The Heart of Aikido


"Aikido practice is purification of the body and mind on all levels."

"If people do not understand the principle of 'takemusu aiki' [valorous, unlimited creativity], they will only think about winning, never wanting to lose, matching brawn against brawn, bullying the weak and powerless-in short, they take an aggressive attitude. To rid the world of aggression and contention is the purpose of Aikido." —Morihei Ueshiba

The legendary Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, spent a lifetime immersed in the philosophy and practice of the martial traditions of Japan. Throughout his extraordinary life he mastered an array of techniques from various martial schools including jujutsu and kendo. Blending these techniques with a deep affinity for the Shinto religion, he honed them into a wholly new system called Aikido-the way of harmony. His universal message of peace has earned Aikido a world-renowned reputation, and Aikido is now practiced in over 90 countries, with devotees from all walks of life.

"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.

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" This long-awaited English version is a translation "

Ummm... long-awaited by who?

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By many of us, WilliB. :-)

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I will get it, but was dissapointed by "The Book of Five Rings" written by Ueshiba's equivalent in Kendo.

Sun Tzu and Zhuge Liang's books have helped me to understand Chinese mentality and behavior, but the behavior of people in Japan mostly defies logic. so i need to study and observe more.

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"Purification of the mind" Is much needed in this land of the rising sin!

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I used to do Aikido and now do Shorinji Kempo (a mix of Kung Fu and Aikido).

The people that do both of these arts are some of the nicest, most accepting, most balanced people you will ever meet in Japan. Unlike some other arts, they aren't macho or about kicking someones arse. They're about self defense and peace through deterrence. I only wish some in modern Japan and the rest of the world would pick up on the message.

Could be worth a read.

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Further note: the root of Aikido, Aki Ju-Jitsu and Shorinji Kempo is in Zen Buddhism. All of these arts view neutralizing an attacker while causing no permanent injury the highest form of self defense. Easy to say, pretty hard to actually do. The skill of these people is very high.

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PepinGalarga, you will not understand japanese mentality by this book, becouse Ueshiba Morihei's thoughts and teachings are considered unique even by Japanese standards. He was a mystic and visionary way transcending the boundaries of Japanese traditions. Besides, his world-view stems from the so-called "shinkou shuukyou" religious movements, and from their kind of Japanese-style new age spiritual practices and lifestyle. So I think it would be too hasty if you drew conclusions on that subject just by this book.

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