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Stevens, John -- The Shambhala Guide to Aikido
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Description: From the Publisher:

Aikido is the "Art of Peace," a discipline that emphasizes harmony and the peaceful resolution of conflict. Far more than a self-defense technique, Aikido is a physical and spiritual discipline that aims at unifying the body and spirit with the natural forces of the universe, fostering compassion, wisdom, and fearlessness.

This book introduces the basic principles and practices of this popular martial art and includes:

* The biography of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), highlighting key events that led to the development of Aikido
* The fundamental training methods and techniques, illustrated by dozens of photographs
* The philosophical and spiritual dimensions of Aikido
* How to choose an instructor
* A glossary of important terms
* Suggestions for further reading
Keywords: stevens shambhala guide
ISBN: 1570621705

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AikiWeb System

Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1322
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


Author: Steven Scott
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Steven Scott
Date: 0000-00-00

Although a short book, mostly populated by black and white photographs, it contains information which briefly covers all aspects of Aikido that will hold interest for the beginning student and will no doubt dredge up a fact or two that the advanced student will not be aware of. All of the techniques are described using the proper Japanese terminology, for which an excellent Glossary may be found at the back of the book.

The book is, however aimed at the novice and is split into four main chapters:

1. Morihei Ueshiba - The founder of Aikido
2. The Art of Aikido
3. The Philosophy of Aikido
4. Schools and Styles of Aikido

The first chapter is a very comprehensive and detailed account of the life of O-Sensei and explains all of the facts about his understanding of the art he named Aikido. There is also information on the events that lead to the inclusion of the spiritual aspects that set Aikido apart from the many other martial arts of today.

The second chapter deals with the practice of the art, beginning with the proper clothing required, how to wear it, and how to ensure proper etiquette and courtesy. It is, however, not simply devoted to showing the various techniques in depth.

The text and photographs cover a wide range of techniques, explaining not how to perform them physically, but the theories, principles and 'feeling' behind the application of all techniques.

The third chapter gives a brief outline of the philosophy of Aikido as outlined by O-Sensei. Here, the author portrays the intention behind each aspect of Aikido without becoming too deep and losing the interest of the novice or spiritually undeveloped Aikidoka.

With everything from Misogi and Chinkon Kishin through to an overview of Kotodama and O-Sensei's mandala of the universe, it explains and highlights the principles of Aikido thought in broad layman's term, again suitable for those beginning the spiritual journey within their Aikido practice.

Finally, the book ends by briefly highlighting the structure of Kyu and Dan ranks, and the varying styles of Aikido practised. With brief information on the traditional Ueshiba style, through to Tomiki Aikido and Yoshinkan Aikido to name but a few.

There is also a selection of O-Sensei's teachings provided, not simply a few of his many poems, but actual quotations.

As previously stated, an excellent Glossary is found at the back of the book, as well as a Bibliography detailing the sources of material used which provides other fine examples of Aikido literature.

All in all a good introductory book for those who wish to start the practise of Aikido, and contained within its pages are also several small items of information that will undoubtedly raise an eyebrow from even those who thought they had heard it all.

Yours in Aiki

Steven Scott

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