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The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  195 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A fifth-degree black belt in the revolutionary martial art of aikido and co-owner of an aikido school in Mill Valley, California, George Leonard is, "the granddaddy of the consciousness movement" (Newsweek). Leonard is president of the Esalen Institute and founder of Leonard Energy Training (LET), a practice inspired by aikido that offers alternative ways of coping with ev
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Plume (first published June 1st 1999)
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Deb Richards
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
For years I have been reciting nearly daily, "Help me be so clear on who I am that I can generously afford to let other people be who they are, too. Help me to set aside my defensive behavior, and teach me to blend with other people and see their point of view while not relinquishing my own." Deciding to dig deeper into the meaning and practice of this idea led me to George Leonard's book.

I like and appreciate the notion of seeing situations from the point of view of others involved. That has h
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aikido is a particularly beautiful and gentle martial art, as odd as that grouping of words might seem. Unlike, say, Karate, which is all kicks and punches, Aikido is all about blending your opponent's energy with your own and using it to control both of you. These martial art insights translate well into life lessons, and that's what Leonard has done. This book won't replace work in a dojo, but it will allow you some insight into how Aikido masters think.
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a concise and interesting overview. Leonard provides a perfect blend of history, concept, example, and application. Often my comments point out where particular political perspectives differ from mine, but Leonard positions his in the spirit of the art and so I understand.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
7/27/2015: A really good, easy read so far. It's certainly great to verify that what I'm learning is not solely my sensei's opinion of the art.

9/2/2015: I have learned a lot by reading this book. (More review to come later)
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aikido
Very good eye opening teachings that made sense to me. This is one I'll have to read again just to be sure I get all of what the author is trying to say.
Michael Sharp
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was really sorry to hear he died this January. He blackbelted at age 55.
Jan 14, 2017 added it
Very good, better than the average aikido book.
Feb 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
The "glow in the dark" was over the top. He has some good lessons to teach, but it seemed self indulgent.
Kathy Thomas
Good read if your open to understanding how struggle is both ineffective and counterproductive.
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George Burr Leonard (b. 1923) was an American writer, editor, and educator who wrote extensively about education and human potential. He was President Emeritus of the Esalen Institute, past-president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, President of ITP International, and a former editor of Look Magazine. He was also a former United States Army Air Corps pilot, and held a fifth degree bla ...more
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“What we call “mastery” can be defined as that mysterious process through which what is at first difficult or even impossible becomes easy and pleasurable through diligent, patient, long-term practice.” 2 likes
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