Aikido in Real Life

Kenjiro Yoshigasaki

Aikido in Real Life

Yoshigasaki Sensei's last book is now available. Even during Sensei's lifetime, many people worked on it. The English version can now be ordered from an American BOD shop.
The book has 202 pages with numerous drawings that illustrate the exercises and techniques. The title page shows a calligraphy by Shin Watanabe Sensei, which is explained on the first pages.
Everbody involved obviously put a lot of effort into completing the work after the death of Yoshigasaki Sensei. Thanks very much!


The content is - as with other publications of Yoshigasaki Sensei before - divided into parts with Roman numerals. The aim of the book is stated in the foreword: It should show how one can actually use Aikido techniques in the real world.
Part I "Human Being" has the most subdivisions. It describes the basics of Ki, posture, perception and imagination, as well as techniques and exercises for health.
Part II "Protect home" analyzes the situation when someone breaks into the house and names options for acting with or without Jo or Bokken.
Part III "Michibiki" shows Aikido techniques, mostly grasping attacks, and the four stages of leading by changing form and position.

Part IV "Bokkendori", Part V "Tantodori" and Part VI "Ukemi" are only a few pages long and give basic examples. Part VII "Aikido in the Dojo" explains basic concepts for practice on the tatami. Part VIII "Essays" contains five short articles on selected topics. Part IX "Questions and Answers" is a selection of 38 questions and answers that Yoshigasaki Sensei covered online in 2020, mixed with some essays on important aspects.
On the last pages there is a short, very compact summary of the life and works of Yoshigasaki Sensei.

In the English edition, the long o with an overline "ō" is not used. In some words, like Soutaiho, a long o is rendered with ou, as it would be written in hiragana in Japanese. However, this spelling is used inconsistently in the book. It would have to be written Soutaihou since the last o in this word is also long. Or instead of kenkodo, kenkoudou should also be written. However it is to be welcomed that the editor in general uses the Hepburn transcription.

In the essay "The Last Judgment", Yoshigasaki Sensei warns to judge.
"Old wisdom says that only God can judge and even God can judge only at the end of the world."

The real world

Calligraphy by Shin Watanabe Sensei

SHINmorning, daybreak
Meaning: The universe or real world existing independently of perception and actions, and the future.
Or as poesie: Sun, moon and stars - morning is breaking.
Note: In the English edition, the last character, which is rarely used, is rendered "mixture, union". This seems to be an error.