A major new book about Aikido has been published by Kenjiro Yoshigasaki, the Doshu of the Ki No Kenkyukai Internationale. All of Aikido, published simultaneously in English, French and German editions, is the result of a lifetime’s practice of Aikido and presents a comprehensive survey of the fundamental techniques.
Doshu Yoshigasaki has thought deeply about the meaning of Aikido as he has taught it for over 40 years, and the book contains explanations of the philosophy behind the techniques as well as detailed instructions of how
The book contains almost 1500 colour photographs and diagrams which, together with the text, provide a clear demonstration of each technique. Part 1 covers Hitoriwaza, movements and exercises practised without a partner. This begins with an explanation of how to develop the correct posture for aikido (and daily life!) and then covers meditation positions (Kimusubi No Gyo), stretching exercises, Shikko and Aiki Taiso (Aikido exercises)
Part 2 is an account of Tsuzukiwaza (continuous techniques) and covers the whole range of Aikido techniques including Tanto, Bokken and Jo. The special feature of this section is the explanation of how one technique can lead into another, which prevents it from being simply a long catalogue of descriptions. The techniques are grouped according to the type of attack, so for example there are chapters on Ryotedori, Shomenuchi and Katadori as well as Tantodori, Bokkendori and Jodori.
Part 3 (Kumiwaza) is more philosophical and discusses how to create a relationship with other people, rather than simply responding to an attack. This section discusses concepts such as the Unification of Mind and Body, Ki Testing, Omote and Ura, and Irimi and Tenshin.
Part 4 is concerned with Taninzugake (multiple attackers). A common situation is where one or more attackers hold your arms so you are vulnerable to a third attacker, and techniques are described to deal with this. It is also possible that you may be able to defend yourself using an object as a weapon. This situation can be studied using the Jo, which was not actually developed as a weapon but as a tool used in daily life.
Techniques against an attacker armed with a weapon (Bukiwaza) are described in Part 5. In these techniques Nage also has a weapon, such as a Bo, Jo or Bokken. The use of Kata as a way in which these situations can be practised is explained. A Kata allows a series of different techniques to be practised in a continuous manner so the student can see how Uke can change his attack and how Nage can respond to this.
Misogi is a more spiritual practice related to purification of the mind and body. Many methods for achieving this have been used all over the world for many years. In Part 6 Doshu Yoshigasaki describes the method of chanting in coordination with physical movements using the Bokken and the Bell.
All true martial artists develop a deep interest in the health of the body, and in the final part of the book three practices of Sotaiho are described. Sotaiho is a method of manipulating your partner’s body so that health and flexibility are maintained and developed.
This book will be of value to all Aikido practitioners, regardless of their ‘style’, and other martial arts students would find much of interest.
All of Aikido can be obtained from the British Ki Society by sending a cheque for £25.00 with your full delivery address to
The British Ki Society
5 Hopkins Road