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

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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.

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.

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.

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 at the Tendokan Dojo of Kenji Shimizu Sensei, 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.


Contents

Translator’s Preface
Introduction
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
Afterword
Further Reading
Index

Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba with Kenji Shimizu, c. 1965 at old Aikikai Hombu Dojo

From the Afterword:

This book was published jointly by Professor Kamata and myself and I would like to offer a few explanations.

Professor Kamata is one of the foremost authorities on Zen Buddhism and a professor of Tokyo University. He and I met when he came to my dojo twelve years ago. Professor Kamata is a very enthusiastic practitioner, and at the same time, has a free and easy character. He is loved and respected by me and all of the students.

He unexpectedly proposed that he would like to try writing a book entitled Zen and Aikido and he talked about us undertaking the project as co-authors. I thought I was too immature to write a book together with Professor Kamata. At first I declined, but we continued to talk about the idea. However, when I thought over the project carefully, I thought that Professor Kamata’s writing on aikido philosophy would constitute a good opportunity for people in general to learn about the art.

This book sets forth a philosophy of aikido. I too wanted to express my ideas about aikido, and I hope that people who have had no experience in the art will read it….

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank Professor Shigeo Kamata for his encouragement and guidance throughout this project, and also Mr. Yoshitaka Ochiai of Jimbunshoin for his kind assistance.

Kenji Shimizu

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

Link to Tendokan Dojo in Tokyo

Pages: 178
File size: 148 mb
Dimensions: 7″ x 10″

Kenji Shimizu


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