The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei

Overview

A fifth-degree black belt in the revolutionary martial art of aikido and co-owner of an aikido school in Mill Valley, California, George Leonard is, "the granddaddy of the consciousness movement" (Newsweek). Leonard is president of the Esalen Institute and founder of Leonard Energy Training (LET), a practice inspired by aikido that offers alternative ways of coping with everyday issues. In this book he applies ancient techniques, physical and spiritual, to the battles we wage every day in both our public and ...

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The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei

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Overview

A fifth-degree black belt in the revolutionary martial art of aikido and co-owner of an aikido school in Mill Valley, California, George Leonard is, "the granddaddy of the consciousness movement" (Newsweek). Leonard is president of the Esalen Institute and founder of Leonard Energy Training (LET), a practice inspired by aikido that offers alternative ways of coping with everyday issues. In this book he applies ancient techniques, physical and spiritual, to the battles we wage every day in both our public and private lives. Along the way, Leonard shows us unique and effective ways to:
• cope with sudden, often brutal, setbacks in our lives—and turn them into gifts for growth
• develop ki, or positive energy, to enhance vitality
• use the aikido principle of "blending" to deal with verbal and psychological attacks With an already large following, George Leonard now brings the valuable wisdom of aikido to a wider audience.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
If you're someone who's never considered learning a martial art, you might wonder what a book about the relatively obscure Japanese art of aikido might have to offer you. But when George Leonard took his first aikido lesson, he had no idea that this physical discipline held an underpinning of philosophy and spiritual insight that would influence every aspect of his life. Now Leonard, cofounder of the Esalen institute and author of books such as The Life We Are Given (written with Esalen cofounder Michael Murphy) and Education and Ecstacy , has written an inspiring new book that translates this complex Eastern philosophy into life lessons for today's readers.

At the center of aikido is the philosophy of "entering and blending"; when an attack is launched, instead of countering or dodging it, the aikido practitioner moves toward it and turns to briefly experience the action from the attacker's point of view, gaining insight, opening the possibility of reconciliation, and making use of the energy of the attack. Leonard shows us how this same philosophy of turning negative energy positive can be applied to many situations in life, in personal and professional relationships and encounters of all kinds. He also explores the act of centering, the philosophy of ki or life energy, the practice of meditation, the role of optimism, and other lessons that apply not just to the practice of aikido but to all of life. The Way of Aikido is a beautifully written work about the human potential that will inspire not just students of martial arts but seekers of all kinds.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452279728
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 570,798
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.02 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

George Leonard has introduced LET to more than 50,000 people in the United States and abroad. He is the author of a number of books on human possibilities and social change, including Mastery (Plume 1992), and lives in San Francisco, California.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 24, 2009

    This Helped Me to Deal with Difficult People in My Life

    This book was a great read. I am in an environment where I have to deal with people who can be very difficult. I would allow myself to be victimized by there words and behavior. After reading this book, I was able to create some distance between them and myself... and I'm not talking about physical distance... although that helps too, but I'm talking about emotional and mental distance so that I am not so susceptible to thei emotional turbulance. I was also able to find some compassion by not seeing them as separate from myself, but a mirror of me... not an opponent, but a partner...

    Excellent Book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    I wanted to know more about Aikido, and this book filled the bill

    I ride horses and heard from numerous people that Aikido is a complimentary system of personal development to riding. I wanted to learn more. There are no dojos close by so on someone's recommendation I got this book. I found the book easy to read and informative. It isn't a "how to" book, it is more a narrative of Mr Leonard's study of the art. I liked his descriptions of the people he has met, and his examples of how he applies the principles of Aikido to all aspects of his life. After reading the book I felt I had an idea of what Aikido might offer me if I chose to pursue it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 20, 2008

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    Posted April 27, 2011

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    Posted October 20, 2008

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    Posted September 21, 2011

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