(英文版) 武産合気 - The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki (英語) ハードカバー – 2010/3/11
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The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki takes the reader on a spiritual journey straight to the essence of Aikido, in the words of the great Founder himself. Ueshiba, affectionately known as O’Sensei, or “Great Master,” devoted himself to the promotion of peace and expression of universal human values, and spent a substantial part of his life imparting and teaching these values. Taken largely from transcripts of lectures he gave, The Heart of Aikido draws on the essence of the Founder’s philosophy and spirituality based on the Shinto religion, and his beliefs on the divinity of the true self and the universe. His teachings also emphasize the importance of harmony in Aikido, and how ultimately humans can foster a peaceful society by dispelling aggression through such harmony.
This long-awaited English version is a translation of the original Japanese classic. Among the many Aikido books that exist today, this book will stand out for its heartfelt focus on the spiritual message of the Founder, and how that message resonates with equal urgency in today’s world.
MORIHEI UESHIBA was born in Western Japan in 1883. After devoting himself to mastering classical styles of judo, kendo, and jujutsu, he created Aikido, an entirely original martial art, based on the spiritual teachings of the Omoto-kyo religion. After the Second World War, Morihei established the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo to promote the dissemination of Aikido throughout the world. Morihei died in 1969.
MORITERU UESHIBA was born in 1951, grandson of Morihei Ueshiba and son of the late Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the second Aikido Doshu. He graduated from Meiji Gakuin University in 1976. In 1999 he became Aikido Doshu, and the permanent chairman of the International Aikido Federation.
HIDEO TAKAHASHI was born in Tokyo in 1932. He served under Masahisa Goi as chief editor and director of publications of Byakko Shinko Kai, and until his retirement he also served as the organization’s vice president. He has authored numerous works of prose and poetry on world peace.
JOHN STEVENS, Buddhist scholar and Aikido instructor, is the translator and compiler of Morihei’s The Essence of Aikido, and author of many other books on Aikido, Buddhism, and East Asian Art.
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I gave this book four stars because I personally would have preferred a more exact translation with footnotes explaining obscure references. However, John Stevens' goal has always been to make the spiritual beliefs that lay at the foundation of aikido accessible to everyone, and I believe this book does a good job of this. There has been a long debate about the importance of spirituality in aikido, and I think this explains O-Sensei's point of view on the matter.
This book does not contain any overt discussions of waza, so if you are looking for the best angle to bend your elbow to get a good shihonage or how much weight to put on your front foot v. your back foot, this is not the book for you.
For those who have a true interest in Aikido and not simply the often too common Western ideal of the mere physical techniques, this is one of the works you should include in your library.
Having now read, and continuously re-reading of "The Heart of Aikido,"I'm beginning to visualize and 'see' the whole of Aikido. I'm grateful and appreciative of John Stevens' efforts in attempting to share with committed students of Aikido, such as myself, his excellent translations and interpretations of O'Sense (Morehei Ueshiba Sensei). "The Heart of Aikido" is an excellent reference text for any serious student of Aikido.