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The Shambhala Guide to Aikido Paperback – July 9, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (July 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570621705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570621703
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

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

Customer Reviews

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book for anyone just getting started in aikido. I found it to be a good primer to share with other foreign students when I was studying aikido in Japan when our instructors' (who spoke mostly Japanese) teachings became difficult to understand and then explain to others. It's not a book to learn techniques and such, but it's good to give the new student a proper focus in the dojo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick Hentschel on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Please ignore uninformed and irrelevant reviews by loudmouthed poseurs interested in bashing aikido. Concentrate on the book.

If I were asked to explain to a martial-arts novice what Aikido actually is, without getting technical, I would be happy to hand them a copy of this book. Rather than being an instructional manual, this book is simply an overview of Aikido, and the culture surrounding it. This is the kind of book that would be useful to someone wanting to know if the style is for them, or for a parent wondering if they should let their children study it.

The very concise, informative chapter on the founder's life, and the development of the art, are reason enough to pick this book up. There could have been a little more detailing of the techniques, and the author has a slight bias towards his own style, but these are small flaws. Overall, this is a fine introduction to the art, which an aikido school would to well to keep on-hand for visitors.
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9 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bottom line....The Aikido that is being taught today is not the Aikido that O-Sensei taught. Todays Aikido is a watered down, softened version so we Americans can deal with it. O-Sensei original Aikido or Aiki-budo, was more like Aikijutsu were it at least had some martial art value. Today people enter into Aikido believeing they are going to study a Martial art. what they get is square dancing in a circluar fashsion. Alot of people will read this review and state "This and that" in defense of their Aikido, but bottom line is , If it isn't Aikijutsu, its not worth anything as a martial art. Sokaku Takeda was a true warrior. He taught O-Sensei Aikijutsu. Thats why O-Sensei was so amazing! Wake up!
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