Required reading for Aikido

Budo by Morihei Ueshiba

This is the raw nitty gritty with photos and accompanying Kuden, or oral instruction by the man himself.  He demonstrates the basic taijutsu movements along with several weapons techniques.

Budo Renshu by Morihei Ueshiba

An older book than the previous one, illustrated by one of his students, with the explanatory text approved by Ueshiba himself.  There is a lot of old school in here, and it’s worth reading so that these techniques can be preserved.

Traditional Aikido Volumes 1-5 by Morihiro Saito

This was perhaps the first series of books to lay down and codify basic and advanced practice in Aiki Ken, Aiki Jo, and Aikido’s taijutsu.  Written by Saito Sensei, who lived with Ueshiba for over 20 years, these books reflect the knowledge of someone who has had the most direct study of Aikido from the Founder.

Takemusu Aikido Volumes 1-6

Here, Saito Sensei picks up where he left off.  In this first series, he gives us the weapons curriculum in what was at the time, it’s full entirety.  This time, he gives us a the kihon taijutsu curriculum in it’s entirety with astounding detail and instructive detail.  They are also given in a proper order for practice.  The weapons in this series are bukidori.  He details the ones in the old series, and shows even more in this one, including a section on tantodori.  The special edition explains Budo, which is a real treat.

Aikido In Training by Kathy Crane

This book gives an wonderful overview of basic and advanced Aikido practice in an organized manual.  There are also several kuden given for the techniques.

Aikido and The Dynamic Sphere by Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti

One of the most popular and easily available Aikido books.  This is another book that gives an enomorous overview of Aikido practice.  This book is also famous for its illustrations.

There are many more books on Aikido, and I own and enjoy many books besides these, but these are the ones that I refer to on a regular basis.


2 Responses to Required reading for Aikido

  1. What book would you recommend for a good detailed description of the 31 Jo Kata? A good instructional DVD on the subject?



  2. autrelle says:

    I think that the best book out there for a detailed description would be Ethan Weisgard’s books called Bukiwaza. They are available on his site I say “I think” because I don’t own them. That’s only because at this time, I can’t afford them, and I already have too many martial arts books to read and re-read. They com highly recommended though. Beyond that, there is also Traditional Aikido, Volume One, by Saito Sensei himself. It’s rather sparse on the details though. Plus, good look finding a copy for a decent price. I have seen .pdf’s of it on some seedier parts of the internet. On his Aiki Jo DVD, Saito does a wonderful job explaining it. I have heard that Hoa Newen’s DVD on the subject is complete and up to date, but I have yet to see it myself.

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