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Structure of Aikido, The

Book Summary:

This book explores the relationship between sword movements (kenjutsu) and Aikido movements (taijutsu).

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Review by: Clark Bateman

This is a popular Aikido book in bookstores and libraries, and one of four books to date by Gaku Homma Sensei. Although this book is stated as Volume 1 in a three-volume series, the other two volumes have not been published to date. This book is entirely technical in nature, and loaded with black and white photos, mostly sequential representations of the various techniques presented. One interesting thing about this book is the use of side-by-side photos of the techniques in both their kenjutsu and taijutsu incarnations. This makes it much easier for the reader to see the nature of the relationships between the armed and empty-handed techniques. Since these relationships are the main focus of the book, I would have to say that Homma Sensei has hit upon the best way to illustrate them, short of actual on-the-mat demonstration. I do wish that the photos were larger, but that would mean that fewer techniques could be covered in the space allowed. There are also numerous footwork diagrams used to help understand the movements.

The book does not favor any particular style, and is an easy read, with text boxes highlighting the important points. Much Japanese terminology is used, although not in an intimidating fashion. It’s a good way to brush up on the terms for the techniques and variations. It is easy to get, either new or used, at much less than the cover price of $22.95. I would recommend it for any serious Aikido book collection.

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