After years of endless devotion to the martial traditions of Japan, Morihei Ueshiba developed Aikido, drawing of the rich heritage of Japan's fighting arts and refining them into a wholly new system. In its short history, Aikido has become one of the most renowned martial arts in the world, drawing devotees of al ages and nationalities. Part of the appeal of Aikido is that it remains unique in preserving the ancient fighting traditions of Japan in modern context, emphasizing the principles of harmony and peace as the only true paths to overcoming conflict.
The Secret Teaching of Aikido is a collection of the spiritual teachings of Aikido's legendary founder. In the book, Morihei Ueshiba explains how Aikido is both the spirit of love and the study of that spirit. The author reflects onf the rich and varied landscape of Aikido philosophy, discussing how Aiki is the marvelous functioning of breath, known as ki(chi), and how through diligent use of Aikido's breathing techniques the practitioner can achieve true harmony. The author urges the reader to link to the universe through Aikido, to train, and ultimately to unify the divine and the human. He also explains the essence of Takemusu aiki (valorous force of procreation and harmony), and Misogi (the ritual of purifying oneself), as well as discussing Aikido's relationship to the spirit and body-these form the very essence of Aikido.
This book is more of a philosophical exploration than a practical guide, and will serve as an invaluable insight into this reserve martial art, and the spiritual meditations of the man behind it. The book also includes many rare photos of the author, on both his techniques and his everyday life, and contains twenty-five of Morihei's doca (spiritual Japanese-style poetry) in Japanese, English, and also in Romanization. At times challenging and provocative, The Secret Teaching of Aikido will offer both the general reader and the Aikido enthusiast alike a unique glimpse into the mind of one of budo's greatest practitioners, who strove to spread the message of peace in the world through Aikido.
About the Authors
MORIHEI UESHIBA, born in Western Japan in 1883, is the founder of the popular martial art of Aikido. After mastering classical style of judo, kendo, and jujutsu, he created Aikido, based based on the spiritual teachings of the Omoto-kyo religion. After the Second World War, Morihei established the Aikikai Foundation to promote Aikido throughout the world. Morihei died in 1969.
MORITERU UESHIBA was born in 1951, the grandson of Morihei Ueshiba, and son of the late kisshomaru Ueshiba, the second Aikido Doshu. He graduted from Meiji Gakuin University in 1976. In 1999 he became Aikido Doshu, and the permanent chairman of the International Aikido Federation in the same year.
JOHN STEVENS is a professor of Buddhist studies and Aikido instructor at Tohoku Fukushi Daigaku in Sendai, Japan. He is the translator and compiler of Morihei's The Essence of Aikido and the author and translator of many books on Aikido and Buddhism.