QCOver two years ago, I undertook an amazing tour of various dojos in the San Francisco Bay area.  I kept a blog of that journey here and it tells of how I 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 we 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.’  I knew immediately that I wanted to be that person.

Finally we have the fruits of this 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 enjoy.  It is the ideal book for aikido teachers to promote to their students, because it simple 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.’

To purchase the book or read more go to http://quentincooke.tumblr.com/