Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What-I'm-Reading Wednesday!

I just completed Nick Lowry's book, Aikido: Principles of Kata and Randori...for the 4th or 5th time. This was at least the 4th time I've read it. You can probably tell I'm a fan of this book.

Am I glad I read it? Duh.

Will I read it again? Duh.

Reflections? Every time I read this book, I get more out of it. Mostly, I'm sure, because I'm a little further along on the aiki path, and therefore I understand a little more of what he's talking about. For instance: In one section, he covers kazushi (off-balance), tsukuri (fitting), and kake (terminating the technique). Until this time through the book, I really had trouble "getting" tsukuri. I can now see that in my previous dojo, tsukuri just wasn't emphasized that much. We used to strive for a good kazushi, and if it was good enough, we'd execute the throw, lock, pin, or whatever (kake). A lot of the "synching up" and "tactile invisibility" and "hiding behind uke's arm" stuff I'm learning with Pat has really helped my understanding of tsukuri (not that I'm great at it, but I think I understand the concept now). So this time, when I read Mr. Lowry's explanation of tsukuri, I just went "Yeah, I see", where I couldn't before. This is one of many examples I could give to demonstrate the value this book has been, and will continue to be, to my training.

Recommended? If you study Tomiki Aikido, or one of its offshoots, I'd say this book is required reading, especially for the beginner.

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