Does anyone where there is a collection of Oscar Ratti's Aikido drawings? Most notably those in "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere".

midway through kotegeashi

I find them piecemeal all over the internet for pretty much any kind of Aikido search. Some have even been spliced into animations, a creative reboot into a new media type. I've yet to find them in one place though. (Pinterest doesn't count. That's just a hodgepodge, useful for discovery sometimes but not for reference.)

Update from comments: My purpose in asking the question is that I'm putting together a personal study guide.

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    If the images are copyrighted you can´t use them freely without the owner's approval.
    – Mauricio
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 17:26
  • @Mauricio they can be used but not redistributed. See discussion on my answer for more on this. Commented May 10, 2019 at 18:45
  • You may want to edit your question slightly; it was only through commentary that we can discern what your true intentions with the images are.
    – Andrew Jay
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 18:57
  • You are free to use the images as you want, so long as you keep those images private to you. Without permission, and without a claim to fair use, you cannot give, sell, or provide them to anyone else, or vice-versa. If your intention is to help you learn better, you have no copyright issues. But if you intend to take what you've done and provide it to your students or readers - free or for charge - you are running afoul of law. If you wish to write about them and reference a few of them as a news piece, you're good to go.
    – Andrew Jay
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


Those are all copyrighted drawings made by Oscar Ratti. You should contact his estate (as he died in 2005), via his publisher the Charles E. Tuttle Company and ask for permission to do whatever you wish to do. You should direct all questions to them.

In additions, those drawings are nice but show the understanding of a shodan of some techniques. As such some of those drawings leave much to be desired and should be taken with a grain of salt despite their visual appeal. As to which illustration are questionable, I do not think there is a list or if such exists, I do not know of it. I would be surprise if any did exist.

Mostly, books on Aikido contain pictures of people doing techniques as those are far easier to get rather than illustrations. Static content is only so much help and you would be better served looking at videos. The only real way to learn is actually training in a dojo.

  • Agreed, the order of precedence/ significance is real life (dojo) > video > photos > drawings. However each one of those has something unique to contribute to learning. Videos don't require presence of sempai or sensei in that moment. Drawings and photos don't require electricity. Drawings can draw out specifics to pay attention to that are easy to miss in the rich details of a photo (see repair manuals). Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 13:37
  • I would still rather use a more up to date book with photos than those illustrations. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 14:24
  • A more recent book wouldn't be free from the intellectual property concerns. If anything they'd be heightened as the author is more likely to be alive and drawing sustenance from the work. Commented May 11, 2019 at 17:08

Buy the ebook version from Amazon, use Calibre ebook library software in combination with Kindle for PC or Mac software and a DeDRM plugin to convert the ebook to htmlz format. Open the .htmlz file with 7zip or other archive program and put the image folder where it's useful to you. Some homework will be needed to configure Calibre, DeDRM, and Kindle to work with each other. Follow the guide on Calibre's website; go slow to move fast.

The images aren't the best resolution, a single figure like the one in the question is only 200 pixels to a side. You'll also need to rename the files manually as they're sequentially numbered, but not in the same order as they appear in the book.

It's a hassle but not too bad of a time and money investment (for me). Less than $20 for the book and a couple hours research and computer futzing. Beats taking the paperback book and cutting the illustrations out, which is what I was going to do if I didn't find a digital solution. (As others have noted, the text is less accurate than the illustrations.) Now I have pictures I can easily re-arrange into a personal study guide in a way that makes sense to me.

Note: breaking digital rights management (copy protection) isn't piracy when it's for personal use. It would be if I turned around and put the results up on an web site for others to download. That's not what's being advocated here.

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    For those that have flagged this as piracy, he is recommending buying the book. A method to convert it to a different format is not piracy, and in fact is commonly done (As evidenced by the tutorial on the Cailbre site.) Open source != piracy.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 14:14
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    Thanks @JohnP. This similar to taking the paperback book and cutting the illustrations out, which is what I was going to do if I didn't find a digital solution. Now I have pictures I can re-arrange into a personal study guide in a way that makes sense to me. Commented May 2, 2019 at 15:40
  • The images are copyrighted. You cannot just pull them from the book and use them willy nilly. But I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, use this "advise" at your own risk and consult a real lawyer. Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:22
  • @Sardathrion when a person purchases a book, physical or virtual, they're free to use the contents as they wish, including cutting pieces out and re-using in some other form. What's not allowed without copyright holder's permission is redistributing that to other people. (And for what it's worth I've contacted the publisher and asked for permission. Initial conversation held but too early to say what might come of it.) Commented May 10, 2019 at 18:44

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