What are the best aikido books? How can you find them? Can an aikido book really help your training, or is it just “fluff”?
The short answer to those questions is yes. A good aikido book can definitely benefit your training – but only if it’s the right book, and only if you read it with a critical eye.
Finding good aikido books is difficult because aikido itself is such a personal art form, but it could also be one of the most important parts of your Aikido equipment.
Aikido Books For Beginners
Aikido is a martial art, but it’s also an internal art. If you read too deeply into the wrong book and take everything as absolute dogma, you can potentially lose sight of what aikido really is: a fluid and evolving process.
Much like yoga books, a good aikido book should teach you about the art, but it should also give you enough room to create your own path.
How Do You Find That Right Aikido Book?
Here are three things to consider when choosing an aikido book for yourself: what kind of reader are you, what is your goal in training, and how will this information help you achieve it?
The first step is to identify your reader type. Some of the best aikido books are written for an audience of beginners, others are for intermediate students, and some are targeted towards advanced practitioners who have already begun their own personal exploration of the art.
While most good aikido books will give you a brief history of the art, beginner books tend to focus more on simple technique and explanation. Intermediate books often delve deeper into relevant concepts such as ki and zanshin, but they also assume knowledge of basic techniques.
Advanced books are generally written by accomplished practitioners who have already created their own path through aikido. These authors frequently delve deeper into philosophy and internal power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re writing for someone with an extensive background in martial arts.
If you’ve been training for less than six months, then most of the aikido books you find will be pretty basic. If, on the other hand, you’re a third-degree black belt with over twenty years of experience under your belt, then most aikido books probably won’t hold your attention for very long.