Three Budo Masters - Kano Funakoshi Ueshiba

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Author: John Stevens
Pub: 1995 by Kodansha International
Pages: 144
Ranking:Three star Rating
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Other than the slight (and understandable - The author is an Aikidoka) bias in favor of Aikido, the author has done a good job with this mini-biography of Jigoro Kano. Also included - as you may have guessed from the title - are biographies of Gichin Funakoshi, and Morihei Ueshiba. As long as you can look past the bias, all three biographies are well done.


 Preface                           7
 Jigoro Kano (1860-1938)           9
 Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957)     49
 Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969)      89
 The Three Budo Masters Compared 133
 Further Reading                 138
 Index                           141



Three Budo Masters is a presentation of the lives and teachings of Jigoro Kano (1860-1938), the sophisticated internationalist who founded Kodokan Judo; Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957), a cultured gentleman scholar who is reckoned as the father of modem karate; and Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the mystic sage who created aikido. The three budo (martial art) masters were well acquainted with each other, and the men and their students interacted in a variety of fascinating ways. Their respective teachings had a profound impact on modern Japanese society, and practice of the arts of judo, karate, and aikido spread quickly to other lands. All three arts are now avidly studied all over the globe, an integral part of world culture.

Popularization of any art always includes certain dangers, however, and all three masters would undoubtedly be sorely dismayed at the changes that have taken place in the world of budo: increasing commercialization, excessive emphasis on competition, vicious factional disputes, and scandalous behavior by senior instructors. Kano, Funakoshi, and Ueshiba were men of vision who held the loftiest ideals and maintained the highest standards; it is my sincere hope that Three Budo Masters will stimulate a reassessment of the real nature and true purpose of judo, karate, and aikido.

John Stevens
Sendal, 1995


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