John Stevens (scholar)

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John Stevens (born 1947)[1] 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. [1] 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[2] (白田林二郎).

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.[3]


Stevens has written over thirty books on Buddhism, Aikido and Asian culture, including:

Translations and collections[edit]

  • The Art of Peace ISBN 1-59030-144-7 (2011 Edition)
  • Best Aikido: The Fundamentals (Illustrated Japanese Classics) ISBN 4-7700-2762-1
  • The Aikido Master Course: Best Aikido 2 ISBN 4-7700-2763-X
  • Budo Secrets ISBN 1-57062-915-3
  • Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan
  • One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan
  • Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu (Companions for the Journey)
  • Lotus Moon: The Poetry of Rengetsu (Companions for the Journey) ISBN 1-893996-36-0
  • Rengetsu: Life and Poetry of Lotus Moon ISBN 1-6265-4931-1
  • Mountain Tasting: Zen Haiku by Santoka Taneda ISBN 0-8348-0151-5
  • The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki by Morihei Ueshiba ISBN 4770031149
  • The Essence of Aikido: The Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba (1993) ISBN 4-770017-27-8


  1. ^ a b Matrasko, Cheryl (2001-09-09). "Interview with Renown Aikidoist John Stevens". Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "John Stevens". Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "John Stevens". Shambhala. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 

External links[edit]