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This book, an in-depth look at Ellis Schools of Tradtional Aikido's special brand of technique, strategy, philosophy as well as unique history, has taken about 15 years to compile, but will soon be offered in print by the world's leading publisher of martial arts material.
Trafford Holdings Ltd; is a privately-held corporation, registered in British Columbia, Canada. There are over 120 shareholders, including many authors and all the permanent employees. It was incorporated in 1991. In late 1995, Trafford opened it's doors and website. They are the first company in the world to offer an "on-demand publishing service," and they are the best.
The production of Positive Aikido has gone through numerous stages. The hand-drawings describing each of the positive techniques in traditional Aikido were begun in 1987 with the intention of providing new students with a reference guide - at the time to be photocopied for students in the USA and later possibly for the UK students as well. That plan however, never took hold as more and more drawings were produced. The drawings of the first four groupings were finished in 1991 and in 1993, the second four groupings were added, along with some transcripts from a recorded conversation between Sensei Ellis and Rogers on a long roadtrip between Dallas, Texas and Alamogordo, New Mexico. Rogers made his 1st Dan during that trip, and Positive Aikido picked up a lot of its histories and background information. Still, it was no more than a bunch of papers cobbled together from various sources.
In 1999 however, with the advent of digital photography, Sensei Rogers decided to augment the drawings with some digital photos and possibly put together a proper booklet for students in all the Ellis Schools. The photos however, required some supporting text - and there was a lot of other material which needed to be conveyed as well. The transcripts were re-written and cleaned up and the photos were digitally processed for the first four forms. During another visit to New Mexico, Sensei and his assistant Anita Wilson along with Sensei's son performed the demonstrations needed for the last four forms. Later, the first four forms were re-shot with Sensei Rogers and one of his first USA students, Jeff Glaze of New Mexico. By this time, Positive Aikido was being developed as a book.
The agent and publishers we first contacted agreed, but the material was still fairly rough. More photos were shot and extensive digital work was done on them to clarify technique. Additional sections were added to describe combat strategy and the philosophy behind "Positive Aikido". Sections on ethics and morals within the arts were developed along with material dealing with the selection of a martial art for beginners, and of course, the history section was strengthened and sharpened.
Lastly, a complete re-organisation of the material was accomplished with an addition of a section on pins and control and weapons (jo and sword). The finished work is comprised of more than 1000 photos, 600 hand-drawings and complex explanations and tips to make the techniques of Aikido work properly. It includes detailed writing on the "Positive" mindset as well as complete sections geared to beginners, intermediate students and advanced practitioners.
Although several traditional publishers expressed interest in printing the book, and initial negotiations were entered into with one California-based company, the advent of "print-on-demand" technology and the resulting new publishing market, made for a better alternative.
Of this book as it stands now, the authors say this - "There are a lot of books on Martial Arts out there, and this one fits into the crowd well - but it also stands alone in the sheer comprehensiveness of the work. It is a nearly complete representation of a single school's technique - it is a historical marker - a book of strategy - an ethical guide - a technical manual - and it is a chart, graph and manifest of all the things which make martial artists as a whole stand together as sisters and brothers with the same warrior spirit."
This letter of recommendation is from William (Bill) Woods Sensei. Sensei Woods was in the 1950's and 60's Aide and personal secretary to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. At that time Sensei Woods was considered the most influential and powerful figure in British Martial Arts. In 1955 he was the British Judo Champion. He was the first person to be graded by Abbe Sensei to 1st dan in Kendo, holding certificate No 1, he was a key figure in the creation of the British Judo Council ( BJC ) and the International Budo Council ( IBC ). There are too many credits to the name of Sensei Woods to be listed here. I am very proud to have known Sensei Woods for almost 50 years. signed: Henry Ellis.
The new book is published by Trafford Publishing and avaIlable from all good book shops and online with Amazon, priced around $18.95 or