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On Mastering Aikido

Book Summary:

On Mastering Aikido takes the reader on a journey through the world of the martial art known as Aikido and the teachings of Daniel Linden Sensei and his master, Mitsugi Saotome. Written for advanced students of the art – those who are already conversant with the fundamental teachings – Linden Sensei crosses the line often between teaching and entertaining with humorous, touching stories of years of training in the world’s most difficult martial way.

On Mastering Aikido consists of nine dialogs, an Introduction and Afterward. The dialogs are each devoted to one of the main principles of Aikido knowledge, what Linden Sensei refers to as the Eight Pillars of Aikido Wisdom. We discover a ninth in the Afterward, but as Linden says "It is almost impossible to attain." These dialogs are pleasant to read and clearly explain each of the principles in conversation between teacher and student and sometimes teacher to teacher. Interspersed are stories and anecdotes that bridge the gaps between times, attitudes and enlightenment.

On Mastering Aikido applies as well to the study of Aikido as it does to yoga, karate, judo, basketball, tennis, tango or any activity that uses the human body as a tool. The book’s focus is on physical mastership and the rules which Linden Sensei lays down can be applied to any human endeavor. It was written to be read as a continuous effort, but each chapter can stand alone or it can be selected for specific interest.

A Second Edition (ISBN 97814562489), 230 pages, was introduced in paperback by Basswood Press in 2011.

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Review by: Kirk Rains

Interesting book. Written in an Aristotelian logic format of discussion, it provides the writer’s take on Aikido and its application in techniques as well as life. His “pillars” theory provides a unique understanding on the principles of Aikido. I find, under the writer’s dictates, Aikido philosophy mirrors Native American philosophy. One of goals in time is to compare other philosophies; I suspect I will find similar comparisons. We shall see. I highly recommend for those who are searching for more than raw technique and planning to continue into the black belt arena.

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