Kisshomaru Ueshiba / Kodansha (2008)
Summary: In this engaging and compelling biography, the Founder's son Kissomaru Ueshiba (the second Aikido Doshu) details the life of this remarkable man, from his early years as a youth in the turbulent Meiji era to his death in 1969. Incorporating many first-hand accounts and anecdotes as well as historical documents, the author weaves a fascinating narrative of the Founder's life, and with great fondness tells of his own memories of the man who would come to be known as O Sensei--great master.
John Stevens / second printing 1978 edition, Shambala (1987)
Summary: Biography of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. In his preface, the author says, "...I have focused on the why and how of Morihei's quest rather than the when and where, concentrating on a discussion of the people, events, and ideas that most influenced the master."
Stanley Pranin / 2nd edition, Aiki News (1991)
Summary: The first comprehensive reference work for Aikido-related names and topics. A standard before Aikido Journal evolved into a global electronic reference. First Edition appeared in 1989.
Peter Brady / Lorenz Books (2006)
Summary: A newly published British import, this is a basic Aikido overview in a quality package. There are sections on history, biographical data, the Aikido mindset, technical information, and self-defense. Note: A 2007 Lorenz release entitled "T'ai Chi and Aikido" contains a word-for-word republication of this book, along with a previous T'ai Chi publication.
Richard Strozzi Heckler / 1st edition, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California (1985)
Summary: The editor, Richard Strozzi Heckler, says of Ueshiba O-Sensei, "Through the techniques developed in Aikido he brought to the world an alternative to our current form of heavy-handed militarism and turn-the-other-cheek pacifism....This anthology represents the expression of this New Warrior." Heckler presents interviews with or excerpts from the writings of seventeen Aikidoists (three of them women) who in some way have taken Aikido in a new direction exemplifying this "warrior" spirit. There is a short introduction by Heckler, and at the end of the book very brief bios on the contibutors and some suggestions for further reading. Also available in hardback, ISBN 0938190563.
Summary: The editors of this anthology have presented a picture of "American" Aikido. After a lengthy introduction, thirteen Sensei (three of them women) tell their own stories, each prefaced with some background material on that sensei. The senseis are presented in three sections: The Disciples, The Teachers, and The Innovators. The book concludes with a brief epilog, guidance on how to contact the senseis represented in the book, a suggested reading list, and a glossary of terms.
Stanley Pranin / First Edition edition, Aiki News (1993)
Summary: From the Preface: "Aikido Masters: Prewar Students of Morihei Ueshiba" contains materials from interviews conducted in Japan over an eighteen-year period by the staff of Aiki News magazine. The fourteen individuals presented are all leading students of Morihei Ueshiba from the prewar years who participated in the process which culminated in the birth of modern aikido."
Alan Ruddock / Lulu.com for Aiki Pathways (2009)
Summary: From the Publisher: One Irishman's lifetime search for the answer to the mystery of Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido.
Stanley Pranin / Aiki News (2010)
Summary: The interviews contained in "Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era" have been meticulously edited from hundreds of hours of conversations conducted over a 30-year period with those closest to the Founder. These early devotees of the art offer an insightful portrayal of the character of the Aikido Founder, and a detailed description of his teaching and activities, spanning nearly half a century. More than 100 photos, many published for the first time, add an important visual dimension to the testimonies of the interviewees. This is an essential volume for those desiring to discover the roots of Aikido, a true cultural treasure of Japan.
Gozo Shioda / Shindokan Books (2002)
Summary: Aikido Shugyo, by Gozo Shioda, was originally released in Japanese in 1991. Throughout this important and insightful work, Shioda Sensei relates many stories about the time he spent training directly with the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, about his war-time experiences and about his years as the Headmaster of the Yoshinkan. He also uses countless anecdotes to convey important insights into the functioning and application of Aikido techniques. Aikido Shugyo will inspire anyone interested in traditional martial arts with its lessons, its history, and its straight-forward approach to the application of Aikido techniques. Aikido Shugyo is a rare insight from one of the leading and most well-known martial artists of his time. Already a “classic” in Japanese, it is a required text for every martial arts library. This first ever English publication is a faithful and complete presentation of the original Japanese text and includes a Forward by Kyoichi Inoue Sensei, 9th Dan, Dojo-cho of the Yoshinkan Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. An early edition, in green leatherette with gilded corners, does exist.
Susan Perry & R. Rubin / 1st edition, Arete Press, Claremont, California (2001)
Summary: Susan Perry and Ronald Rubin, of Aikido Today Magazine, interview twenty American Aikidoists, four of them women. There is an introduction by the authors and a glossary of people and terms at the end.
Michael Williams / 3rd edition, Ki Society Australia (2000)
Summary: A well-organized basic student manual with background and basic techniques, also a syllabus for kyu ranks. Well-illustrated with drawings.
Andre Nocquet / Aiki News (1996)
Summary: Originally published in French in 1991 as "Le Coeur Épée," and subsequently translated to English in 1996 by Aiki News. The author trained extensively in Japan, and this book contains some of his perceptions of the teachings of O'Sensei, and the basis of the spirit of Aikido.
Riki Moss / Blue Snake Books (2009)
Summary: Although novels are not normally included in this bibliography, this particular one is quite relevant, as it is loosely based on the life of one of Aikido's more colorful individuals, Terry Dobson, as written by his partner, Riki Moss.
Robert Twigger / Indigo (1997), Quill (2000) (1997)
Summary: Angry White Pyjamas is an autobiography subtitled in numerous ways, including "A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons from the Tokyo Riot Police." It details just over a year in the life of the author, Robert Twigger (who genuinely is a prize-winning poet educated at Oxford), as he takes the Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo's year-long senshusei course (which again, is genuinely the course taken by the Tokyo Riot Police). Told in the form of a linear narrative primarily involving the author, it presents more the "spirit" of the senshusei course as Twigger experienced it rather than details of the technical curriculum. Along the way it also provides anecdotes involving many major figures of the Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo in the early 1990s. Twigger also includes stories about his impressions of contemporary Japan outside of the Aikido context. The book is classified as Memoirs/Travel on the back cover.
L. Reynosa & J. Billingiere / 1st edition, R and B Publishing Company, Ventura, California (1988)
Summary: A basic beginner's Aikido book, with pages devoted to terminology and dojo etiquette, as well as interviews with many of those teachers to have influenced the Author during his Aikido career. There have been numerous re-edits and reprints.
Koichi Tohei / 1st edition, Japan Publications, Inc., Tokyo, Japan (1979)
Summary: Book of Ki: Co-ordinating Mind and Body in Daily Life, published in 1976, marks one of Koichi Tohei's Sensei's first post-Aikikai attempts to present his ideas about Ki, specifically in terms of an energy that can be useful outside the practice of Aikido itself. Although Aikido is mentioned frequently, the book includes no description of Aikido techniques per se, although many of the stretching and Ki development exercises are those found in the Ki Society curriculum. Ki development is represented through descriptions matched with either black and white photographs (some including Tohei himself, then just over 50 years old) or black and white line drawings in the style of simple manga.
John Stevens / 1st edition, Shambhala (2001)
Summary: Editor John Stevens brings to one volume samples of the work of many notable figures in the history of Japanese martial arts. These works are mostly translation excerpts, but quite a few are drawings. Chapter One, The Principles of Budo, includes 14 short selections; Chapter Two, The Philosophy of Budo, contains five; and Chapter Three, Tales of the Masters of Budo, contains a few dozen selections, ranging from a paragraph to a page or so. There is a bibiography of Japanese and English source materials. A hardback edition (ISBN 1570624461) was also issued in 2001 by Shambhala.
Morihei Ueshiba / 1st edition, Kodansha International (1991)
Summary: Budo, the only manual produced by O Sensei, was published before the war, in 1938, but he strictly limited its distribution. Around 1990, the Ueshiba family decided to publish this book. Then Doshu Kishomaru Ueshiba added a biography of O Sensei. Also added were a collection of photos of O Sensei demonstrating technique in 1936 at the Noma Dojo. The text is translated by John Stevens.
R. Suenaka & C. Watson / First Edition edition, Tuttle Martial Arts (1997)
Summary: An account of Roy Suenaka's encounters with O'Sensei and his aikido training with other top martial arts instructors. Also an insight into Roy Suenaka's own style of aikido.
Stanley Pranin / Aiki News (1987)
Summary: This book was produced in limited quantity, and served as the forerunner to later separate and much more comprehensive Encyclopedia and Dojo Directory publications.
Stanley Pranin / Aiki News (1996)
Summary: This book contains a history and lineage of Daito-Ryu, and a fascinating collection of interviews conducted by Stanley Pranin. Modestly illustrated.
Kanshu Sunadomari / North Atlantic Books (2004)
Summary: Enlightenment through Aikido is a collection of essays drawn from Kanshu Sunadomari's Aiki Manseido Hombu dojo newsletter between 1992 and 2001. Each essay is followed by a short aphorism (headed "Furimiru) and dated. The essays are liberally interspersed with black and white photographs of O-Sensei and Sunadomari Sensei (often together). Many quotes from O-Sensei are also included, both prefacing and in the body of essays.
John Stevens / 1st edition, Kodansha International (1993)
Summary: In the Forward, Kisshomaru Ueshiba says, "Expertly compiled and translated into English by Professor John Stevens, The Essence of Aikido presents the spiritual teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido." Also included, with commentary, are caligraphies by O-Sensei and many photographs of him.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba / 1983
Summary: This book is a pictorial essay produced by the Aikikai Foundation to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of O'Sensei. The main book is limited to Japanese text only (back-to-front read), but the book was published with a separate English-language supplement which provides complete translation of the limited narrative text, as well as all photo captions. The book is a photo depiction of O'Sensei's life, and contains an assortment of photos well-known to Aikidoka, as well as many that are not often found in other works. A cardboard slipcover was also provided.
Ellis Amdur / edgework.info (2009)
Summary: From the Author/Publisher's Website: Ellis Amdur's writing on martial arts has been groundbreaking. In this volume, Amdur has radically reworked his iconoclastic essays first published on the website of Aikido Journal. Here, he attempts to establish the existence of something all but lost in Japanese martial arts -- a sophisticated type of training, encompassing mental imagery, breath-work, and a variety of physical techniques that offered the practitioner the potential to develop skills sometimes viewed as nearly superhuman. Commonly referred to as "internal training," and usually believed to be the provenance of Chinese martial arts, Amdur asserts that not only was it once common among many Japanese martial traditions, but elements of such training still remain, passed down in a few martial arts -- literally "hidden in plain sight." As always, Amdur reminds us that this is a human endeavor and he provides vivid, even heartbreaking portrayals of some of the great practitioners of these skills, men who devoted their lives to an obsessive pursuit of power.
John Stevens / Shambhala (1997)
Summary: Invincible Warrior tells the fascinating story of the life of Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), whose quest for the true meaning of warriorship lead to the creation of the martial art called Aikido, "The Art of Peace." Ueshiba—whose name means "abundant peace"—is considered by many to be one of the greatest martial artists who ever lived. His documented ability to disarm any attacker, throw a dozen men simultaneously, and down and pin opponents without touching them has accorded his life legendary status.
Terry Dobson / 1st edition, Frog, Ltd., Berkeley, California (1993)
Summary: It's a lot like dancing: An aikido journey is a collection of aikido anecdotes, short themes, and aphorisms--ranging from single lines to pages--told by Terry Dobson, a longtime aikido student at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the 1960s and founder of the Bond Street dojo in New York, NY.
William Reed / 1st edition, japan Publications, Inc., Tokyo, Japan (1992)
Summary: From the Publisher: Ki - vital energy or life-force - is a concept which is integral to the Oriental martial and healing arts. The modern world is drawn to Ki in search of new perspectives on the universe. This book provides such a perspective, through the story of Koichi Tohei, a contemporary master of Ki.
Carol Wiley / Frog, Ltd. (1995)
Summary: Teaching is an art. Effective martial arts teachers must not only be competent practitioners but must also develop the communication and interpersonal skills of any good teacher. In this collection, twenty-six experienced martial arts teachers discuss the process of learning and teaching a martial art, from the 'nuts and bolts' of teaching technique to the philosophical underpinnings of training.
Kouzo Kaku / Global Oriental (2000)
Summary: This book presents the author's interpretation on ki, zen, and their relationships to martial arts. Included are biographical sections about O'Sensei. Sparsely illustrated.
Andre Nocquet / English edition, Robert Cornman (1994)
Summary: This early work by André Nocquet was translated from the 1975 French edition and published (limited edition of 150) by Robert Cornman. It recounts, including pictures, the author's experiences training with O-Sensei. There are chapters on "Master Ueshiba," his words, his calligraphy, and his technique. Three additional chapters cover more philosophy of Aikido and related matters.
Miyako Fujitani / Aikido Tenshin Dojo (1999)
Summary: Although the book is printed in Japanese, it is marketed with a formally prepared and compiled PDF English translation, hence the book is included here. This is basically an autobiographical work, where Fujitani Sensei discusses the founding of the Tenshin Dojo, her family and ill-fated marriage to Steven Seagal, and some inspirational thoughts on her part. Illustrated.
Susan Perry / First Edition edition, Shambhala Publications Inc, Boston (2002)
Summary: The author spent a good many years collecting comments on O-Sensei by people who knew him. Here they are presented in chapters organized by category: First Meetings, Training, Daily Living, Art of Peace. There is a Foreward by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, a glossary of Japanese terms, and short bio's of the contributors.
Toshishiro Obata / 2nd edition, David Chambers (for Dragon Books) (1988)
Summary: The author was an uchideshi to Gozo Shioda, and worries in his preface that modern Aikido is losing its martial effectiveness. The bulk of the book is his presentation of aiki basics with photos and some text.
John Stevens / Shambhala (1995)
Summary: A John Stevens classic, in this book Stevens Sensei explores the hidden teachings and and deeper dimensions of Aikido, especially its spirited wisdom as taught by the Founder. Well illustrated.
John Stevens / 1st edition, Shambhala Publications Inc, Boston (1996)
Summary: Quotes from author Stevens' own Preface provide a good summary of the book: "It begins with a short [26 page] biography of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba...." And, "Chapter 2 describes the traditional training methods and techniques of the art of Aikido. Chapter 3 is a presentation of the profound philosophy and ideals of Aikido..." And finally, "The book concludes with several shorter chapters of reference: Styles and Schools of Aikido, Resources, and a Glossary."
Kisshomaru Ueshiba / Kodansha International (1984)
Summary: A book written by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of Morihei Ueshiba. The author covers subjects ranging from "The Ki of the Universe and Individual Ki" to "Inheriting the Founder's Aspirations" and many more. Contains many photos of O-Sensei and of Kisshomaru. Softcover pocket-size edition (ISBN 0870118501) first published in 1987.
Unknown / Author: Anatoliy Anshin edition, Kodenkan Institute (2012)
Summary: From the Back Cover
John Stevens / First Edition edition, Kodansha International (1995)
Summary: It could be argued that the most popular martial arts/sports are Judo, Aikido, and Karate. Accordingly, author John Stevens has provided biographies of three seminal figures, one from each of these disciplines.
John Stevens & W. Krenner / 1st edition, Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston (1999)
Summary: This book is filled with pictures of O Sensei and bears short but germane commentary. Stevens, who wrote the Preface, describes the book well: "The photographs in part one, 'On the Mat with the Master,' show Morihei giving instruction.... Part two, 'The Master Teaches the Way,' depicts Morihei in everyday life....Part three, 'The Art of Peace,' contains the essence of Morhei's philosophy, distilled from his collected talks and oral tradition." Softcover edition is available (ISBN 1570625689).
Andrea Siegel / 1st edition, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California (1993)
Summary: The author, Andrea Siegel, interviews twelve women who have achieved black belt rank in Aikido. "Why women aikido black belts?" she asks. "I wanted to speak with people who have had reason to give a more than cursory examination of the power they wielded, and its purpose." The women interviewed are quite diverse in their experiences and views. Most still train; one gave up Aikido and made her gi into a bag. The book includes an introduction by the author, a chapter explaining the background of Aikido, for those not already familiar, the interviews, a short glossary, and two appendices: Aikido dojos (as of 1972) and martial arts dojos specifically with women's programs.
Carol Wiley / North Atlantic Books (1992)
Summary: This book is a compilation of biographical interviews with notable female instructors of various martial arts, including aikido. The author herself is an aikidoka. Modestly illustrated.