Mitsugi Saotome—a principal student of Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido—explains the philosophy and practice of the popular martial art, which emphasizes harmony and peaceful resolution of conflict. Over one thousand photographs illustrate the basic principles and techniques, including the use if the wooden sword, the wooden staff, and "empty hand" techniques. The reader is given guidance in the proper physical, mental, and spiritual attitudes with which to approach this practice and in ways to apply the wisdom of Aikido to everyday life. Also included are lectures by the founder himself.
"With the able assistance of editor Irene Wellington, Saotome has developed a series of clear and useful essays on how the traditional skills and habits of mind developed by the martial ways can be put to positive uses. . . . Saotome teases new meaning out of ossified terminology—or more to the point, restores original meaning to crusted-over concepts. And it is in such sections that the inherently fluid nature of thought rooted in the ideogram is most clearly conveyed." —In These Times