Monday, September 26, 2011

The Structure of Aikido by Gaku Homma

The Structure of Aikido: Volume 1: Kenjutsu and Taijutsu Sword and Open-Hand Movement Relationships is a far more detailed book about Aikido than Aikido: The Way of Harmony .

"Aikido: The Way of Harmony" is more of an overview or introduction to Aikido.  Useful for people wanting to get some basic understanding of Aikido.

While this book, the first in a three book series, is for people that want to start the long path of learning Aikido.  It clearly illustrates beginning foot and hand movements.  And shows the connection Aikido has with the Way of the Sword.

Though the photography is black and white, there are lots of photos for each sequence, almost like the individual frames from a movie camera.  Also, there is clear illustration of foot placement to help convey proper movement.  These foot illustrations show just the feet from above, like a dance book might, so all you see is feet in the proper relation ship to each other and your opponent.

I found the illustrations of the feet useful for understanding what one is actually supposed to do for body movement.  That alone was worth the price of the book for me. 

The Martial Arts have never come naturally to me, I think I am far more of a word person than a physically coordinated person.  The illustrations of the feet was more useful for me than live instruction.  Let me understand enough so I could learn from hands on instruction.

So for anyone looking to start Aikido, or someone who is struggling to grasp some of the body mechanics, take a look at this book.  I think you will find a permanent place for it in your martial arts library.

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