John Stevens

John Stevens

John Stevens (born 1947) is a Buddhist priest, teacher of Buddhist studies and Aikido teacher.

Stevens formerly taught Eastern philosophy at Tohoku Fukushi University in Japan. His Aikido rank is 7th dan Aikikai. He lived in Sendai from 1973 to 2013. He currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii where he instructs at Aikido-Ohana dojo.

John Stevens was born in Chicago but grew up in Evanston, Illinois. He moved to Sendai in Japan in 1973 in order to study Buddhism and began practising Aikido soon afterwards. He practiced under Hanzawa Yoshimi Sensei and then under Shirata Rinjiro Sensei (白田林二郎). He lived in Japan for thirty-five years, where he was a professor of Buddhist studies at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai. Stevens is a widely respected translator, an ordained Buddhist priest, a curator of several major exhibitions of Zen art, and an aikido instructor. He has authored more than thirty books and is one of the foremost Western experts on aikido, holding a ranking of 7th dan Aikikai. Stevens has also studied calligraphy for decades, authoring the classic Sacred Calligraphy of the East.

He has created his own system of Aikido, which he calls Classical Aikido, which is a complete system emphasizing misogi, kotodama, and the unity of aiki-ken, aiki-jo, and taijutsu (body arts). He has taught it all over the world.


Secrets of Aikido
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Secrets of Aikido

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The Sword of No-Sword: Life of the Master Warrior Tesshu
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The Sword of No-Sword: Life of the Master War...

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