This is the web site that accompanies my book on Aikido published via Lulu.com. You can of course also buy the book from here!
As Lars points out so eloquently, Aikido can be considered as an ‘infinite game’ where there is no final winning or losing but rather an endless path of learning, development and embodiment. In that sense, what allows us to play that game both joyfully and successfully is the mind set we bring to it.
In Japanese culture an essential cornerstone in any learning endeavour is considered to be what is called ‘beginners mind’ (shoshin). But what characterise this state of mind? One important aspect is a mind that embraces questioning in the sense of a fundamental curiosity regarding one’s field of learning and dare I say, by extension, of one’s life.
In this book Lars raises plenty of issues for us to consider and question. And consider them we must if as practitioners we are to make the art our own and Aikido is to find it’s proper place in our western society.
In Japan many of the issues Lars raises are rarely if at all considered. Japanese martial arts culture is old and Aikido there has found its place. Not so for us in the west, or at least not completely. Our current challenge is to stay faithful to the essence of the art and yet adapt it to its new cultural settings. It is not possible to simply transplant the Japanese model to the west without modification. Cultural modification is inevitable so better we are conscious of it and able to participate and guide that process rather than simply let it happen with unforeseen and potentially undesirable consequences.
How successful we are in this process will depend on our ability to question and separate out the wheat from the chaff. Ultimately Aikido is not a Japanese martial art but an art concerning itself with human beings and the age old question of conflict between them. The principles of Aikido both at the physical as well as the relational level are not Japanese principles per se, but universal principles.
Whether a seasoned practitioner or a beginner, this book invites you to consider the art from different perspectives and angles with the intention of stimulating your ‘questioning mind’ and fostering this participation in the integration of Aikido in our lives and societies.
Enjoy and be prepared to be challenged!
Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros
14 June 2022
Paperback: 68 pages
1 edition (2022)