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****Excellent***Good**Fair*Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

December 01, 1987|TERRY ATKINSON

"Aikido: Zen in the Martial Arts." Arclight. $39.95. The market for martial-arts videos is so healthy that there's even one store in Wilmington that specializes in them. Such tapes come in many forms--crude, violent, informative, classy. "Aikido" is a good one, an artfully made introduction to a form of self-defense that really does put the emphasis on defense. To a relative novice, aikido--as taught here by the head of the West Los Angeles Aikido Institute--seems to have a lot in common with basic judo, using the opponent's own force and direction against him but adding sophisticated twists of its own. It seems a valuable martial-arts choice for both men and women. How much aikido one can learn from the tape itself is limited (the discipline calls for lengthy training), but the video is very watchable and informative, though low-budget. It smartly mixes comments from narrator, instructor and students with ample, clear demonstrations. A bonus is the excellent Japanese-style music by Maury Baker. Information: (714) 843-0008. ***

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