Art of Peace, The
This is one of the most popular Aikido books of all time. Originally published as a pocket-sized volume (see photo with yellow cover), a full-sized softcover edition (see photo with white cover - 93pp, ISBN#1570629641) was published in 1992. The book is a collection of writings and quotations by O'Sensei, translated and edited by John Stevens Sensei.
The book consists of a series of proverbs by O'Sensei, the sequence of which varies from one publication to another. Many of the proverbs are presented in a form of Japanese verse called "doka".
Illustrations are limited to depictions of kanji symbols. Hardback edition (see photo with maroon cover - 184pp, ISBN#1590301447) added in 2005. The 2010 hardback edition (white cover/red title) comes with an audio reading on CD.
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Review by: Neil Raj Singh
This little pocket booklet is a must for any martial artist. It contains many important points and gives advice as well as valuable information and knowledge about the spiritual side of the Art of Peace as given by the great teacher O'Sensei Ueshiba. A very well presented neat little booklet by Sensei John Stevens.
Review by: bruce baker
When you read the words that John Stevens uses in his translations .. be aware that he has translated many phrases to be the spirit of the words, which is why you sometimes see other people's translations of what O'Sensei said to be different.
In his search to give the reader the essence of the meaning that the founder was trying to express, in his writings and in his verbal words, with the approval of the Ueshiba family, Mr. Stevens has used words that make more sense to the western mind and western civilization. So, you might see some dual words or different words in some translations, but the spirit of the translation is kept intact. This is what John has expressed at at least two candid talks a group of us had at lunch with him.
Just as the founder would explain that no technique could ever be duplicated exactly .. you must discover for yourself the spirit of the words and then make that spirit your very own to embrace Aikido and make your practice look like the exact replica of a technique time after time to the observer ... but you will know in your heart and mind .. it is always different because both time and space will never allow anything to be exactly the same in any moment to moment of your life, or so I gather from direct quotes of the founder himself.
For my money, these books by John Stevens explain another piece of the puzzle to explain the man we call O'Sensei the founder of Aikido.