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The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei [Paperback]

George Leonard
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.04
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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library; Reissue edition (30 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452279720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452279728
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Draws on the philosophical teachings of aikido to present a series of life lessons on how to transform pain into joy, violence and anger into reconciliation, discord into harmony, and pain into vital energy. Reprint.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I would recommend that any serious martial artist, beginner or Dan grade, read this book. It is also explicitly aimed at non-Martial Artists, and I can understand that someone with not the slightest interest in the arts would also find this book of immense interest and practical help.
Although Leonard Sensei speaks specifically of the art of Aikido, the philosophy that he expounds goes to the very heart of all martial arts. Do not be put off by the word "Philosophy": this book is packed with down to earth explanations, examples, and practical suggestions. I found that it was impossible to put it down, and keep returning to it. Like all great books, there is something more to be learnt each time that you return.
I find it hard to believe that there is anyone with an open mind who could fail to learn something from this eminent taecher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! 4 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This book is aimed primarily at non-martial artists, but well worth the read in any case. It is an excellent primer on the art. If you are considering taking up Aikido, this is the best book I have found to help you decide. This book speaks to the spiritual, psychological, and transformative aspects of this beautiful art. I didn't give it 5 stars because I would've liked more,"meat." (Which is merely a function of my perceptual filters....and I am sure that this book could be taken on many levels) I have been researching Aikido, mostly the non-technique aspects (techniques are best learned from instruction, not a book), because I plan to take lessons. I consider myself very lucky to live near enough to Leonard Sensei to visit his dojo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for a critical thinker 4 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was quite disappointed with this book, the other reviews made it seem like it would help in general life with some kind of new method of thinking but I only managed to force myself to read just under half the book before giving up. It seemed quite 'hippie' like in its content for lack of a better word.

It goes on about how we're one with the universe and tells stories of how some of the best Aikido practitioners of the past have done seemingly impossible (and probably actually impossible) things because of their understanding of Aikido & blending, which doesn't make any sense to anyone who critically thinks about what happens in the world and wants to understand rather than wrapping everything in magic that you just have to believe in.

This really isn't a book for me, but I gave it two stars as I can see if you believe in this sort of thing that you may well find it interesting. You'll have to forgive me for my ignorance here as this is probably going to be an unfair generalisation but I don't know much about this way of thinking so don't know how else to phrase it but if you're the type of person who believes in healing stones & being one with the universe or anything along those sorts of lines this could well be a great book for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Way Of Aikido 19 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'The Way of Aikido' is an excellent book for those who wish to intergrate lessons learnt in the dojo into everyday life. I don't agree with other reviewers here who suggest it is a good place to learn about Aikido. Don't get me wrong, this book is excellent and looks at ways of utilising Aikido philosophy and ideas into your day to day living, but there are better books for those with no Aikido knowledge and who are curious about learning more. ('Aikido and the dynamic sphere' by Oscar Ratti is particularly good, with plenty of background information, and a great many diagrams of techniques.) This book looks at many of the authors experiences in martial arts and how he has applied the lessons learnt there to various life situations. The writing is clear and easy to read and the exercises suggested seem well thought out and will provide sound benefits for martial arts and non-martial artists alike. The author comes across as a touch 'new age-y' at times, but not excessively so and there is a definite American bent to the text. Overall I found it to be an inspiring and fascinating read and I'd suggest it for anyone who wants to learn some great life lessons in a simple, non-patronising way.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book 18 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This well written book puts Aikido into a Western perspective. It presents the philosophy of Aikido in a very personal way, demonstrating how one can use Aikido both mentially and physically in one's everyday life. The book seems to have a soothing tone. After reading it, I was motivated to enroll at a local dojo to formally begin learning Aikido.
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