On Mastering Aikido

Linden, Daniel & Mitsugi Saotome

Published by Linden Tree Press, 2004
ISBN 10: 0974645907 / ISBN 13: 9780974645902
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Hardcover. 8vo. Linden Tree Press. 2004. 222 pgs. Illustrated with Black and White Plates. First Edition/First Printing. DJ has light shelf-wear present. Bound in cloth boards with gilt titles present. Boards have shelf-wear present to the extremities (bumping to crown and heel of spine). No ownership marks present. Text is clean and free of marks. Binding tight and solid. E-98; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 222 pages; Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: 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. The overall effect is almost that of a novel as the reader is swept up in Shoshin Aikido Dojo while students are engaged in training, relaxing and work around the school. European journeys become travelogues as the dialog unfolds. The book is engaging, enjoyable, enlightening and humorous. In an age when most Martial Art books read like math textbooks, it is a rare find.

From the Author: I tried to explain to my teacher, Saotome Sensei, what I was experiencing and thinking about after my moment of enlightenment. He said "Dan-san, write a book."

Okay, here it is.

These dialogs apply to everything in this world, not just Aikido. When I handle a fishing rod or a mandolin or a twenty pound lump of clay spinning on a potter’s wheel I am practicing the principles in this book. I used them recently on a rainy night by breaking a difficult lug nut free while changing a flat tire beside the road. I use them when I dance the tango with my wife.

For thirty-five years I’ve searched, struggled to discover, sought to uncover, wrestled with, fought over, thought about, shied away from, contemplated, worried, focused and worked to discover these principles. Here they are, as I understand them. I hope they can benefit all who seek to attain the infinite understanding of mastership in all things. Whatever that means.

As to the notion that I believe that Aikido is an art that can be completely mastered with no understanding at all of Japanese culture or its mysticism, I stand guilty as charged. I believe that O’Sensei would approve. He gave Aikido to the world and I gladly accept. Perhaps it's just the Viking in me.

Best Regards,
Linden

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Bibliographic Details

Title: On Mastering Aikido
Publisher: Linden Tree Press
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

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