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Aikido and the Harmony of Nature Paperback – October 19, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Anyone with an interest in Asian culture and philosophy will also find it interesting and entertaining. Over the years I have heard many people ask, 'What is Aikido?' Mitsugi Saotome has provided us with a well-written and thorough answer."— Pacific World



"Aikido and the Harmony of Nature reveals the profound philosophical and ethical principles embodied in the art of Aikido and relates those principles to the laws of nature. It is among the clearest, deepest, and most inspiring books ever written on Aikido or, for that matter, on any martial art."—Susan Perry, Editor-in-Chief, Aikido Today magazine

 

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (October 19, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877738556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877738558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Saotome Shihan(one that is worthy to be followed) has written a very distintive and uncommon book. There is nothing about technique or fighting ways. The book is concerned with the spiritual side of Aikido and the importance of becoming a better person through its practice. That does not mean that Saotome Shihan is one of those dreamy-eyed, "new-age" people...He talks straight and proposes many ideas full of common sense. The book also is full of his fond memories of Ueshiba Sensei(founder of Aikido)and gives sound advice on how to improve our lives. All in all, a one of a kind book. You must have it in your martial arts library !
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Format: Paperback
Taking the esoteric Shinto based beliefs of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, Saotome Sensei translates these ideas into Western terms using examples from natural science, physics, psychology, and mathematics. Not a technique book! This is the premier explanation of Aikido philosophy in terms comprehensible to the average Westerner.There are very few teachers who had more exposure to the Founder on a daily basis, training with O-Sensei for over fifteen years! If you only have one Aikido book, this should be it!
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Format: Paperback
I'm sorry to be the voice of dissent with my review but I found `Aikido and the Harmony of Nature' to be a disappointing read, maybe all the more so after reading the other glowing reviews here. This book looks at Aikido philosophy and links it into themes of nature. The premise sounds great but it struggles hard to actually do it in practise. You get lots of spurious illustrations of aikido throws with swirling arrows that spin around strands of DNA, atoms or solar flares (for example), but these bare little relevance to both the text or the philosophy itself. They look like they mean something and are deeply profound or spiritual, but on closer analysis they really aren't. Whilst it's true that the spherical motion of Aikido techniques can find a mirror in nature, this book struggles to tie them together in any coherent or meaningful way. There is also far too much talk of God (although Saotome does specify that he doesn't mean any particular God) and how Aikido links you with him when Aikido is a non religious martial art, although it is deeply spiritual. The sections that recount the authors training with O Sensei are fascinating to read and some of the philosophy makes for interesting reading, although it tends to ramble after a while. If you are looking for a book on Aikido philosophy then I'd suggest you start with the excellent `Spirit of Aikido' by Kisshomaru Ueshiba and then come to this one way, way down the line. Some interesting parts and some of the photography redeemed this book from being a total washout, but it could have delivered so much more.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was amazing, but it's probably not the best choice for someone just beginning to study these spiritual traditions. If you feel up to the challenge, however, the beauty of this work is exquisite. Some of the expressions left me in tears, and I felt swept along with deeper insight into the flow of the universe. This book is a spiritual gem. Read it if you feel drawn and ready for some spiritual forging.
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Format: Paperback
This was one of the first books I purchased when I began my journey of study into this art. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it. Saotome is one of the few individuals who actually studied with O-Sensei. He details several accounts of working with the founder both in and out of the dojo. He also gives a unique spiritual interpretation of many of the major techniques used in the art and references forces in nature and the universe for comparison. Well written and well founded. A must-read for any serious aikidoka.
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Format: Hardcover
This book addresses the spirit and the connection to all things natural that exists in Aikido. It is a dimension sadly lacking in many Aikido texts. Any student of Aikido should have a copy, and hang on to it... Highly Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Simpler said then done. Now, this book is my main aikido book. Upon reading you will expand you're mind and take a total different and right look upon martial arts. The ego is discussed here, war, terms are difficult but very good described.

in short, you must have this book. It stands above it all.
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Format: Paperback
This is an interesting overview of Aikido's philosophy, comparing it with science. I think that this book presents a studied conclusion on why the Founder's way of thinking is rooted on our physical reality.
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