The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido

By (author) William Gleason

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The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido
By (author) William Gleason

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Pages : 216

Book Size : 8 x 10

ISBN-13 : 9780892815081

Imprint : Destiny Books

On Sale Date : November 01, 1995

Format : Paperback Book

Illustrations : 180 b&w photographs

Aikido was founded not as a fighting method but a means of becoming one with the laws of universal order. William Gleason includes many of Morihei Ueshiba’s teachings here for the first time in English, along with 160 photographs in 22 photographic sequences demonstrating several complete forms of the practice.
Description

About The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido

Morihei Ueshiba, who founded Aikido early in this century, intended that his martial art would give form to profound spiritual truth, and lead to a unification of the world's peoples. He saw Aikido not as a fighting method or as a competitive sport but rather as a means of becoming one with the laws of universal order--ki, or life energy. Unfortunately, the subtleties of Ueshiba's teachings, veiled in the esoteric terminology of Shinto, can be puzzling for even the most advanced practitioners. They are not passed down today, and have never been introduced to the West. Gleason, a fifth-degree (Godan) black belt in Aikido, recognizing the importance of the spiritual aspects of the discipline, researched its roots in Shinto, and in this book is able to offer a clear explanation of Ueshiba's teachings.

•  Unlike the common "how-to" manuals on basic technique, this is the first book to introduce the underlying spiritual principles of Aikido--the elusive concept of kototama (word souls), expressed as one spirit, four souls, three origins, and eight powers--and how they relate to the forms.

•  Teaches the student how to use Aikido to accomplish spiritual goals.

•  Reveals little-known teachings of Shinto and Aikido, relating them to Buddhism, Christianity, and other spiritual teachings.
Table of Contents

Table of content


A Word of Recommendation
Japanese version

A Word of Recommendation by Mitsugi Saotome-sensei

Acknowledgments

A Note to the Reader

Introduction

1. The Origins of Aikido

2. The Way of Harmony

3. Shinto: The Spiritual Roots of Aikido

4. Kototama: The World of Ki

5. One Spirit, Four Souls

6. Three Origins, Eight Powers

7. Practice and Principle

8. The Order of the Universe

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index
Author Bio
William Gleason has studied aikido and Japanese medicine and philosophy for more than two decades, including ten years’ study in Japan. The director of Shobu Aikido of Boston, Massachusetts, he also has translated books by George Ohsawa and Mitsugi Saotome.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

"If interested in a serious exploration of Japanese religion, the practice of Zen, or aikido history, this title could serve well. It thoroughly explains the basic philosophical concepts behind this martial art and the components of Shinto and Zen."

Library Journal

Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

MARTIAL ARTS / EASTERN PHILOSOPHY

The Spiritual Foundations ofAikido is a necessary book, both timely and well written. William Gleason’s book is the first to explain the spiritual teachings of the founder in detail.”
--Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, author of The Principles of Aikido

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido is the first book by a leading American aikido teacher to examine how this twentieth-century martial art sprang forth from the ancient spiritual traditions of Japan. William Gleason, a fifth-degree black belt, offers a lucid commentary on the teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. Many of Ueshiba’s teachings appear here for the first time in English.

Ueshiba considered aikido to be not a fighting method or a competitive sport but rather a means of becoming one with the laws of universal order. Aikido, he insisted, is rooted in the principles of the kototama, a set of sacred Japanese syllables. Examining the basic tenets of Shinto and Zen, Gleason shows how the syllables of the kototama represent different aspects of universal life energy, or ki. His explanations of such concepts as One Spirit, Four Souls, Three Origins, and Eight Powers describe the generation and movement of ki, which is the source of the martial artist’s strength.

More than 160 photographs illuminate the application of the kototama to the actual movements of aikido. In 22 photographic sequences, the author and his students demonstrate several complete forms in detail. Yet Gleason’s depth of analysis makes this book far more than a mere technical manual. The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido will be a priceless resource for both the novice and the seasoned practitioner of the martial arts.

WILLIAM GLEASON has studied aikido and Japanese medicine and philosophy for more than two decades, including ten years’ study in Japan. The director of Shobu Aikido of Boston, Massachusetts, he also has translated books by George Ohsawa and Mitsugi Saotome.

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