Here is a unique approach to the teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, as interpreted by his direct student of fifteen years. Mitsugi Saotome examines the spiritual philosophy of the Founder, the warrior ideals of feudal Japan as the basis of his martial arts philosophy, and the scientific principles underlying the philosophy of Aikido technique.
The author shows that the physical movement of Aikido is the embodiment of principles of the spirit. Negative force is not countered with aggression but is controlled and redirected through the power and balance of spiral movement. This is the shape of Aikido and the dynamic shape at the foundation of all energies of existence. Aikido movement can only be understood from its roots in universal law and the processes of nature. The sincere practice and study of Aikido deepens our appreciation for the perfection of nature's balance and brings us back into harmony with our environment, other people, and ourselves.
Abundantly illustrated with the author's drawings, diagrams, and calligraphies, as well as photographs demonstrating Aikido techniques, the book also offers a history of Aikido, personal anecdotes about the Founder, and translations of several of his lectures.
"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