From Library Journal
As Stevens (The Secrets of Aikido, Shambhala, 1995) asserts in his introduction, this book is intended to be the answer to the question that parents and potential students may ask: "What is Aikido?" He gives an overview of this martial art, with emphasis on the founder, Morihei Ueshibia (1883-1969). Stevens also briefly explains the philosophy of Aikido. An extensive bibliography is provided for students curious for more detail. For many beginners, the physical aspects of the martial arts are the main attraction; photographs included here show basic moves, attacks, and counterattacks. This book sets out as a novice guide and accomplishes that task quite nicely. For large sports collections?J. Sara Paulk, Tifton-Tift County Lib., Ga.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Over the years, John Stevens Sensei has written enough books on Aikido and related topics to fill the martial-arts shelves of most bookstores. The latest in the series, The Shambhala Guide to Aikido,
is an introduction. Stevens' hope, he explains in the book's introduction, is that this will be "the first book that Aikido instructors recommend to beginning students, as well as the one that Aikido practitioners present to their parents, friends, co-workers, partners, and spouses when confronted with the question, 'What is Aikido?'"
Like some of Stevens' other books, The Shambhala Guide to Aikido
contains many photos, which are accompanied by lengthy captions (some several hundred words long). A university professor in Japan, Stevens has access to much historical material, and the book contains twenty-four interesting pictures of O-Sensei at various stages of his life. The Shambhala Guide to Aikido
is divided into four parts: a biography of the Founder, a section on the art of Aikido, a section on Aikido philosophy (which includes selections from O-Sensei's writings), and a discussion of "schools and styles" of Aikido. There is also a list of resources and a glossary.
"[a] brief, engaging introduction to the Japanese defensive art of aikido..."— Natural Health Magazine