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Aikido and the Harmony of Nature

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  9 reviews
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.

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Paperback, 251 pages
Published October 19th 1993 by Shambhala (first published 1986)
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Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
When I first started investigating Aikido, I really had no idea what to expect. I knew it was intended to use an attacker's energy as a defense, but that was about it. After reading this book, I knew Aikido was philosophically and physically in-tune with what I was looking for.

In Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, Saotome Sensei presents Aikido teachings as they were presented to him by O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. There is a lot of spiritual talk and illustration showing the
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: martial-arts, eastern
A fairly good introduction to the philosophical and metaphysical underbelly to one of the newer* martial arts systems: Aikido.

As a westerner I advocate suspending judgment while reading it and simply just reading critically.

As a practitioner, or aspiring practitioner youll end the reading of this book with more questions than answers and as such you wont gain a lot.

Overall, this was an interesting book that I advocate for the shelf of anyone interested in the eastern combat systems

*(as in
Gordon Young
Dec 03, 2011 is currently reading it
I recently saw a comment in an interview with another student of O Sensei: (paraphrased) "In later years, O sensei would just give these long lectures that no one understood..." Well, Saotome Sensei certainly applied himself to understanding something ; and here he tries to pass on what he learned. I'm grateful that he's done so. Since I live too far from a dojo right now to train as much as I would like, this book has been a wonderful way to connect with the essence of the practice.
Andrew Cooper
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Its teachings were more on the aspects, the connections with nature, less in the technical applications but all in all, great book!
Dave Lindley
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved Mitsugi Schools and Dojos I had trained at over the years.
Chris Piehota
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a good book about some of the basic beliefs and values often associated with the martial arts style of aikido. The author provides some interesting perspectives and ideas that extend past the study of aikido. Note that this book is not an instructional manual about the practice of aikido nor is this a book about fighting.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
"You are the wind, the sun, a mountain, and, exactly, you are art." - "If you are weak, you have no choice." - Worth a (re)read if you practice Aikido.
Todd Geist
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My Teacher's Teacher
Dan Furkert
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Super engaging as a thoughtful look at life and also for those training in the art. Thoroughly worthwhile to have a copy of your own
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