Nobuyuki Watanabe was born on July 25, 1930 in Miyazaki, Kyushu. He is one of the few remaining direct disciples of Ueshiba Morihei, The founder of Aikido. Watanabe Shihan started Aikido at the age of 22 and entered the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo as a live-in student (uchideshi) in 1958, where he still teaches regularly to date. Besides his international engagement as an Aikido teacher (8° DAN), Watanabe Shihan is also active as a physician (a specialist in osteopathy) at his residence in Koshigaya, Saitama.
This book in honour of his eightieth birthday is dedicated to Watanabe Shihan for his engagement as an Aikido instructor in Germany over more than 25 years. Most of the photographs were taken in the past three years during workshops in Birach, Germany as well as in Togari and the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Japan. The text is based on notes taken from the teachings of Watanabe Shihan as expressed in his classes and talks. This book is a snapshot of the ever transforming nature and variety of Watanabe Shihan’s Aikido, because to Watanabe Shihan Aikido means constant change and freedom. The aphorisms chosen aim to express this unlimited spirit of Aikido.
Watanabe Shihan has broadened the scope of Aikido in his very own way and thereby helped people today to learn to understand the interaction of nature, health, energy and freedom beyond the world of Budo as a martial art. In the true spirit of the founder Ueshiba Morihei, Watanabe Shihan has made understandable in a comprehensive manner the special nature of Aikido as a way to continuously develop body and mind in accord with nature and the energy of the universe, and thus opened the gate to this borderless path for many people. For this Watanabe Shihan deserves all of our special thanks!
Thomas Witty, Tokyo, July 2010
The book is published tri-lingually, in German, Japanese and English.
Drawn from the past 26 years of training and teaching, this book is a collection of the author’s thoughts about the deeper elements of Aikido and how it relates to life, not only martial arts. Inevitably, it is also reflective of his own personal and spiritual journey.
Translation by John Stevens. “The Secret Teachings of Aikido” is a collection of the spiritual teachings of the Founder. In this book, Morihei Ueshiba explains how Aikido is both the spirit of love and the study of that spirit. The author reflects on the rich and varied landscape of Aikido philosophy, discussing how Aiki is the marvelous functioning of breath, and how, through diligent use of Aikido’s breathing techniques, the practitioner can achieve true harmony.
This is a tiny, pocket-sized bilingual (Japanese/English) booklet, with English reading front-to-middle, and Japanese reading back-to-middle. It is a collection ot thoughts and anecdotes about Ki development. This is not a mainstream publication, but is meant instead for distribution within Ki Society groups.
This is one of the most popular Aikido books of all time. Originally published as a pocket-sized volume (see photo with yellow cover), a full-sized softcover edition (see photo with white cover – 93pp, ISBN#1570629641) was published in 1992. The book is a collection of writings and quotations by O’Sensei, translated and edited by John Stevens Sensei.
The book consists of a series of proverbs by O’Sensei, the sequence of which varies from one publication to another. Many of the proverbs are presented in a form of Japanese verse called “doka”. Illustrations are limited to depictions of kanji symbols.
Hardback edition (see photo with maroon cover – 184pp, was added in 2005. The 2010 hardback edition (white cover/red title) comes with an audio reading on CD.
From the Publisher: This book is a series of parables about the martial arts quest, and a meditation on the art of discipleship. A careful reading of the text will lead teachers and practitioners of all martial arts to examine their motives, to go beyond superficial prizes and awards, to rise above a focus on fighting technique, and ultimately to transcend the known. As the exciting and spiritually uplifting sequel to “Beyond the Known”, this book, through philosophy and fiction, leads the reader toward the unknown.
The author, a very widely respected martial artist, has selected a number of “teaching tales” from Asian traditions. These deal with the relationship of master and disciple, the nature of dedication, the analysis of goals, the meaning of awards, and other “internal” issues. The author ends his Introduction with, “Let us now attend to the heart of the matter, as we recognize that the growth of art flowers exclusively from within. This book will speak to all true seekers of the essence of martial-arts training, be they from West or East.” Republished in 2002.