According to Homma, at the age of 14, he was sent by his father to train in Iwama under aikido founder Ueshiba Morihei. Homma also says that he trained as an uchi deshi in Iwama and at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo , under the founder and under Saito Morihiro in the late s[ clarification needed ]. Along with Hideo Hirasawa, Homma is one of a number of aikidoka who claim to be the last uchi deshi to have been trained directly by Ueshiba Morihei. This dojo has grown into the largest aikido dojo in the Rocky Mountain region and is well known for its international uchi-deshi program.

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Start your review of Aikido for Life Write a review Shelves: read-martial-arts , own The author of this book, Master Gaku Homma, studied under the founder of Aikido himself Morihei Ueshiba and his son. He has been involved in Aikido movement in Japan and is now teaching Aikido in Denver. Master Homma is also a founder of Nippon Kan, a none-profit organization, which is designed to introduce American public to Aikido and Japanese culture.

The center holds sessions for beginners as well as more advanced Martial Arts student. Format Even though there are no pictures, there are The author of this book, Master Gaku Homma, studied under the founder of Aikido himself Morihei Ueshiba and his son.

Format Even though there are no pictures, there are illustrations that are cartoon like for examples of techniques. The chapters are short, but the information is well written for most part and explained. The author gives various examples to relate Aikido to the everyday life.

There are some philosophical aspects as well as techniques. Content This book explains a sort of a controversial look on Ki. Master Homma says that aside from previous explanations about the subject by various masters, Ki has no shape or color. How can one explain to you something that you can not see? You have to only wait and experience it by yourself. The author expands on the idea of why do we bow when we enter the training hall.

Do we bow to the master, flags or the wall? We bow to honor the art and ourselves for taking our time to learn it? In relation to life, we bow to the wall as though our life has many walls.

We bow to the wall honoring that it is just another wall that we have to overcome. Gaku Homma also explains that no one has dragged you to Dojo a place of learning or enlightenment and that is the first thing he is trying to teach to his students.

Why are you here? He also goes in some detail explaining the theory of Aikido. There is no opponent in Aikido as in other martial arts. Your biggest enemy is you. When you control yourself, only then you are capable of controlling others. How can you fight someone or defend yourself from an enemy, if you are your own enemy. You have to conquer yourself first, before you are ready to take on the entire universe. REIT is the way we bow. It is very most import etiquette of Aikido.

Master Homma also explains Seiza. Seiza is a proper sitting etiquette when you are listening to a master. The proper way is to sit with your knees bend with your butt on your toes. He says that he wants the students to hear what he is saying, rather then concentrate on their comfort and pain in the legs. There is a very interesting explanation about Seiza that I just wanted to go into for a moment. The book explains why there is such a position.

If you visualize the position in your mind, it is not the most comfortable way for you to sit and your legs become a bit numb. From that position, there is no way one can attack. So, as of respect to your master or a fellow practitioner, it is exercised.

In the older days the guest or the inferior would sit in that position in front of the host or a master to enforce the sign of respect. The kings also felt it was a sign of security if the inferiors are in Seiza position to eliminate any means of attack.

The book also has a variety of exercises to be able to move naturally. They are used to be able to move in different directions. There is no front, because the practitioner has to see on all sides. So, the book tries to explain that the front is where the opponent or a danger is. Personal Note Any book is not just for entertainment, but to educate. Every piece of literature is designed and written to give us knowledge and understanding about particular subject.

From this book I have learned various aspects of respect and why they are practiced. The explanation in the book is somewhat different on the previously known to me subject. There is a touch of historical explanation about the techniques as well as why it is still practiced today.

My understanding improved some more in gray areas on etiquette and philosophy of Aikido. Conclusion So, what is wrong? Why did I rate this book poorly or should I say less then usual? This book has an easy to read format and is well written, so what is the problem.

Well, I was not interested and exciting while reading this book. What started out as well written and great information, slowly started to whine down. I have read quite a few books on martial arts and related philosophy.

If you are looking for a good book on the subject of Aikido I can recommend The Spirit of Aikido, which was written by the son of the founder.

The Aikido for Life tries to create the basic knowledge in your mind. The message is somewhat clear, but the author packs information into the chapters with too much to focus on.

Sure I have read books that are small with a lot of meaning, but this one is trying to jump between the theory and techniques. The author conveys the message of a particular example by trying to create a scenario and it starts out great and then loses focus.

Overall the book is not bad and might be interesting to some, but for me even a small book as this one was dragging on and on.

Like I said, I have read small books that read slowly, but this one was just not keeping me fully on my toes. Recommended, but not very highly.


Gaku Homma



Aikido for Life




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