One of the great things about martial arts is that you don’t need to start from a very young age to gain certain benefits – more flexibility, less pain in the joints, and better cardiovascular health, for example. If you’ve never set foot on a training mat before, aikido is a good place to start your martial arts training because of how gentle it is compared to other practices.
Unlike, say, karate where the focus is on strength and speed, aikido focuses on ending a confrontation before it can escalate, thus keeping both you and your opponent from getting injured. If you want to read more about this practice before starting your training – or just want to read up on it in between training sessions – here are some books you’ll find very helpful.
Aikido: A Beginner’s Guide to Traditional Aikido
This book by Mats Alexandersson is an aikido manual for beginners and covers the origins of the martial art, touching on how it combines empty-handed combat (also known as taijutsu) and weapons combat, particularly with the sword and staff.
It collects excerpts from Alexandersson’s earlier books on traditional aikido and is a great guide for beginners just starting their aikido journey.
Basics of Spiritual Aikido Simplified: Book 1
This introduction manual by Ageo Axel G. De la Victoria looks at the spiritual aikido basics for beginners. The contents are arranged in a way that’s simple enough for the average person to follow and understand and covers everything you need to know before you start training.
If you want to know what to expect in aikido training or want to make sure you can keep up with your fellow students, then this book is a must-have for your bookshelf.
Essential Aikido: An Illustrated Guidebook
This is another must-have, especially if you like the principles behind aikido. This martial art provides students with a rich framework for personal development and exploration, but beginners may feel like there’s a steep, daunting learning curve.
As a collection of essential information, explanations, and illustrations, this book has everything a beginner needs to know and makes it easier for you to make the transition from an extreme beginner to an able practitioner.
Aikido Martial Arts: The Untold Truth About the Art of Aikido
Author and health professional Jabin Sims has spent a lot of time mastering aikido as well as teaching it, and in this book, he talks about how you can unleash your inner warrior both on the mat and off it. The book covers not just the techniques attributed to this martial arts practice, but its philosophy and benefits – and how they apply to life outside of the dojo as well.
If you’re looking for a guide to using what you’ve learned in your aikido training in all areas of your life, then this book is just what the sensei ordered.
There are many more books out there that can be as helpful for beginners, but these are the ones at the top of the list. If you want to start your aikido training so you can put what you read in the aforementioned books into practice, visit this page to learn more.