The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Akido
By John Stevens
Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the founder of Aikido--whose name means "abundant peace"--was undoubtedly the greatest martial artist who ever lived. As John Stevens, the author of this penetrating biography puts it, "even if we accept every exploit of all the legendary warriors, East and West, as being literally true, none of those accomplishments can be compared to Morihei's documented ability to disarm any attacker, throw a dozen men simultaneously, and down and pin opponents without touching them."
How did the diminutive master--barely five feet tall--attain this uncanny power? In Abundant Peace,John Stevens tells the real story behind Morihei's achievement, illuminating the man and his message in a way that will delight and stimulate the reader. Focusing on the how and why of Morihei's career, Stevens describes the people, events, and ideas that influenced his lifelong spiritual quest, which culminated in the unique teachings of Aikido. Illustrated with photographs of Morihei in action and filled with revealing anecdotes about his life and times, the book also offers a valuable discussion of the Founder's conception of Aikido as a path of harmony and love, unifying mind and body, self and others, man and the universe.
John Stevens lived in Japan for 35 years, where he was a professor of Buddhist studies at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai. A widely respected translator, ordained Buddhist priest, curator of several major exhibitions of Zen art, and an aikido instructor, he has authored more than thirty books and is one of the foremost Western experts on aikido, holding a ranking of 7th dan Aikikai.