This book is the last book written by Koichi Tohei. It is the largest, the most detailed, and also the most difficult one to find. It was only sold to Ki Society members in 2001 – which I was at that time. As with almost all his books, there are chapters on his philosophy and the techniques of Aikido. Of particular interest in this book is that there is a chapter where he talks about what he learned from his 3 teachers (and what he disagreed with!).
The main theme as is in all of his books is mind body unification. Here he explains an interesting point that mastery of one art doesn’t mean mastery in all situation:
When we unify our mind and body we are healthy and feel good. Whenever we lose harmony between mind and body we feel out of sorts, and things do not go well. A person who has achieved mastery in any field learns how to coordinate mind and body from years of experience. However mastery of one art does not guarantee that a person will be able to coordinate mind and body at any time in daily life. For this reason, to unify mind and body has always been considered to be the most difficult of tasks, requiring constant vigilance and effort.
Another common theme of Tohei’s teaching is one of maintaining a positive attitude:
If you want to extend Ki you must do it with your mind. No one ever achieves anything with a negative spirit. Successful people are those who maintain a positive attitude in the face of any difficulty; people who extend Ki.
However our lives are not always smooth sailing. Things don’t always go smoothly for your convenience. When things do not go your way, it is easy to become negative, to complain, to experience doubts. This is a critical time at which your attitude makes all the difference. Whenever you feel anxious about something, it is important to change your attitude by using positive words. When you think or speak positively, this penetrates into your subconscious mind and things go accordingly.
And finally, Tohei brings back the all important point that the lessons from Aikido should be applied to your daily life:
There is no such thing as a principle that works just for aikido and cannot be applied in daily life. There is but one universe, and its principles are universal, applicable equally in any time and any era. There is no limit on what you can apply the principles to. You may apply them equally to martial arts, sports, fine arts, or business, but they must be applied correctly.