Wednesday, June 5, 2013
4 Stars for "Aiki Secrets: Six Precepts and the Dynamic COB" by William Dockery
by William Dockery.
Williams Dockery wrote a book that was desperately needed by the aikido world. Aikido, like many martial arts, has a mystery to it. This mystery can be part of the attraction for people in the first place. Some of the mystery is caused by the different cultures and languages that these arts were created in. Because English was not the language of instruction, there was usually something lost in translation, or the initial instructors weren't able to accurately describe what was actually occurring. Mr. Dockery has broken through some of language gap by describing the principles of aiki in terms of physics.
I know, I know, I can hear the groaning now "ughhh... physics. I didn't understand that is high school, how can I understand it now." The book is well laid out to help with this, and it explains all the physics ideas used in term of aiki, so it anyone who studies an aiki art should relate to the descriptions. The first section of the book gives you background definitions, and puts them in terms of the human body. Since everyone has a human body, it is easily applicable. Then the book goes one to use these now understood definitions in what are called the Six Precepts. Each one sort of builds on the others to actually describe what is happening during aiki movements. It also uses well illustrated pictures for those of you like me that are visual learners. What was also helpful was the exercises that were presented in each section. They give you a way to test the ideas shown, and to practice the precept in order to improve that skill.
Positive points for the book
1. Simple language to describe the physics that are occuring
2. Good illustrations to add to the description.
3. Each section also give "exercises" or "practices" to apply the ideas just presented.
4. Gives instructors of aiki the language to describe what is occurring, which should enhance learning by students.
5. This book can be used by ALL martial artists, not just those in aikido.
Negative Points of the book
1. Not intended for the beginning student. But in fairness, Mr. Dockery does declare this in the beginning and repeats it often. You do need to have experience to be able to understand the aiki presented.