This is a piece of work based on questions from prospective and new students and other interested parties. “Will I be able to defend myself?”, or variations on the theme cross the path of every teacher and of most students of Aikido. This is an attempt to answer those questions through the lens of our critics – those who regard Aikido as a lesser art for various reasons. By doing it this way this essay actually goes beyond the question of the title and uses the idea of self-defence as a way to try and describe some of the values that Aikido introduce into the life of the practitioner.
In “Seeking the Unicorn” Dr. Tzechovoy brings to bear vibrant life the interwoven physical and psychological transformations that take place within the body and self of the long-term practitioner of martial arts. He guides the reader to understanding these experiences via a juncture of psychoanalysis, Western philosophy and his own many years of practice as a martial artist.
The book follows the slow progression and development from student to teacher in a traditional school of aikido. The author elaborates on seemingly insignificant events of training and practice while shedding an originally new light on their inner value, infusing them with entirely different meanings to the conventional interpretation of martial arts in general and aikido in particular.
An unassuming encounter with Chiba sensei’s has become a unique gift that thoroughly transformed Dr. Tzechovoy’s inmost self; a small remark on the behalf of Chiba sense’s teacher; O-Sensei leads him to deep investigation into the relationship between Japanese teachers and their students, investigation that illuminates the role of such rapport in creating an independent and mature human being.
Dr. Tzechovoy belongs to the Birankai school of aikido. He pays tribute to the writings of T.K. Chiba Sensei and to the experiences shared with him on and off the mat. However, practitioners of all types of martial arts will see their own experiences and challenges, critically yet constructively, examined and clarified in “Seeking the Unicorn”
In this volume, nine renowned experts delineate their theoretical or methodological approach of Aikidô in potentiating constructive handling of social conflicts. The authors depict the contribution of the Japanese self-defensive art Aikidô to the theory and practice of conflict transformation. The concept of Elicitive Conflict Transformation (Lederach, Dietrich) necessarily calls for a revised understanding of applied peace work and a new personal profile of the conflict worker. This is the point where Aikidô and conflict/peace work meet.