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The Spirit of Aikido: By Kisshomaru Ueshiba.
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:
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.