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Stevens, John -- The Secrets of Aikido
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 7.0
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Description: Aikido, the "Way of Peace," is a martial art aimed at harmonizing the body and spirit with natural forces and universal laws. Stevens explores the hidden secrets and deeper dimensions of Aikido, especially its spiritual aspects as taught by its Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Includes over 200 carefully selected photos, calligraphies, and other illustrations, including vintage photographs of the Founder himself.
Keywords: stevens secrets
ISBN: 1570620067


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Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Ian Dodkins
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Ian Dodkins
Date: 2001-06-15

Some nice photos and interesting snippets about the philosophy of Aikido and some of Ueshiba's religious beliefs. However, having spoken to people who trained with Ueshiba it seems that John Stevens doesn't paint a good picture of what Ueshiba was actually like in the dojo and tends to focus more on the religious side of things. From the photos of John Stevens technique he definately seems to be of the school that Aikido is moving meditation.

However, I was intrigued by some aspects (e.g. the significance of the triangle, square and circle) and it has slightly enriched my understanding of aikido. But, this book will not improve your aikido and if you want to know more about Ueshiba, it is probably better reading a more specialised book. I'll probably only go back to it to look at a couple of the pictures of Ueshiba (though these are readily found in other texts).
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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: Charles Hill
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Charles Hill
Date: 2003-05-04

The purpose of this book (as I understand it) is to make the art of Aikido more understandable to those who don't have the time or ability to delve into the language and culture of the Founder. This does not mean Japanese culture. The Founder had very specific religious beliefs and practices which would befuddle even most Japanese. John Stevens compares what he has learned in over 30 years of intense training and study to other subjects westerners might find more familiar. He explains Aikido in terms of western philosophy and alchemy as well as well as the more familiar Japanese arts. With all due respect, Mr. Dodkin's review doesn't make sense. The book doesn't purport to be about Morihei Ueshiba. It is an attempt by a westerner, extremely qualified, to help other westerners understand the depth of Aikido. In this, I feel the book to be a great success.
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