aikido life, he is a historian of ideas, researching the patterns of thought in creation myths and cosmological beliefs, as well as Aristotle's Poetics.
His books span both fiction and non-fiction. Among the latter is one about the cosmology and religious beliefs of the Greek philosophers, a little encyclopedia of life energy concepts, and several books about the martial arts and the principles behind them.
On the subject of aikido, he has also written Aikido Principles, about the basics and underlying ideas of the art, and Aikibatto, presenting and explaining a system of exercises with jo, the staff, and ken, the sword, for aikido students. Also his book Qi - Increase Your Life Energy, with very simple exercises for developing one's qi (ki) and explaining this concept thoroughly, is highly relevant for anyone practicing aikido.
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Top customer reviews
Often in Aikido practice, the role of the tori/nage is often neglected leading to sloppy practice and furthermore we are puzzled with the unrealistic attacks we practice against. Stefan sheds some light on the issue by explaining its origins and the energy required for each attack while remaining true to traditional Aikido attacks.
For instance some excerpts from Shomen-uchi:
Shomenuchi is a strike to the top of tori's head, with an open hand. It is done as a symbol of a sword attack. It would not make much sense to hit a person's skull with the bare hand.
Of course, the shomenuchi attack has no meaning when done with an unarmed hand. The head is hard, especially at the forehead, so there is no hand that can hit it without more damage being done to the hand than to tori's head. This is simply a way of training aikido in a safe way against the sword attack or any other armed attack to the head from above.
He also deals with the less common attacks like bear hugs (kakaedori) from behind and elaborates on the particular challenges for tori and uke on certain attacks.
In summary, this book is an excellent book for Aikido practitioners seeking to better understand their art but it may disappoint some hoping to learn 'Attack techniques' (which I would then suggest you look to another martial art) or like myself, Aikido solutions to more common street attacks. Having been in a few scuffles and training Aikido for 16-17 years or so, the attacks of uke in Aikido do little to prepare you against the fast and unpredictable nature of these attacks which usually do not stop with one or two attacks or the stress involved when you're taken out of a dojo environment. Even so, the book's contents cannot be faulted as it is simply teaching Aikido for what it is.
I would easily give this book a four stars as it does what it sets out to do well with good illustrations. The only reason I gave it a 3 stars was the Kindle version seemed to have many photos missing which detracted from my enjoyment of the book and left me feeling a bit upset since I wasn't getting the whole book.
Aikido practice depends on this harmony, and the insights found here will
deepen training and understanding. I believe this information is critical in
making the shift from practice to mastery.