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The Spirit of Aikido

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Aiki is the power of harmony, of all beings, all things working together.

Aikido-a modern Japanese martial art unique in its synthesis of classic forms with a well-defined spiritual base-offers a key to the art of living naturally and unselfishly in a complicated world. This book explains it in reference to the founder's philosophy of mind-and action. In addition, the histo
Paperback, 126 pages
Published March 15th 1988 by Kodansha (first published 1984)
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Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the years since I first read this book I've gotten 11 years of practice in Aikido.

Recently in our dojo I've seen a lot of conversation about "effectiveness" of Aikido. This is a common topic among martial arts jock-sniffers. The most common current opinion being "if it doesn't work in MMA, it is no good."

So this morning I went back and read the first couple of chapters of this book, and I'm more convinced than ever that it is CRUCIAL reading. First, in understanding the notion of a "Martial
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spiritual practitioners, Aikido idealists
Shelves: aikido
"The Spirit of Aikido" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba is a martial arts classic done by Kodansha Publications. The author (the third son of the arts founder, Morihei Ueshiba), is potent and amusingly direct.

The title of the work explains its inner pages. Not a technical how-to manual, the author presents the influences, various pieces which evolved into the current practices of the International Aikido Federation, and was headed by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, now deceased. Along the way the author addresses the
Moustafa Aboul Atta
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Students of any martial art
Recommended to Moustafa by: Amr El Alfy
This isn't a technical how-to book and it's definitely a worthy read for a student of a different discipline. ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very informative & charming
David Rush
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
It has been some years since I stopped practicing Aikido. But I think if you put in even just a few years of practice, the idea or feel of Aikido stays with you. You think about it when you open a door or when you walk through a crowd. Not that you imagine performing a technique but rather for a moment you are aware of others, yourself and how you all interact, or you notice your balance as you open a heavy door or lift a heavy box. You are ever so slightly more aware.

For some reason I was think
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Of all the martial arts classes taught, Aikido has the highest ration of women attendees. It is a great art that harnesses your opponent's energy and teaches you to redirect the flow towards your advantage. It has roots from judo and it's a great art to learn, from a physical, emotional and also spiritual perspective - where as most martial arts predominantly just teaches physical and emotional aspects. Aikido is just as much spiritual, in it's truest form, as it is a physical & emotional art. T ...more
A nice little book summarizing the philosophy, history, and practice of Aikido. I especially like the discussion of science to help Westerners understand "ki," and Aikido's inclusive attitude. This book treats Aikido like the answer to all the problems in the world, but I'm discovering that's a common attitude among practitioners. ...more
May 31, 2011 added it
Great philosophy.I wish there was a dojo near me.
Jake Danishevsky
The Spirit of Aikido is a nice little book about history, philosophy and the true nature of Aikido. The author, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, is one of the sons of the Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.


The format of the book is not as easy to read and grasp as some of the other books that I have read on the subject. There is a tremendous amount of information, but the style and the wording is not easy for an average person to completely understand. There are a few pictures of the Founder and the Author
Joshua Donellan
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Obviously this book is primarily going to be of interest to students of Aikido, but if you have even a passing curiosity this is well worth a read. It focuses much more on history and philosophy than technique, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it discusses eastern martial arts and philosophy in relation to physics and modern science, even discussing Carl Sagan at one point.

I started reading this as part of my research for my forthcoming book, and although it didn't give me as many in
Tiaan van der Merwe
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aikido
Amazing look into the mind of Kisshomaru Doshu and his history with O-Sensei. I enjoy his opinions on the duality of the effect Aikido has on the world outside of Japan juxtaposed against the influence international Aikidoka have on the art. An essential read for any Scholar of Aikido.

- Note, I am currently reading "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" and seeing the War from both sides of the coin; Feynman relating his experiences in the Manhattan project and Aikido suffering due to conscription
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: you
Shelves: inspiring
I read it the first time in 1993, truly amazing to learn the "physical" form and at the same time tried to understand the phylosophy of aikido...really opened a different perspective how this life would be. Love & Harmony. Balance of Life. It's like something we have been taken granted, but often ignored and came to notice when challenges of life came by.

And, now reading it again after so many had happened in life, after experiencing many kinds... just like seeing diamond from another angle.
Martyn Halm
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a complementary volume to Kisshomary Ueshiba's Aikido, this book provides the philosophical side to this magnificent martial art, written by the son of the founder, who took over from his father and helped Aikido gain worldwide recognition as one of the most difficult but worthwhile martial arts to attain.

A must of every serious practitioner of aikido and martial arts in general.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
A good summary of the philosophical underpinnings of this wonderful martial art. The simplicity with which Ueshiba describes some extremely difficult concepts and techniques can be frustrating, but is also the charm of his straightforward writing and thought. I would recommend this book to anyone beginning or well into the Aikido journey.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
American translation of historical and spiritual history of Aikido. Emphasizes differences from combative martial arts. Discusses importance of nature, balance, being within sphere of energy, discipline, experience.
Nico Carrasco
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gran libro sobre el espíritu del Budo y las artes marciales japonesas. Además de mostrar algunos elementos de la técnica del Aikido, hace hincapié en su historia y en su fundamento espiritual y el objetivo de hacer del mundo un lugar más armónico y pacífico.
Andre Miranda
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janne Heimonen
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Classic I could read over and over again. You don't even need to practice aikido to appreciate the thoughts ÖT this remarkable master. ...more
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Don't worry about what you happen to do. Concern yourself with how, and why, you do it. ...more
Lyubina Yordanova
През вековете религиите са проповядвали любов и състрадание, философите са учили на почит към живота. Но днес се изправяме лице в лице с нарастващото насилие, което изглежда така, сякаш има някаква собствена движеща сила отвъд всякакъв човешки контрол. Светът е пълен с непримирими разделения на приятел и враг, добро и зло, потисник и потиснат. Насилието се използва, за да се подтисне, пречупи и унищожи противника. Когато това се осъществи, то (насилието) търси друг противник. Кога ще се прекъсне ...more
Robert Fillpot
Great book for any Aikidoka.
Dave Lindley
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It begins to makes sense after a few decades of practicing the Art of Aikido
Seth D Michaels
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
not the best writing but a good quick intro to the history and principles/practices of aikido.
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103 likes · 10 comments
“One becomes vulnerable when one stops to think about winning, losing, taking advantage, impressing or disregarding the opponent. When the mind stops, even for a single instant, the body freezes, and free, fluid movement is lost.” 4 likes
“The subtle working of ki is the maternal source that affects changes in breath. It is also the source of martial art as love. When one unifies mind and body by virtue of ki and manifests ai-ki (harmony of ki), delicate changes in breath-power occur spontaneously and "waza" (proper technique) flows freely.” 2 likes
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