The Ultimate Athlete

Front Cover
North Atlantic Books, Sep 30, 2000 - Sports & Recreation - 285 pages
We are born with the God-given right to move efficiently, gracefully, and joyfully. We lose this right only through society's mind-body split, faulty modes of physical education, and overemphasis on "winning." George Leonard's simple and radical notion is that within each of us, regardless of age, sex, or physical condition, there exists an ultimate athlete waiting to be born. With a poet's passion, fifth-degree aikido black belt Leonard evokes the transcendent moment in sport—the catch that defies gravity and chance, the play that makes time stand still—as emblematic of the Greater Game of embodiment itself, of life and death, a Game we all can play to depth and breadth of body and soul. The Ultimate Athlete helped create the participatory sports boom of the 1970s and 1980s. This revised edition is addressed to a new generation of ultimate athletes.
 

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Contents

Foreword xi
11
OLD GAMES AND NEW GAMES
11
Adventures of the Body and Spirit
11
The Hidden Dimensions of Sports
30
Aikido and the Mind of the West
47
Introduction to the Energy Body
60
Energy Exercises
82
The Energy Body in Conventional Sports
98
THE LARGER GAME
148
The Game of Games
151
Running
170
Falling Flying
190
Diving
207
Risking Dying
216
The Dance within the Game
229
Ideal and Actuality
241

New Games with New Rules
109
Toward a New Physical Education
133
A View from the Year 2000
259
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Geroge Leonard is author of a number of books on human possibilities and social change, including Education and Ecstasy. Leonard holds a fifth degree black belt in the martial art of aikido, and is co-owner of an aikido school in Mill Valley, California. He is married and has four daughters.

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