Thursday, September 28, 2017

Aikido Ground Fighting by Walther G. Von Krenner

A relatively new addition to the body of literature about aikido is Walther G. Von Krenner's, Aikido Ground Fighting.  This is a really interesting book in a couple of ways.

First, it covers how the principles (if not the standard techniques) can be applied in situations that may be unfamiliar to many aikidoka.  That is, on the ground.

When we think about it, groundwork should not be all that alien to aikidoka because we are used to practicing suwariwaza, and suwariwaza can easily be thought of as a phase of groundwork.  But it is so easy to get caught up in the standard manner of practicing the standard elements of our grading syllabus (teaching to the test) that we start to think that this is what "real aikido" is and that it does not include other elements.  This book is a good first effort of breaking down those blinders that some aikidoka may be putting on themselves.

Secondly, and actually the most interesting part to me, this book is a wealth of interesting history about how Ueshiba conceived of his aikido and how he taught it (hint - it's not what we now think of as aikido) and how Ueshiba's successors modified aikido toward what we now practice.  The historical and philosophical aspects of this book are as interesting  as the technical aspects (or moreso).

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Patrick Parker
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