Aikido and the Harmony of Nature by Mitsugi Saotome


2559795d03d3149-261x361.jpg Author Mitsugi Saotome
Isbn 9780877738558
File size 14.71MB
Year 1993
Pages 251
Language English
File format PDF
Category martial arts



 

“Anyone with an interest in Asian culture and philosophy will also find it interesting and entertaining. Over the years I have heard many people ask, ‘What is Aikido?’ Mitsugi Saotome has provided us with a well-written and thorough answer.” —Pacific World “Aikido and the Harmony of Nature reveals the profound philosophical and ethical principles embodied in the art of Aikido and relates those principles to the laws of nature. It is among the clearest, deepest, and most inspiring books ever written on Aikido or, for that matter, on any martial art.” —Susan Perry, Editor-in-Chief, Aikido Today magazine ABOUT THE BOOK Here is a unique approach to the teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, as interpreted by his direct student of fifteen years. Mitsugi Saotome examines the spiritual philosophy of the Founder, the warrior ideals of feudal Japan as the basis of his martial arts philosophy, and the scientific principles underlying the philosophy of Aikido technique. The author shows that the physical movement of Aikido is the embodiment of principles of the spirit. Negative force is not countered with aggression but is controlled and redirected through the power and balance of spiral movement. This is the shape of Aikido and the dynamic shape at the foundation of all energies of existence. Aikido movement can only be understood from its roots in universal law and the processes of nature. The sincere practice and study of Aikido deepens our appreciation for the perfection of nature’s balance and brings us back into harmony with our environment, other people, and ourselves. Abundantly illustrated with the author’s drawings, diagrams, and calligraphies, as well as photographs demonstrating Aikido techniques, the book also offers a history of Aikido, personal anecdotes about the Founder, and translations of several of his lectures. MITSUGI SAOTOME Sensei is the founder of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba and the chief instructor at the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of The Principles of Aikido. Aikido To Shizen To No Chowa: Aikido and the Harmony of Nature SHAMBHALA Boston & London 2013 Shambhala Publications, Inc. Horticultural Hall 300 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, Massachusetts 02115 www.shambhala.com © 1986, 1993 by Mitsugi Saotome All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Saotome, Mitsugi. Aikido and the harmony of nature / Mitsugi Saotome. p. cm. eISBN 978-0-8348-2584-0 ISBN 0-87773-855-6 (pbk.) 1. Aikido—Philosophy. I. Title. GV1114.35.S26 1993 92-56440 796.8′154—dc20 CIP Contents DEDICATION TRANSLATOR’S NOTE PREFACE FOREWORD BY DAVID JONES 1 HISTORY of the FOUNDER 2 KANNAGARA NO MICHI 3 The BEGINNING of the UNIVERSE 4 PERSPECTIVE on TRUTH 5 The HARMONY of NATURE’S JUSTICE 6 The JUSTICE of NATURE’S HARMONY 7 AGGRESSION and the EVOLUTION of BUJUTSU 8 BUDO: The EDUCATION of INSTINCT 9 AIKIDO: The TRANSMISSION of TRUTH 10 KI and KOKYU 11 MARUBASHI: The ELEMENTS of REALITY 12 The TRAINING PROCESS 13 The EDUCATION of an UCHI DESHI 14 The DOJO: SPIRITUAL OASIS Dedication Aikido is not philosophy. Aikido is the true expression and revelation of the ever-evolving functions of the universe. Thus is derived the goal of Takemusu Aiki—experiencing the mechanisms of nature’s truth in training and applying the theories in our daily life. In Asia the word Bu means to halt the danger of the thrusting blade. Since the beginnings of human culture, this concept of Bu has implied a global advancement toward the construction of a peaceful society. “Bu is love,” proclaimed O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido and my mentor. Yet no simplistic understanding of Budo can in any way measure the life of unfathomable devotion and dedication O Sensei led in the Way of the true samurai. He strove for a human revelation of spiritual truth, and for world harmony through daily prayer and total unselfish concern for others. We must train hard for the attainment of wisdom, for harmony and an unselfish love for all humankind. Such is the path the Founder of Aikido has cultivated for us to follow. I dedicate this book to the Founder of Aikido and to all Aikido followers. SHIHAN M. SAOTOME Translator’s Note Appearing in italics throughout this text are Japanese words and phrases which many readers will encounter for the first time. Often they have no English equivalent. Rather than try to give their literal meaning word for word, which is often misleading, we have tried to give the feeling and philosophy behind the word in the hope of presenting a clearer explanation. Some words will be defined more than once as the book progresses, so please do not accept the first explanation as the fullest. Each chapter builds on the preceding ones. Most of the book has been written from discussions with Saotome Sensei and from his dictation in English. His usage of the English language, while not gramatically exact, is unique with a fresh and stimulating way of expressing his thoughts. To put some of these expressions into conventional English would make them much less effective. The goal has been to retain as much of his feeling and power as possible. If there are inconsistencies, errors, or misinterpretations, the fault is mine. The Japanese names of persons born before the Meiji Restoration are written in the traditional Japanese manner, with family name first. Those born after that date, 1868, are written in the Western manner, with the family name last. The use of the masculine pronoun to refer to both males and females has been avoided as much as possible, but because of the structure of the English language, flow and readability have often dictated its use. There is no such limitation in the Japanese language. Deepest appreciation to Paul Kang, who freely gave of his time and energy to produce translations from the Japanese of the many difficult, complex ideas and O Sensei’s speeches, and to Sara Bluestone, who added her professional touch to some of the diagrams and drawings. This book has gone through many changes to evolve to its present form, and many people, too numerous to name here, have helped in all its phases. Thank you all so much. And a special thank-you to Dr. David Jones for his guidance and support. PATRICIA SAOTOME Mitsugi Saotome (left) and Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the Founder Preface I think many people may have difficulty understanding Aikido and the Harmony of Nature. Some will be disappointed because there is so little explanation of the physical education of Aikido self-defense technique. In their search for technical information, these readers may miss the connection to Aikido in the discussion of science and the processes of nature. But the function of Aikido is different. It is not technique in the narrow sense, but the true meaning of the teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, that I wish to transmit. Aikido movement must be understood from its roots deep in universal law. Its goal is to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of the perfection of nature’s balance, and to bring humanity back into harmony with God. I want to create in each person’s mind a vivid flashback into our beginnings. I want to draw from your subconscious mind the memory of the very beginning of life and the struggle through time and space of the incredible evolution of humanity. I want you to feel the beauty and power of that evolution and give thanks to the Divine Creator. We too easily forget our roots. In our selfishness we forget the delicate balance of the dependence of one life form on all others. If everyone applied to nature’s resources a conservation born of respect, love, and understanding, and used them with an attitude of sincere thanksgiving to God, nature would be protected and the quality of life enriched. By protecting nature we protect society. By protecting society we protect ourselves. Self-defense is protecting and sustaining life. If nature is destroyed, the most fundamental requirement for survival is destroyed. To survive, we must nourish our body. If there is no food, if the water and the air are contaminated, there is no life, no society. This is the essence of Budo. It is not the narrow art of fighting technique, but the art of saving life. And Aikido is first and always Budo. What help is fighting technique if there are one hundred starving people and no food? Many great Budo masters understood this. Many gave up the sword and returned to the land. We live in a throw-away society of instant dinners and paper cups; every lazy, selfish act of excess is a crime of violence against nature. We are all criminals: we are killing ourselves. Peace and harmony is not a game of logic. Only through peace and harmony and an abiding respect for nature’s laws can we save our lives, and the lives of our children, and of our children’s children. This is O Sensei’s teaching. This is my reason for writing this book. Grand Master Morihei Ueshiba FOREWORD by David Jones I would like to comment on Saotome Sensei’s work, Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, from the perspective of my academic specialty, ethnology, the field of anthropology that focuses on the human cultural experience. One of my interests as an ethnologist has been the discovery of those aspects of the human adventure which seem to have near-universal expression under given cultural conditions. In one sense, the thousands of recurring behaviors and responses described by anthropology present a picture of the universal human being. They may speak of the most ancient nature of the species and demonstrate those perceptions and actions that humans seem to find again and again to be apt and true. Aikido, viewed in its more sophisticated guise, is a modern facet of this endless wave of occurrence of those images of being, those codes of behavior to which billions of humans through many thousands of years have said, “Yes!” As the following brief survey will suggest, anthropology supports Saotome Sensei in his opinion that Aikido comprises a Way, or life model, that can have meaning for the world citizenry. One of the many important contributions that Saotome Sensei offers in this book is a presentation and explanation of Kannagara No Michi, the worldview of Aikido’s founder, Master Morihei Ueshiba. Students of Japanese martial culture, and of Aikido in particular, will be very interested in the assumptions Ueshiba held concerning the nature of things, since these ideas form the bedrock of the structure of Aikido. Saotome Sensei tells us that kannagara means “the stream of God; the flow of creative energy that reaches from the past into the future.” He adds that Kannagara No Michi is a “Way of life that strives for the truth and reality which is God.” Saotome writes: Kannagara is way of intuition. . . . Kannagara is a way of supreme freedom. . . . For the true follower of the Way, all actions arise from an unconscious and sincerely felt respect and appreciation for the perfection of nature’s process and from the knowledge that all things have within them a living part of the Divine Spirit of Kami, the Creator of the Universe. The mountains have God’s name. The wind has God’s name. The rivers have God’s name. . . . The idea that many kami exist, as well as one original Kami, may seem a paradox; and the idea that kami govern the workings of the mountains and rivers, of the earth and the heavens, of trees and birds, may be incomprehensible to those who have received an education in modern science. Kami might be seen as Master Ueshiba’s experiential means of comprehending the singular immensity of Kannagara in the particulars of daily life. The basic notion of kami, that all things have a spiritual consciousness, an inner spark, is well known in anthropology. We use the term animism to describe a religious belief system in which every plant, animal, human, celestial body, earth form, and force of nature is felt to have this second self, soul, or spirit essence. Edward B. Tylor, the founder of cultural anthropology, coined the term animism and labeled his theory concerning the origin and nature of religion “the theory of animism” because his studies indicated that animism was one of the most ancient and pervasive of all religious ideas. The “many kami/one Kami” view of Kannagara No Michi also resonates with the essential core of totemism. The most famous and influential of all sociologists, Emile Durkheim, in his classic The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, described totemism as the original shape of religion. The totemic model, in a variety of forms and bearing a wide range of labels, permeates the human pilgrimage. Another central aspect of Aikido is the Japanese concept ki. This is a notoriously difficult idea to translate for the West. Saotome Sensei succinctly states that ki is “the cosmic essence of life.” In anthropology animatism is the term used to identify a belief in a nonanthropomorphic, free-floating force thought to exist all the time, everywhere, and in everything. (Some prominent early anthropologists thought animatism to be even more widespread than animism.) Ki is the word for this force in Japanese. The Chinese call it ch’i (qi), while the Indian yogi speaks of prana. The Sioux word is wakan; the Comanche, puha. Each, to be sure, carries a particular and unique cultural gloss, but the basic belief found in each of these examples and many, many others is the same. In connecting various strands of Aikido to certain belief modes such as animism, animatism, and totemism, I am not suggesting that Aikido is merely composed of a collection of ancient ideas. A large portion of “ancient ideas” may not be worth mentioning. I feel that animism, animatism, and totemism may best be thought of as labels for certain ways human beings think about the nature of existence. If one looks behind the Japanese word ki, the Comanche word puha, or the Sioux word wakan, one simply sees a human being understanding life in an apparently very, very human way. Though the words may change, and the particular animatistic concept may undergo certain structural modifications, the perception of some vaguely discernible “cosmic essence” is always, in both ancient and modern life-ways, somewhere present. I would say that all humanity embraces what the word ki points to and, in fact, lives by it. In the practice of Aikido in the dojo, or practice area, the student is constantly being cautioned to move from the “center,” to be “centered” in the execution of a particular self-defense technique, to “extend ki from the center.” The Japanese use the word hara to identify this center, physically located in the lower abdomen. Hara is considered the concentration point of physical and spiritual energy, and to the mature student of Aikido its meaning may become cosmic. The core intent of the hara concept is expressed throughout the world. In English, we say that someone who displays courage, fortitude, or endurance has “guts,” and in so doing we connect the lower abdomen with certain energy-demanding virtues. Once when traveling in Wyoming I heard an old cowboy tell a teenage boy who was about to ride his first rodeo bucking horse, “The only chance you have is to ride him in your stomach.” And among many Melanesian peoples of the Southwestern Pacific, a common greeting asks, “How is your navel?” In the mountainous interior of New Guinea, the Dugum Dani have the belief that an edai egen, or “seed of singing,” exists in the body’s center and is the source of the individual’s life power. The Chinese describe the tan-t’ien, or sea of ch’i, and locate it just below the navel. The chakra system of Indian Yoga also identifies a key chakra in this position. The “center” of Aikido is the ride in the young cowboy’s stomach, the Dugum Dani’s “seed of singing,” and also the dictum of the Sioux medicine man Black Elk who said, “Anywhere is the center of the world.” If Aikido could be said to have an identifying shape, it would likely be the circle. Master Ueshiba stated: Aikido technique is structured on circular movement, for harmony is brought about and all conflict resolved through the spirit of the circle. . . . A circle encloses space, and it is from the perfect freedom of this emptiness that ki is born. From the center of this birthplace the creative processes of life are joined with the infinite, immeasurable universe by the Spirit. The Spirit is the Creator, the eternal parent giving birth to all things. . . . Within the circle the ki of the universe is guided in the processes of creation, evolution, and protection. In Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions, the old Indian shaman says: To our way of thinking, the Indians’ symbol is the circle, the hoop. Nature wants things to be round. The bodies of human beings and animals have no corners. . . . The camp in which every tipi had its place was also a ring. The tipi was a ring in which people sat in a circle and all the families in the village were in turn circles within a larger circle, part of the larger hoop. . . . The nation was only a part of the universe, in itself circular and made of the earth, which is round, of the sun, which is round, of the stars, which are round. The moon, the horizon, the rainbow—circles within circles within circles, with no beginning and no end. To us this is beautiful and fitting, symbol and reality at the same time, expressing the harmony of life and nature. Our circle is timeless, flowing; it is new life emerging from death—life winning out over death. In this book, Saotome Sensei urges the appearance of people with the spirit of the samurai: a spirit of courage, service, and compassion. Members of the Elk Warriors and Bow String Soldiers, Cheyenne Indian warrior societies, would accept the true samurai as a brother, as would the warriors of the African Nuer and Masai. Saotome Sensei discusses the meaning and importance of marubashi, “the bridge of life,” a technique of a Japanese sword school in which one was advised to enter directly into the enemy’s attack. This strategy could be understood by many peoples. Sanapia, a Comanche Medicine Woman I studied with as a graduate student in Oklahoma, told me that the course of action that gives the Comanche warrior greatest power, or “medicine,” is found in facing the ghost directly, encountering and moving into this Comanche image of ultimate danger and evil. And we find that the story of the personal struggles of the Founder of Aikido, eloquently recounted by Saotome Sensei, is the universal tale of a sensitive, courageous, and determined man who confronts and overcomes many obstacles and hardships to experience a profound insight which he then sets out to expound. Master Ueshiba’s story could be appreciated in almost any culture. Saotome Sensei focuses in his text on the extension of Ueshiba’s Aikido vision into the future by interpreting the basic philosophy of Aikido through the language of scientific method and research findings. In doing this, he gracefully avoids a flaw common with writers describing the “scientific basis of ancient beliefs.” Saotome Sensei manages to combine kami, ki, kannagara, and many other difficult concepts so skillfully with the data of science that rather than one diminishing the other, they seem to be mutually enriching. He has amplified Aikido’s voice without sacrificing its roots. After reading Saotome’s work, the image of the thunderbird seems naturally coupled with a diagram of energy flow patterns in a thunderstorm; the storm becomes more sensual and alive, and the thunderbird is given more structural authority. For me, this particular aspect of Saotome Sensei’s presentation was especially notable. A subtle war is being waged all over the earth. Those who see the thunderbird and those who see the diagram are often in deadly conflict. The latter perceive the former as muddle-headed primitives, incompetents, and dreamers, while the former see the latter as rigid, simplistic, and inhuman. As is made very clear from Saotome Sensei’s exposition, Aikido seeks harmony in conflict, not necessarily because it is a polite value of civilized people, but because harmony is creation’s essential process. There is a common ground between antagonists, which, if joined, reveals a more powerful unity. The animists are shown in Saotome Sensei’s writing that science basically supports and legitimizes them, and the scientists are instructed that they can be comfortable with the animists’ view as a rich and suggestive continuation of knowledge. The anthropological philosophy can only applaud Saotome Sensei’s Aikido, deftly demonstrated here in the realm of ideas. In his preface Saotome Sensei writes: “I want to create in each person’s mind a vivid flashback into our beginnings. I want to draw from your subconscious mind the memory of the very beginning of life and the struggle through time and space of the incredible evolution of humanity.” As an anthropologist I see the individual’s experience in Aikido as a microcosm of human biological and cultural evolution. Saotome Sensei may be speaking very literally. His Aikido ranges from the principles of energy acting in cosmic creation and identically experienced in Aikido to some of the most ancient and some of the most modern ideas and experiences of the human family. It is awesome to consider that Aikido is an art form that seeks to connect the individual with an intimate and personal experience of billions of years of creation. A cross-cultural approach to Aikido can only be lightly touched upon here. For each example presented, dozens more could be added. Aikido is so harmonious with so many of the values, beliefs, and behavioral tendencies of most human life-ways that a point-by-point comparison could produce volumes. It is abundantly clear that Morihei Ueshiba touched a profound chord in the human spirit. His great contribution was in devising Aikido, a carefully crafted method designed to cultivate and lead the individual to his or her own confrontation with the Truth. Master Ueshiba, a Japanese man with a special kind of genius, made Aikido and its outer form bears the mark of the Founder’s culture. However, Aikido’s heart, its essence, is universal. The basic themes of Saotome Sensei’s book are delivered with great verve and success. Accessible yet poetic and invigorating language, well-conceived photographs, original and inspired drawings, elegant calligraphy, pertinent Japanese cultural and historical examples, clear organization of technical and scientific materials, a poignant portrayal of Master Ueshiba’s life and philosophy, and the author’s overriding literary and artistic sensibilities blend to produce a powerful and beautiful work. In Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, Saotome Sensei, through the idiom of Aikido, makes a plea for global sanity. Aikido is the heart of a Universal Prayer. It is an eloquent statement of a basic human desire, expressed in countless ways since the beginnings of history. 1 HISTORY of the FOUNDER The kanji for Ai, when used alone, is translated as a meeting or joining; communication; confluence. Ki is translated as energy, power, vibration; the essence of life, of spirit. Together, Aiki, they mean to join the power; to become one with the power of the universal energy; to become one with the energy of the life force. Takemusu Aiki is the movement of truth, the protection and creation of life; a spontaneous and creative application that allows the dynamics and structure of the universal laws to be expressed in the human body, and the power of the universal energy to enter the human spirit. The first character, take, is the same as the bu in Budo. Takemusu is the spirit of the true warrior’s Way. “Saotome, that stone step must be moved a little closer to the house; it’s difficult to step inside.” Looking at the six-foot-long, one-foot-square solid piece of marble that my teacher had indicated, I knew it was too heavy for two men to move. I had returned from the toolshed and was rigging up a makeshift lever when I heard O Sensei behind me. “Saotome, what are you doing?” Impatiently he pushed me out of his way and grasped one end of the marble slab. With a small grunt he lifted it and moved it over the necessary six inches. He then went to the other end and, following the same procedure, completed the task. I stood staring, open-mouthed, as he mumbled in a disgusted voice, “Modern boys are so weak!” I was in my early twenties, and my muscles were strong and well tuned from many hours each day of hard Aikido training. But I could not budge the marble step that the four-foot-ten, seventy-eight-year-old master of Aikido had so easily moved. As Morihei Ueshiba approached his mideighties, illness and time began to take their toll. He grew thin and his step was slowed. He needed help climbing stairs, and with each movement of his body he experienced severe pain. Yet throughout his illness he still taught Aikido. The moment he stepped onto the mat, he was transformed from an aging man enduring his last suffering into a man who could not be defeated by another man, nor by death itself. His presence was commanding. His eyes sparkled and his body vibrated with power. He effortlessly threw his uchi deshi, disciples, all of whom were young, strong, experienced from daily training, and at the peak of physical condition. Showing no sign of pain or discomfort, he laughed at our determined attempts to attack or hold him. In demonstration he would extend his wooden sword in front of him and encourage five of us at a time to push on it from the side with all our might. We could not move him or the bokken (wooden practice sword) an inch. It would have been easier to move a wall of stone. One incident stands out from all others in my memories of this time. It happened shortly before he went into the hospital. I can still see the Founder standing in front of me. As I faced him, my bokken poised to attack, the diminutive, frail old man was gone. In his place I saw a formidable mountain. His presence was awesome and his vibration filled the dojo. I looked into his eyes and was arrested by the powerful gravity of his spirit. The light shining there contained the wisdom and power of the ages. My body would not move. The palms of my hands were wet as I gripped the wooden practice sword, and sweat was breaking out on my face. My heart pounded and I could feel its rhythm throbbing through the veins in my arms and legs. O Sensei commanded, “At tack!” I gathered all my will into one kiai, one shout of supreme effort, attacking with all the speed and power I could muster. There was a flash of movement in front of me and O Sensei disappeared. I had made one fully committed strike. In the same timing, O Sensei had evaded my strike, and I heard the whistle of his bokken cutting three times. He was standing behind me. “Saotome, you attack so slowly.” Just ten minutes earlier, I had supported a weak old man laboriously up two flights of stairs and into the dojo (practice hall). The Founder executing the ikkyo technique. The inevitable happened and his condition worsened. The doctors sent him home after a short stay in the hospital with the message that death was imminent. During the final two weeks of his life, as I took my turn sitting at O Sensei’s bedside, I watched the familiar face beneath the wispy, white beard grow thinner day by day. I experienced a grief greater than any I had ever known as the many memories of his almost superhuman strength flooded my heart. Although his body was wasting away, his mind was sharp and his eyes had the clarity and peace of a child’s. He talked very little at this time, but communication was strong and he was always thinking of Aikido. Two days before his death he raised his frail body to a sitting position, looked at the students who were gathered there, and said, “You must not worry about this old man. All physical life is limited. Within the course of nature, the physical being must change, but the spirit will never die. Soon I will enter the spiritual world, but still I want to protect this world. That is now your task.” He went into a deep meditation and after some time continued, “All my students must remember, I did not create Aikido. Aiki is the wisdom of God; Aikido is the Way of the laws which He created.” O Sensei looked up and indicated that he wanted to go to the bathroom. “I’m sorry, but after lying in bed all day this old man’s legs are very weak.” I quickly took one arm, and my close friend Yoshio Kuroiwa took the other. Slowly we proceeded down the hall, holding him tight lest he fall and injure himself. O Sensei suddenly straightened, pride flashing in his eyes. “I don’t need any help.” With a powerful shudder of his body, he freed his arms from our grasp. The weakened and dying old man had thrown two master instructors. Our bodies flew until we pounded into the walls on either side. Step by step Morihei Ueshiba made his way alone. With each step his life was burning like the last brilliant flare of a candle before its fire disappears. Calm and at peace in the face of his approaching death, he seized the reality of each moment as it occurred. There was only that moment; each breath was infinity. How many memories did each step contain? His eyes were shining, his presence powerful. It was his final challenge. The Founder, holding a white fan, counters Mitsugi Saotome’s bokken attack with an irimi movement. A detailed account of the history of Aikido and its Founder would fill many volumes. It is impossible to give a full description in the limited space of this book. However, I believe that a short, basic history would be of great assistance to the reader in achieving an understanding of the art. The event-filled life of Morihei Ueshiba is the process that gave birth to Aikido. It is the crystallization of his intense spiritual training and the creative expression of his strong and ceaseless pursuit of truth. It is living evidence of the transformation of the selfish instincts of aggression through severe personal

Author Mitsugi Saotome Isbn 9780877738558 File size 14.71MB Year 1993 Pages 251 Language English File format PDF Category Martial Arts Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Here is a unique approach to the teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, as interpreted by his direct student of fifteen years. Mitsugi Saotome examines the spiritual philosophy of the Founder, the warrior ideals of feudal Japan as the basis of his martial arts philosophy, and the scientific principles underlying the philosophy of Aikido technique. The author shows that the physical movement of Aikido is the embodiment of principles of the spirit. Negative force is not countered with aggression but is controlled and redirected through the power and balance of spiral movement. This is the shape of Aikido and the dynamic shape at the foundation of all energies of existence. Aikido movement can only be understood from its roots in universal law and the processes of nature. The sincere practice and study of Aikido deepens our appreciation for the perfection of nature’s balance and brings us back into harmony with our environment, other people, and ourselves. Abundantly illustrated with the author’s drawings, diagrams, and calligraphies, as well as photographs demonstrating Aikido techniques, the book also offers a history of Aikido, personal anecdotes about the Founder, and translations of several of his lectures.     Download (14.71MB) Aikido: The Way of Harmony Philosophy of Fighting. Morals and Motivations Of the Modern Warrior Path Notes of an American Ninja Master The Art of Aikido. Principles and Essential Techniques The Ninja: Ancient Shadow Warriors of Japan Load more posts

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