A list of excellent books and resources for both beginner and advanced students of Aikido.
Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere
By Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti
It is arguably the most popular book ever written on Aikido. Writing it is a huge achievement for Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti, who are both non-Japanese and who wrote the book when they were relatively new in the art. The superb illustrations by Westbrook appearing throughout the book have become iconic images of Aikido, and are even better than photos. This book contains everything from Aikido history, technique, philosophy, mental and spiritual dimensions of the art and etiquette among others. If you can only own one book in Aikido, this is the book.
Aikido With Ki
By Koretoshi Maruyama
This is an excellent text book on Aikido techniques until Sandan or 3rd Dan Black Belt level. Maruyama Sensei wrote this when he was still World Chief Instructor of Ki No Kenkyukai. However, the text and the techniques demonstrated are as relevant to day as when Maruyama Sensei wrote this in the late 1980s.
Even though Maruyama Sensei is now the head of his own Aikido Organization, Aikido Yuishinkai, we believe his philosophy on Ki and Aikido have not radically changed since his Ki Society days. This is why “Aikido with Ki” remains an indispensable book for an Aikidoist’s library. You can’t get this book brand new these days, but our students tell us that you can still find many second hand copies that are still in excellent quality both in eBay and Amazon.
Ki: A Road that Anyone Can Walk
By William Reid
This book is practically a manual of Ki, and one of the most extensive books ever written in English on the subject. The author, William Reed, is a 7th Dan Aikido instructor and a student of Koichi Tohei Sensei. It contains detailed discussions on how to apply Ki (internal energy) in every day situations as well as in Aikido, which makes it recommended reading for both non-martial artists and martial artists alike. Reed also includes a short but engaging biography of the great Tohei Sensei, covering his early years, to his meeting with O’ Sensei, spreading of Aikido to the West and founding of Ki Society. The excellent black and white photos of Tohei Sensei in action add value to the book.
Ki in Daily Life
By Koichi Tohei
Technology today touches nearly every part of our lives. Through even more impressive development of machines, the process continues. Computers put men out of work; pushing a single button is enough to start a nuclear war.
Gradually, though, the world has begun to remember that it is man for whom the machines must work, and not the other way around. We recognize now that science, for all its achievements, has done little to help us understand ourselves or realize our potential.
There is no sense in waiting for science to do it for us. Each of us must now take it upon himself to understand his true nature and strength. The Chinese classic “Saikontan” says that we stand like beggars at the gate, forgetting the infinite power given us by the universe. Instead of shrinking from this potential, we should be thankful for it. we should strive to manifest it and help others to do the same.
The author regards his Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body as having been given to him by the universe to spread the way of the universe. There have been many who have grasped unification of mind and body. Very few, however, could teach it. Fewer still could teach how to teach it. Those who learn the four basic principles as explained in this book have come to understand not only how to unify their own minds and bodies, but also how to teach it to others.
The author, founder of the Ki Society International, presents the philosophical groundwork and specific disciplines by which the individual may attune himself or herself with the hi-life energy of the universe and thrive in health and harmony, without fatigue or depression.
The Book of Ki
By Koichi Tohei
Koichi Tohei explains his four principles to unify mind and body. This book tries to help you learn these four principles, apply them and then teach them. The book is rather small, though its goal is large. It is very easy to read and understand by westerners.
This book is written primarily for non-aikidoists and non-martial artists. For anyone wishing to develop a practical understanding of ki and realize the benefits of developing ki in their daily lives, this is one of the best books in English on the subject.