In 2012, Quentin Cooke, the editor of this book, was on an amazing tour of various dojos in the San Franscisco Bay area. He was lucky enough to meet Robert Frager Sensei, 7th dan, who had studied with O Sensei, the founder of aikido himself. Frager Sensei had a wonderful aura of calm and deep wisdom, and as they talked about this and that, he said casually ‘It’s such a shame that there is no one out there who is capturing the wonderful stories that arise out of aikido.’ Quentin knew immediately that he wanted to be that person.
Finally we have the fruits of his labour, a book of over 80 aikido stories from everyday life, collected from aikidoka based around the world. They range from students with very little experience on the mat to the most seasoned sensei. The stories have one thing in common, which is that they demonstrate the positive power of aikido.
The range of ways and circumstances in which people have used what they have learnt on the mat to deal with whatever life throws at them is simply amazing. Some stories are very short, some much longer, some make a simple point, and others are far more profound, but they all serve to inspire and motivate any serious aikido student and maybe will serve to entice students on the mat when they understand the benefits of aikido practice.
On the most basic level, the book is simply a good read and easy to enjoy. But it is also the ideal book for aikido teachers to promote to their students, because it simply focuses on what can happen if they keep on training.
Aikido seeks to promote harmony, but all too often in the aikido world, the different lineages seem to focus on what divides us. However, in putting together the book from so many diverse places, it became increasingly obvious that we are mostly climbing the same mountain, albeit the chosen route may be different.
Maybe this book can help reconcile the aikido world and also serve to make all aikido students realise why O Sensei said ‘It is a way to reconcile the world and make all human beings one family.’
All profits from the book will go to Aiki Extensions:
Paperback price £15.00
Kindle price. £6.52
In 1985 ‘Aikido and the New Warrior’ opened a conversation about how aikido principles could be taken out of the dojo and contribute to the larger world.
Soon after Aiki Extensions was born and a formalized, collective process began where like minded practitioners could learn from each other and make aiki offers into different domains. This timely collection is the next step in revealing how the power of aikido can touch the hearts and minds of so many people, in so many different ways. And it’s a delightful, accessible read that points to a way in which we can positively impact society.
Richard Strozzi-Heckler - Author of Aikido and the New Warrior, In Search of the Warrior Spirit, and The Leadership Dojo.
If you’ve ever wondered how aikido “works”… open this book and prepare to be amazed. Over eighty stories from around the world reveal real-life dramas, misfortunes, adventures, and life’s adversities, all viewed and transformed through the creative practice of aikido, the martial art of peace. These unforgettable personal accounts help us to see the power of the spirit, inherent in aikido training and available to each one of us. I highly recommend 'A Way to Reconcile the World.’ Reading this book will lift your spirit!
Linda Holiday, Author, Journey to the Heart of Aikido: The Teachings of Motomichi Anno Sensei
Aikido came to the US over fifty years ago. A generation of senior teachers has arisen having spent their whole adult lives pursuing this amazing art. Future generations will not experience what it was like for this first generation of aikido pioneers. Here is a book of stories that illustrate the essence of what motivated these teachers to fall in love with aikido and throw their hearts and souls into the practice. This volume is great reading for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
George Ledyard , 7th Dan - Aikido Eastside (Seattle)
I read most of your book by now and it is really emotive and lovely, and your story behind it is great as well. So many testimonies of such a varied range, makes it even more interesting.
Bjorn Saw - 5th dan - Aikido Alive
The book is packed full of great stories about people resolving conflict peacefully and overcoming adversity. It has inspired me to look deeper into my own aikido practice.
Jake Birkett, 3rd Dan, - KSMBDA
The book is called ‘A Way to Reconcile the World’ . . . if nowhere else, then at least peace in your own world.
This is a collection of real life stories written by people of all walks of life and all levels of skill. It is about the peace they created through their practice of Aiki principles, a peace that transfers to would be attackers on so many occasions.
If you ever asked yourself the question, “What practical use is aikido in daily life?” Then this book will convince you of its true value. You might think this book is just for aikidoka or even other martial artists, but this is a book suitable for anyone living today or tomorrow, for it is about life itself and how to make a difference for the better. They always say, don’t they, ‘life changing' book, best seller etc , . . . well this time it is and will be true.
Richard Small, 4th Dan, - TIA Europe (after a life changing read of this superb collection of stories).
This collection of true stories of aikido explains the philosophy (loving protection of all beings) and shows how aikido’s principles play out in reality.
The past few weeks have been challenging and what got me through it was "A Way to Reconcile the World.’ It is inspiring and so right on.
Jim Watkins, 1st Dan, - Aikido Center of Sacramento