Suggested Readings

Suggested Readings

These books are suggested in addition to the books listed in the bibliography of the FAQ.  Links are provided so you can purchase them from the Aikido Shugenkai

Aikido Yuishinkai Student Handbook

The Aikido Yuishinkai Student Handbook by Michael Williams, Chief Instructor of Aikido Yuishinkai.  The handbook covers a wide range of topics including Koretoshi Maruyama-sensei's philosophy and motto, dojo etiquette, principles for character development, breathing, yuki, techniques, grading syllabus, aikido for children and more.

Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the founder of Aikido—whose name means "abundant peace"—was "undoubtedly the greatest martial artist who ever lived," according to his biographer, John Stevens.

 The Art of Peace

The real way of the warrior is based on compassion, wisdom, fearlessness, and love of nature—as the inspirational teachings in this collection show.  John Stevens' translation of some of the Founder's writings.

The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba

This collection of writings by the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, illuminates the philosophical basis of the traditional martial arts. It contains photographs of Founder in action from his early youth to his final years at the height of his fame. Chapters include the Founder's calligraphy and a full transcription of epigrams and poems in English, romanized and Japanese orthography.

Aikido: The Coordination of Mind and Body for Self Defense

Tohei, Koichi. Souvenir Press, London, 1961.
- The earliest book in English on Aikido
- Many good photos, discussion of 50 basic arts
- Aikido Philosophy.
- Brief biography of O-sensei.


Aikido in Daily Life

Tohei, Koichi. Rikugei, 1966.
- Early book on Ki training.
- Re-written and published as Ki in Daily Life.


The Book of Ki: Co-Ordinating Mind and Body in Daily Life

Tohei, Koichi. Japan Publications, Tokyo, 1976.

- Ki exercise applied to daily life.
- Short auto-biography


Ki in Daily Life

Tohei, Koichi.


KiatsuTohei, Koichi. Ki no Kenkyukai HQ, 1983.

-Tohei-sensei's healing method based on pressing with Ki.


This is Aikido, with Mind and Body Coordinated
Tohei, Koichi. Japan Publication, 1975.

- Large format.
- Tohei-sensei's most complete work on the arts of Aikido.


What is Aikido
Tohei, Koichi. Rikugei, 1962.

- Basic introduction to the art of Aikido.
- Written while Tohei-sensei was in Hawaii.


Aikido with Ki
Maruyama, Koretoshi. Ki no Kenkyukai HQ, 1984.

Description of the basic syllabus of Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido, written by the Chief Instructor.


Ki: A Practical Guide for Westerners
Reed, William. Japan Publications, 1986.

- A discussion of Ki training and its application to a number of arts: Aikido, Noh, Shodo, etc.


Ki: A Road That Anyone Can Walk
Reed, William. Japan Publications, 1992.

- A biography of Tohei-sensei.
- Discussion of the Ki training techniques of Ki no Kenkyukai.


Aikido in Everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way
Dobson, Terry & Miller, Victor. North Atlantic, 1993.

Conflict is an unavoidable aspect of living. The late renowned aikido master Terry Dobson, together with Victor Miller, present aikido as a basis for conflict resolution. "Attack-tics" is a system of conflict resolution based on the principles of aikido, the non-violent martial art Morihei Ueshiba created after World War II. 


Makko-ho: 5 Minutes' Physical Fitness
Nagai, Haruka. Japan Publications, 1972.

The "stretching exercises" done before class in many Aikido dojo


Children and the Martial Arts
Homma, Gaku. Shambhala, 1993.

In the first half of the book Gaku Homma gives a very detailed and convincing account of how he came to the martial arts (and aikido in particular), and how this has shaped his practice as a teacher. He gives many examples of conversations he's had with parents who want to enroll their kids in his classes, which serve to illustrate many of the wrong reasons parents want children to participate in martial arts. In the second half, he gives examples of many of the exercises children in his aikido classes perform, accompanied by black-and-white line drawings.


In Search of the Warrior Spirit
Heckler, Richard Strozzi. North Atlantic, 1992.

In a top-secret U.S. military experiment, Richard Heckler was invited to teach Eastern awareness disciplines ranging from Aikido to meditation to a group of 25 Green Berets. This account chronicles his experiences in the training program and his attempts to revive traditional warriorship in a technological society.


The Martial Arts: The Spiritual Dimension
Payne, Peter. Thames and Hudson, 1981.

- The inner dimensions of the Martial Arts including Aikido.
- Nice photos of O-sensei and K. Ueshiba-sensei.


The Way of the Warrior
Reid, Howard & Croucher, Michael. Century, 1983.

The Way of the Warrior (previously published as The Fighting Arts) is a fascinating study of the origins, evolution, legends, mysteries, technique and practice of the fighting arts. Covers a variety of arts including Tomiki ryu Aikido.


Classical Bujutsu: The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan Volume I
Draeger, Donn F. Whetherhill, 1974. 

Evolved amid the incessant warfare of medieval Japan, bujutsu, or "martial arts," provided the warrior with the technical and psychological training that prepared him to use his weapons in actual combat. Classical Bujutsu emphasizes the intensely practical nature of these martial arts.


Classical Budo: The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan Volume II
Draeger, Donn F. Whetherhill, 1974. 

The classical budo, or "martial ways" are not combat systems like their forerunner, bujutsu, or "martial arts"; nor are they sports like modern judo, kendo, or karate. They are first and foremost spiritual disciplines, whose ultimate goal, achieved through the most rigorous mental and physical training, is self-realization in the tradition of Zen Buddhism.


Modern Bujutsu and Budo: Martial Arts and Ways of Japan Volume III
Draeger, Donn F. Whetherhill, 1974. 

Modern Bujitsu and Budo written by Donn Draeger with its 190 pages is one ofm the three in the series he wrote for Weatherhill back in the 1970's.


The Martial Arts
Random, Michel. Peerage Books, 1977.

- Large format coffee table book.
- Section on Aikido includes some nice color photographs of O-sensei and K. Ueshiba-sensei.


The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia: Tradition, History, Pioneers
Corcoran, John, Farkas, Emil & Sobel, Stuart. Pro Action Pub., 1993.

- Brief description of many arts including Aikido.
- Brief biography of notable teachers.


Secrets of the Samurai
Westbrook, Adele & Ratti, Oscar. Tuttle, 1973.

In plentiful detail from a huge range of historical sources, Secrets of the Samurai plots the development, principles and effects of the samurai culture of feudal Japan. Authors Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook have furnished details on the weapons, techniques, strategies and principles of the samurai’s martial art, rescuing this vanishing lore for modern readers who may wish to incorporate it into their own martial arts training. 


Enlightenment Through Aikido
Kanshu Sunadomari, North American Books, 2004

Enlightenment through Aikido focuses on Aikido's spiritual teachings, drawing on Sunadomari's experiences as a direct student of Morihei Ueshiba. Quotes from the founder and the author's interpretations show how Aikido can develop inner strength and tranquility. This book is an excellent companion for those practitioners who aspire to go beyond the physical in their journey along the path of Aikido.









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