We could use rain here in Northern California. While we’re waiting for the wet stuff, it is raining books—really special books by gifted writers.
Arriving this week is Linda Holiday Sensei’s book about her experiences in Japan, and Anno Sensei and his teachings. “Journey to the Heart of Aikido” is a richly deserving of all the accolades in the section titled, “Praise for Journey into the Heart of Aikido.” The comments by Thich Nhat Hanh, John Stevens, Robert Frager, Wendy Palmer and many other noted teachers and spiritual leaders all laud the publication of this book.
The book is chock full of fantastic color and black & white photographs that alone would make the book a must have for an Aikido or martial arts library. However, the fascinating text beginning with the first part of the book that recounts the writer’s journey to Japan and her experiences there as an Aikido student of first Hikitsuchi Sensei and then Anno Sensei. This was at the dojo in Shingu Japan.
Her experiences as a gaijin (I believe the polite translation is “foreigner…the not so polite translation is, “barbarian”) are accurate insights into what is was like for a westerner to be in a part of Japan that was still unfamiliar with visitors. Those who have been to areas of Japan where a non-Japanese are a rarity will smile when reading these encounters.
The second part of the book is titled, “The Heart of Aikido: Teachings of Motomichi Anno Sensei.” Anno Sensei, an 8th dan and a direct student of O Sensei’s, includes core Aikido teachings and principles. This section provides in-depth journey into what the author rightly calls, “the heart of Aikido.”
The day the book arrived I started reading it over lunch. I then stretched this reading time into the afternoon as far as I could before reluctantly being pulled away for an appointment.
A full review of the book will follow. However, all I can say is that this is more than a book: It is a gift that stretches from the Founder through his direct students to the author and then to us-- the lucky readers.
Don’t delay: Buy or order this book now from you local Independent bookseller!
“Journey to the Heart of Aikido – The Teachings of Motomichi Anno Sensei” by Linda Holiday – Published by Blue Snake Books, Berkeley, CA – 337 pages - ISBN 978-1-58394-6 – US $21.95 – CAN $24.95