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:

  • Training with the Master – Lessons with Morihei Ueshiba ISBN 1-57062-568-9 (2004 Edition)
  • Zen Brushwork: Focusing the Mind With Calligraphy and Painting
  • Lust for Enlightenment: Buddhism and Sex ISBN 0-87773-416-X
  • The Sword of No-Sword: Life of the Master Warrior Tesshu ISBN 1-57062-050-4
  • The Secrets of Aikido ISBN 1-57062-235-3 (1997 Edition)
  • Abundant Peace ISBN 0-87773-350-3
  • Aikido: The Way of Harmony ISBN 0-394-71426-1
  • Invincible Warrior ISBN 1-57062-394-5 (1999 Edition)
  • Zen Bow, Zen Arrow (2012) ISBN 9780834827233
  • Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei (Shambhala 1988, Echo Point Books 2013 paperback, ISBN 978-1626549951)
  • The Philosophy of Aikido (2013 paperback edition) ISBN 978-1626549937
  • Extraordinary Zen Masters: A Maverick, a Master of Masters, and a Wandering Poet (2013 paperback edition) ISBN 978-1626549920
  • Sacred Calligraphy of the East (2013 paperback edition) ISBN 978-1626549944
  • The Way of Judo: A Portrait of Jigoro Kano (2013) ISBN 978-1590309162
  • Three Budo Masters (1995) ISBN 4-770018-52-5
  • The Shambhala Guide to Aikido (1996) ISBN 978-1-57062-170-3
  • Budo Secrets (2001) ISBN 1-570624-46-1

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". Archived from the original on 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  2. ^ "John Stevens". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  3. ^ "John Stevens". Shambhala. Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links[edit]