Free Book: “Zen and Aikido,” by Shigeo Kamata and Kenji Shimizu

Zen — the Japanese philosophy rooted in ancient India and China adopted by the warrior caste to enable samurai to face death with a serene spirit. Aikido — the modern Japanese martial arts which incorporates powerful techniques applied in a spirit of harmony and reconciliation. Zen and Aikido offers a lucid interpretation of aikido viewed through the centuries-old martial tradition of Japan, long a subject of fascination to Westerners.


Morihei Ueshiba with Kenji Shimizu, c. 1965

Shigeo Kamata is a professor of Eastern Culture at Tokyo University. A renowed authority on Zen Buddhism, Professor Kamata has written numerous works dealing with the philosophies of China and Japan directed at both scholarly and popular audiences. An avid practitioner of aikido for more than twelve years, he is uniquely qualified to introduce to Western readers the essential concepts of both Zen and aikido with their relevance to daily life in a conflict-riddled world.

Kenji Shimizu, 8th degree aikido master, was one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s last and best-loved disciples. Shimizu Sensei currently operates the Tendokan School of aikido in Tokyo and makes yearly instructional trips to Europe. Combining a strong background in judo with his expertise in aikido, his smooth, powerful techniques embody the ideal of effectiveness and control. Shimizu Sensei offers clear insight into his training methods which will surely prove invaluable to both beginning and advanced practitioners of aikido and to martial arts enthusiasts in general.


Translator’s Preface
On Aikido
The Philosophy of Aikido
     ● The Philosophy of Zen and Aikido
     ● The Philosophy of the Circle
     ● The Philosophy of Nothingness
     ● The Philosophy of Harmony
     ● The Philosophy of Ki
     ● The Philosophy of Practice
Aikido Techniques
Further Reading

[English translation published by Aiki News in 1992. Originally published in Japanese as Zen to Aikido in 1984]

Access: free through January 4, 2012

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  1. Bruce Baker says:

    There is NO simple answer to calm the mind, soothe the spirit …. let the body be the age the body is for the decade you are in.

    The young man/ young woman must gather experiences and learn to calm the mind as the decades pass,
    Some people believe they can accomplish this feat early in life, but they find … they must go through the many years of change and it is only by experiencing those changes that they come to find mastery of most of their faults, fears, emotions that would steal the control we human beings think we have over ourselves…. but as we grow older … we learn to sooth the wild things and control them rather than have them control us… and that is true of not just Zen but of all things.

    Learn to recognize the wild things that would control you and you will find it easier not to have them control you….

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