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About the AikiBib database

Thank you for your interest in the AikiBib database! Below are the primary criteria I used to select the books you find here:

  • All aikido books that are written in English. These books are typically historical, biographical, philosophical, and/or technique oriented. No screening was done and to date we have added no personal “reviews."

  • Books that probe the "roots" of aikido, including those on budo, weapons, aiki-jujutsu, daito-ryu aiki-jitsu, and samurai arts and culture. Because we make a serious study of weapons practice in the dojo, I have tried to document and research all books written in English on Japanese weapons and weaponry. I did not include any books on Okinawan Kobudo; other than that I did no screening. Books in this category include those on kyudo, iaido, tameshigiri, swords/armor, craftsmanship, swordsmanship, sword making, sword collecting, jo-do, kendo, and many esoteric arts.

  • Selected books on budo, martial character and spirit, and ki development, because these topics relate to the spirit of aikido.

  • "Related works," books covering the wide range of topics that help to understand the martial milieu in Japan, the roots of the Japanese martial arts, and ultimately aikido. This category may include books on the Samurai, Zen, Sumo, kyusho, bugei, and areas that help one to research and learn, such as Tai Chi, Confucianism, Buddhism, kung fu, meditation, kototama, inner arts, ki development, self defense, karate, kempo.

  • Further, the time period when aikido was founded saw three great innovators: Gichin Funakoshi (karate), Jigoro Kano (judo), and Morihei Ueshiba (aikido). It was a time of great synthesis of ideas, concepts, and application, and much inventive, living thought. I felt it was important to include books that capture this excitement and contribute to the understanding of the evolution of the arts through succeeding generations.

  • The seminal works and classics were also seen as important. For this reason there are many works on judo and on the practitioners that helped spread the sport and art throughout the world.

  • Lastly, I discovered a body of many books that depict self defense and ju-jitsu as it became known to the American populace, and have attempted to locate some of those publications. One such resource was Robert Smith's famous bibliography A Complete Guide to Judo. Another is a bibliography of early ju-jitsu books from 1890 through 1950.

There are no magazines, newsletters, etc.; only whole books are included here. Most are currently in print, but that was not a requirement for selection. Hopefully enough information is included for each book, often including the table of contents and the promotional material from the book jacket, that you will be able to compare the content with what you seek or with other books with similar titles.

Also, most importantly, the bibliography is searchable (by fields-author, title, contents, promotional material), and thus becomes an invaluable research tool.

Thanks to Roy Hodges for database work and Dan Wendling for editing and project assistance.

Chas Poor
Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Takoma Park, Maryland

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