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on 6 November 1998
A well written overview of Aikido,its beginnings its philosophy from someone very close to its founder,his son. This book has been with me for 10 years and I read it constantly. It helps me in the Dojo at home and work. Spiritually its uplifting and I am always concious of its content. One has to read it to gain their own reflection. I have a long way to go. An absolute must for any Akidoka or persons wanting a full life.
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on 30 August 2011
This book was originally published in the Japanese language, and has been translated here by Taitetsu Unno. The author - Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999) - is the third son of the founder of the martial art of Aikido - Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Following his father's passing, Kisshomaru became recognised as 'Doshu', or 'Hereditary Head' of the Aikido movement. Through him, the teaching and philosophy of Morihei Ueshiba has been kept alive and brought up the 21st century.

The paperback (1987) edition contains 126 numbered pages and consists of a Foreword, a Preface, seven chapters, an Appendix and a Glossary:

Foreword (by Taitetsu Unno).
1) The Ki of the universe and Individual Ki.
2) Entering and Spherical Rotation.
3) Dialy Practice, the Way to Perfection.
4) Mastering Mind, Cultivating Technique.
5) Strength in Living with Nature.
6) Inheriting the Founder's Aspirations.
7) Aikido Takes Roots in the World.
Appendix: World Aikido Directory.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba has written a number of books on Aikido, offering his wisdom and understanding of the art he was brought up practicing since a child. This book is part biography, part technical instruction and part wisdom impartation, but it is not exclusively anyone of these three things. Instead, like a true traditional martial arts master, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, expresses his wisdom throughout the text, often offering startling insights at unusual moments in the narrative. Kisshomaru Ueshiba teaches that there are three levels associated with martial arts mastery:

a) Physical.
b) Psychological.
c) Spiritual.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba advocates a daily practice of a form (kata) taught by a true teacher. Through the sincere practice of this form, trying to copy the teacher in everyway, the student eventually breaks free of the need to conform - even when repeating a form perfectly - and that this transformation of body movement occurs essentially in the mind. This change in the mind initiates spiritual development and this in turn transforms physical movement. The point for Kisshomaru Ueshiba is that the personal Ki and universal Ki merge into one continuum, free from dualistic and self-limiting thinking. Included is brief over-view of Morihei Ueshiba life, which describes the development of Aikido throughout the 19th and 20th centurys. It is interesting to note that although Morihei Ueshiba disagreed with the government requirement during WWII for all martial arts schools to come under governmental control (and regulation), preferring, instead to retire into private life to pursue his Aikido practice, nevertheless, he still believed that it was everyone's duty to fight for Japan in time of war, and if need be, sacrifice their lives. This is a very interesting book.
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on 5 November 1999
This is an Excellent book for any Aikido Practitioner who wants to discover the underlying spiritual principles behind their chosen martial art. Ueshiba covers everything from the basic principles of Budo, the history behind Aikido and it's place in the modern world. My only critisism is that the author is sometimes a little repeatative. All in all as most dojos don't teach this stuff it makes a great companion to physical Aikido training.
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'Spirit of Aikido' is a small volume written by the (then) Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba which looks at the philosophy and development of Aikido. It looks at how O Sensei founded the art and on what ideas he based his training. This has many poems and excerpts from O Sensei's writings, as well as clear and lucid explanations of Aikido ideas from Kisshomaru. This also has some excellent photography of both O Sensei and Kisshomaru which compliments the text perfectly and shows the art in action. Some of these are overhead shots and are an interesting way to view techniques you don't see in many other books. This isn't an instructional book and focuses very clearly on the ideals behind Aikido. If you seek a book showing the techniques then I suggest you search out some of Moriteru Ueshiba's excellent books, like 'Best Aikido' or 'Progressive Aikido'. This may not be the best place to go for those new to the art, but it is one that should definitely be read and added to your Aikido bookshelf at some point.

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on 16 November 2014
A very good read, if you want to understand more about how Aikido works on a higher level, recomended for those who think they know all there is to know about Aikido and have not read this book.
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on 6 October 2007
A well written overview of Aikido written by the founders son. This is a book that you will pull off your shelf many times over the years. One must truly read this book to gain their own insight. And that is a sign of a great book. It is an absolute must for any martial artisit.
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on 18 October 2010
Great to have for anyone who is interested in Aikido. Lots of information on the background of the budo and its philosophy.
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on 29 April 2016
Masterful. Good copy
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on 6 March 2015
Essence of aiki
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on 27 August 2015
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