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Aikido: The Complete Basic Techniques

Book Summary:

Originally published in Japanese (Aikido Kihon-waza) in the late 1970's, this purely technical text primarily deals with the basic throws that form the early stages of aikido practice. Photo work is a mixture of the earlier Gozo Shioda work, along with more recent updated photos.

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Review by: Clark Bateman

This book is a basic technical syllabus for the Yoshinkan system. It is actually a reformatted translation of the Japanese-language volume “Aikido Kihon-waza” from the late 1970’s. I cannot speak to the completeness of the coverage, but perhaps someone from Yoshinkan could address this. I can say that there are many exercises and basic techniques discussed at length here, along with numerous variations. It is a sizeable volume. There are sequential b/w photographs, many of which are the same as the ones in the original Japanese offering (featuring Gozo Shioda), and others more contemporary (with Yasuhisa Shioda).

There are numerous variations discussed, so the reader can begin to understand the diversity that exists within each of the basic core techniques. Techniques are named in English, Romanized Japanese, and Kanji, which adds a nice touch. I was a little disappointed that no new information was presented here, but some would say that there is really no new information to write about, and I suppose I could agree with that logic. Perhaps I was hoping for some insight that Yasuhisa Sensei could call his own, but that might be for a different book. This is, after all, a volume devoted to purely technique. It’s a bit dry on the read, but most tech manuals are.

The paper and construction in this hardcover volume are of good quality, as is usually the case with a Kodansha offering. The type is a bit small, but still readable. Availability is good from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Pricing is reasonable for a hardback book.

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Review by: Kirk Rains

I have this book. My dojo is under the Aikikai Foundation. However, being a police officer, I use this book to gain another perspective on some of the techniques for a follow through on self-defense. For that, I find this book very helpful. It is also interesting in seeing how different students who trained directly under O-Sensei have differing outlooks on Aikido and its application.

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