Re: Gus Learns to Fly: Self-Defense Is Self-Discovery
From Amazon's book description:
Gus is a 7-year-old boy taking an Aikido class with other kids. He is mad because a boy at his new school is bullying him and he's not sure what to do. He tells his friend, Zoe, who is in Aikido class with Gus, and she shares how she dealt with a bully using Aikido.
Gus also talks to his Aikido teacher, Kimberly Sensei and seeks her advice. Kimberly Sensei tells Gus about the Japanese samurai who started Aikido; his name was O Sensei. When O Sensei was a kid, he was little and sick. Once his dad got beat up by robbers. After that, his dad made him study lots of different martial arts so that he would grow up to be strong and courageous.
O Sensei would always pretend to be a dragon. When he got really good he could defeat all his attackers. But he could do something else even better, he could win without ever fighting.
With photographs and simple text, the authors explain Aikido, its philosophy, and some of the specific moves for self-defense.
In time, Gus builds up his self-confidence and his Aikido abilities. One day when the school bully confronts Gus after school, and pushes him, Gus pretends he is a dragon, moves into an Aikido stance and easily deflects the bully's aggression.
The story ends with Gus saying, "But the most important thing is that I am not afraid when I go to school. We have Japanese words on the wall of the dojo that say, Amatsu gatsu agatsu. That means "True Victory is Victory over Oneself."
Now I know what that means.