The martial arts are shrouded in the mystique of Asian lore and nuances. Information is well-known by experienced practitioners, but is often kept as an “open secret” among themselves.
Aikido is a self-defense martial art (budo) methodology established in Japan by Morihei Usehiba (O’Sensei; 1883-1969), who blended his techniques and weapons experience with deeply held philosophical beliefs into what is often referred to as “the art of peace.”
Aikido has a rich history originating to feudal period Japan, which continues today with an international fellowship of people who strive to make the world a better place by following the Aiki way, and embracing the legacy of the dojo culture as a training hall and sanctuary for enlightenment.
The world is in greater need than ever before to embrace the philosophy and approach of Aikido’s founder O’Sensei. The Aikido culture helps shape today’s youth, transitions adolescents to become contributing members of society, and helps adults continue spiritual and physical self-improvement. It distinguishes itself by shunning the competitive violence spawned by the pseudo-sports popularized in televised cage fighting, street-style brawling, and computer videogames (although Aikido is highly recognized as a headline program at the World Combat Games).
"An Open Secret" solves the mystery of Aikido training by revealing factual truths, historical reasoning, and detailed explanations required of all Aikido students. It also takes an in-depth look at the common and unique practices all Aikidoka (practitioners of Aikido); the background of Aikido’s rich history as budo (self-defense martial art); a current assessment of the art’s international status; and an overview of various sub-styles in the 21st century.
A true budo, Aikido is an extremely effective form of self-defense that equalizes size, strength, age and gender. Therefore, "An Open Secret" provides a proven learning methodology for Aikido that can be used by people of all ages, children and seniors alike, and can become a permanent lifestyle for its practitioners with improved physical and spiritual health.
Aikido must be felt and experienced in order to understand the power behind this martial art form. Physical training awakens the Aiki spirit within the student who develops physical skills as a way to understand the “mystery” behind the techniques. Its students can embrace spiritual enlightenment by drawing on this knowledge time and time again.
"An Open Secret" is a practical training guide that contains many resources, photos, illustrations, general information and techniques Tony knows would have been helpful when he started training years ago, but wasn't readily available to students of Aikido at that time.
The reader is taken under his wing, much like a season co-worker would help a newbie learn the ropes at work. He provides unbiased information on common etiquette, student responsibilities, dojo design, proper training apparel, the relationship between student and teacher and between students, training tools and weapons, rank examination, the Aiki spirit, and fundamental training concepts essential to learning Aikido and ultimately the Aiki way.
Other topics include step-by-step pointers on selection and care of the uniform (the Aikido gi and hakama), equipment (Aikido weapons – jo and bokken), and the training facility (Aikido dojo). Grading and promotion examination details are covered for both beginning and advanced students, as well as student’s progressive responsibilities as they advance in rank and experience.