- Series: Judo, Gichin Funakoski
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc; First Edition edition (May 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4770018525
- ISBN-13: 978-4770018526
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,600,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Three Budo Masters: Jigoro Kano (Judo, Gichin Funakoski) Paperback – May 1, 1995
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This text presents a comparative study of the lives of the founders of judo, karate and aikido, and their profound influence on modern society.
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Rating: 4 stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Karate Self-Defense Techniques: Practical Combat Karate for the street).
The section on Ueshiba, however, is simply ridiculous. Aikido is often viewed as the most spiritual of the martial arts. Although Kano was active decades before Ueshiba, he brought a rational approach to judo in order to demonstrate that martial arts still had a place in modern Westernized Japan. Ueshiba, however, infused aikido with more spirituality that has remained with the art to this day. Unfortunately this spiritual aspect of aikido has allowed for it to be interpreted in some rather bizarre ways by some of its practitioners. John Stevens, who practices aikido, is clearly one such person.
In the section on Ueshiba we learn that, after having an "earth-shattering transformation," Ueshiba could displace boulders and leap unbelievable distances. Wow! Just like the Incredible Hulk! We also learn that Ueshiba had a sixth sense that allowed him to divine the direction of bullets fired by the Chinese army and thereby avoid them! Gee! Just like Spider-Man when his 'spider sense' is tingling! Stevens repeats the story that Ueshiba dared six riflemen to try to shoot him from a distance of 75 feet and that, upon actually being fired upon, he magically appeared behind the shooters themselves without anyone seeing him move. Ueshiba was so amazing that he did this not just once, but twice (which Stevens compares to a miracle of Jesus). And, of course, Ueshiba had such power swirling around him that objects would rattle when he entered a room.
This drivel is simply embarrassing to aikido. Ueshiba saw aikido as a way to spread harmony throughout the world and this type of hocus-pocus interpretation denigrates Ueshiba and the art he created. Stevens' description sounds like that of a schoolgirl whose heart is aflutter by the sight of the football captain. The schoolgirl might have teenage hormones to point to for such an over-the-top description. Stevens does not.
After the various sections on each of the budo masters, Stevens provides a final section comparing the three. But does anyone really need details? After all, two of the men, although excellent martial artists, are mere mortals. The third is a Christ-like demigod. Could the result of the comparison possibly be in doubt? Of course not.