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Stevens, John -- Invincible Warrior
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100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0
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Description: From the Publisher:

Invincible Warrior tells the fascinating story of the life of Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), whose quest for the true meaning of warriorship lead to the creation of the martial art called Aikido, "The Art of Peace." Ueshiba—whose name means "abundant peace"—is considered by many to be one of the greatest martial artists who ever lived. His documented ability to disarm any attacker, throw a dozen men simultaneously, and down and pin opponents without touching them has accorded his life legendary status.

Invincible Warrior presents the real story behind Morihei's achievement, illuminating the man and his message. Stevens describes the people, events, and ideas that influenced Ueshiba's lifelong spiritual quest, which culminated in the development of unique teachings of Aikido. Illustrated with two hundred photographs of Morihei in action and filled with revealing anecdotes about his life and times, Invincible Warrior also offers valuable discussion of the Founder's conception of Aikido as a path of harmony and love, unifying body and mind, self and others, humans and the universe.
Keywords: stevens invincible warrior biography
ISBN: 1570623945


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Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: William McLuskie
E-Mail: Send E-mail to William McLuskie

The book is billed as "The most complete biography of O-Sensei in English print." Overall I enjoyed reading the book. The pictures provide an excellent insight into the life and times of a man who has had a profound impact on my own life. I would recommend this book for the library of every Aikidoka.

The book is divided into three sections:

* Part One: The Life and Times of Morihei Ueshiba
* Part Two: Morihei Ueshiba and the Creation of Aikido
* Part Three: The Marvelous Techniques of Morihei Ueshiba

Part One is mostly a text biography of Ueshiba's life. It is an easy to read summary of the important events that helped to forge Ueshiba into the man he was. It begins with his childhood, includes his martial arts training, military service, and relationship with the Omoto Kyo religion. Without being a historian, I can't comment on the accuracy of the biography. I did find that it followed all that I've ever heard and read about Ueshiba.

One thing that you will notice is that parts of this section read like a Roman myth. For example, "he let out a yell that knocked the birds from the sky." Did this really happen? Or is it just a good story? But then, does it really matter? I'm sure there are those who would prefer read the facts, and only the facts. I thought the little "myths" that were interspersed throughout the section helped to keep the reading light and enjoyable.

I would have appreciated a time line with the dates and major events (as they were covered in the text). Maybe, I'll create my own when I reread the book. There are several blank pages at the end of the book for notes and such.

Part Two is a series of pictures documenting Ueshiba's life. You will find pictures as diverse as Ueshiba sitting on a river bank fishing, the Manchuria expedition in leg irons, and scenes from Ayabe.

Part Three presents Ueshiba performing prewar Aiki Budo and postwar Aikido techniques. Many of these photos have not been published before. They are not detailed enough to actually teach Aikido, but if you are lucky you be able to distill small pieces of information from them.

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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Dallas Adolphsen
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Dallas Adolphsen
Date: 2001-10-23

This book rocks! Tells you a LOT about the Founder of Aikido and his life and creation of Aikido. It is a clear and easly understandable book, fun and fast. I enjoyed it more than most sci fi books! Invincable Warrior is a must for aikido practacers and people intrested in jappan alike.
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Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Ian Dodkins
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Ian Dodkins
Date: 2003-04-04

This is the best biographical account I have ever read of Ueshiba. Though I always feel that John Stevens tends to worship Ueshiba and likes to believe in the miraculous, this book seems thoroughly researched and has a lot of good photos of Ueshiba throughout his life. Very interesting and well balanced account.
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Timothy Tikker


Registered: June 2006
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 10
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good biography, lively and engaging reading
Cons:

Excellent overview biography, a lively read!, July 13, 2006
Reviewer: TJT in A2 (Ann Arbor, MI USA) - See all my reviews
I bought this book as I was looking for a reasonably complete (though not necessarily exhaustive) biography of the founder of Aikido, preferably with a good number of photographs as well as text. This book fulfilled those requirements, and exceeded my expectations. The story is fascinating and compelling, and it is told in a very enjoyable and readable way.

The author is an American who has lived and taught in Japan for many years. He has developed a deep understanding of Japanese culture which allows him to present this material well to an English-speaking reader.

As to charges that this book promotes mythology about Morihei Ueshiba: I\'m really not in a position to say for myself, not having had a chance to compare this book with other authors\' work on the topic. Until I do, I will reserve judgment. In any case, I found Stevens\' book to be a very worthwhile read.
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