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Heckler, Richard (Editor) -- Aikido and the New Warrior
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Description: This anthology explores the application of aikido to health, conflict resolution, sports, animal training, and other areas. Heckler is a well-known aikido instructor who lives in Petaluma, ca. Eighteen pieces include “A Zen Way of Baseball” by Sadaharu Oh, “A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath” by Terry Dobson, “Blending with Death” by Susan Stone, and “An Aikido Class” by Robert Nadeau.
Keywords: heckler new warrior
ISBN: 0938190512


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

 
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Author: John Bach
E-Mail: Send E-mail to John Bach

What is the revelence of Aikido when riding a bus?... when playing a sport?... when dealing with animals? How is Aikido practiced when faced with the death of a loved one? These are but a few of the topics addressed in a compilation of essays edited by Richard Heckler.

Having read and enjoyed Heckler's other book, "In Search of the Warrior Spirit", when I came across this collection, I knew that I would be engaged for the next few evenings.

This book is a collection of seventeen essays written by students and masters of Aikido, as well as people who have brought the precepts of Aikido into their lives. Here I would like to briefly address a couple of the essays that have stuck with me; "Blending with Death" by Susan Stone and "Aikido and Healing: Does This Stuff Really Work?"

Susan Stone's essay deals with her coming to terms with her father's impending death at the hands of cancer. The heart-felt essay starts off with an enigmatic dream of Susan's; a precursor from her unconcious initiating her into the final days with her father. She describes her need to enter into her father's ordeal and somehow blend her spirit with his. She tells of the struggles of all her family in coming to terms with each other as well as the impending death of their loved one. Susan describes the parallels of her father's "making it to the other side" with her own spiritual development and how the recognition of the dance of life and death with her father fortified her spirit. This is a tale of the metamorphasis of two spirits.

In "Aikido and Healing...", Richard Moon also deals with a family crisis. His brother, Bil, is involved in an traffic accident that leaves him in a coma. Richard is half a continent away and while the rest of his family ministers to his brother, he is told there is nothing he can do. Eventually, Richard is compelled to do something, anything, so he flies home. He doesn't know how he can help; how can anyone help? He is shocked to see his brother's deterioration, and feels even more helpless when he directly sees the situation. On one visit to the hospital, out of sheer desperation and an inner need to do something, Richard wonders if he would be able to apply his ki, his inner spiritual energy, to his brother. He applys nikkyo to one of his brother's wrists and speaks softly to him. The stillness of the hospital room is broken by some words mumbled by Bil; those present become pie-eyed with disbelief. After this initial response, Richard, of course, continues his ki treatments over the next days and his brother improves steadily. This miraculous turn of events just amazes the medical staff, Bil's friends and his family. This touching story will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Later, one of Bil's friends tearfully says to Richard, "This is the best martial arts story I've ever heard." I agree.

This collection helps show the range and depth of Aikido to affect people's lives; from the mundane to the archetypal. All the essays are very readable and, althought some are more **heavy** than others, all are engaging and reflect the principles of Aikido that drew most of us to it.

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

 
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Author: Karl Drinkwater
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This book is already well reviewed by John Bach. I would just like to mention a few of my favourite essays from it.

Terry Dobson's 'A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath' is a good lesson in humility and peace as opposed to fighting. Terry Dobson was in a situation where he was about to use aikido techniques on someone, but the need disappeared when someone else resolved the situation with their words - demonstrating that the dissipation of aggression that is aikido can be achieved in many ways.

O. Fred Donaldson's 'On Aikido, Wolves and Other Wildlife' is about Donaldson's love of nature, and how that combines well with the spiritual aspects fo aikido.

Richard Strozzi Heckler's 'Aikido and Children' is an account of how aikido can be used successfully as a behavioural therapy, and makes optimistic reading.

Finally, George Leonard's 'This Isn't Richard' is a fascinating description of a grading which had a magical atmosphere.

John Bach said all the essays are very readable, and this is true apart from one at the end of the collection, which is a transcript from an aikido class. The idea is good, but it just doesn't work in practice - without seeing what is being demonstrated the transcript becomes a bit esoteric and disembodied, and I found it difficult to read. But overall the collection provokes many thoughts and questions, which is all any book can hope for.

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Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
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Author: Jeff Tibbetts
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Jeff Tibbetts

This is a collection of various anecdotes involving Aikido in one way or another. Many of these stories are now "dojo legend" that are passed from Sempai to Kohai. Books like this are a lot of fun to read at any level of experience, and help to illustrate some of the peculiar aspects of the life of an Aikidoka. Makes for a great easy reading with the potential to be a good teaching tool. Certainly not a technical manual, though, so look elsewhere if that's your mood.
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