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The Hidden Power of Aikido

Transcending Conflict and Cultivating Inner Peace

Foreword by John Stevens and John Perry
Published by Park Street Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

• Explains Aikido solutions for peacefully resolving difficulties that arise with intimidating and unpredictable people, those who are stubborn or don’t listen, insincere people who want something from you, and chaotic situations

• Presents Aikido’s step-by-step protocol for developing the receptiveness of the beginner’s mind and deescalating potentially violent or dangerous situations

• Shares stories of how Aikido helped the author transform interpersonal difficulties into peaceful interactions

Illuminating the inner philosophical and practical aspects of Aikido, 47-year Aikido practitioner and 6th-degree black belt Susan Perry, Ph.D., uses personal stories of joy, achievement, and hardship to demonstrate real-life applications of the transformational principles of Aikido. She introduces the origins and techniques of Aikido, providing a brief biography of its founder, Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei), and compares his philosophy with that of Aristotle. She explains in detail how Aikido helped her resolve difficulties at work, as a student, and as a teacher/sensei. Through each story shared, the author offers a glimpse of the beginner’s mind, a state essential to personal transformation and also the key to transforming conflict into a peaceful interaction.

Perry also shows how the tools of Aikido—the sword, bokken, and jo—not only help correct posture but also are symbols cutting through darkness, revealing the truth of reality. She discusses the importance of experiencing the beautiful qualities of the mountain forests, which calm and cleanse the spirit. And she explains how a deepening practice of this martial art leads to an aiki state of sincerity, inner peace, and boundless joy.

Revealing how Aikido can help you face your fears and develop your heart and soul, this book shows how this martial art can help you embrace change, cultivate a strong center, and ultimately live a joyful life of engagement with the world.

About The Author

Susan Perry, Ph.D., has practiced Aikido for nearly 50 years. She holds a Rokudan (6th-degree black belt) in Aikido, a doctorate in philosophy, and a Godan (5th-degree black belt) in Japanese calligraphy. Best known for founding and publishing Aikido Today Magazine, she is now president of Aiko Institute. A former assistant professor in the California State University system, she lives in Claremont, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Park Street Press (April 2, 2024)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644118986

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Raves and Reviews

“Wise, heartfelt, and poignant yet humorous, The Hidden Power of Aikido is a beautifully written testament to the unique, transformative power of Aikido. Susan Perry Sensei draws from her fifty years of Aikido practice and study, as well as from literature, history, and philosophy, to create a perceptive and affecting portrait of a life illuminated and enriched by the art. Anyone dedicated to a long-term spiritual path will resonate with Perry’s zest and keen observations.”

– BETH FRANKL, executive editor at Shambhala Publications

“Sensei Perry’s 6th-degree black belt, her founding, publishing, and editing of Aikido Today Magazine, and her 48 years as an Aikido student, dojo owner, and trusted sensei make her a rare combination of Eastern and Western, scholar and practitioner expert. Her work is simultaneously profound and personally applicable wisdom for all readers of living philosophy, martial arts, and other related disciplines.”

– Judith Blitz, adjunct professor of Naropa University, Aikido 6th Dan

“Susan Sensei encourages us to aspire to a deeper exploration of Aikido that will engage us at all levels of our lives. Using her knowledge of Aristotle’s principles of virtue and O-Sensei’s principles of Makoto, she makes the case for Aikido’s ability to provide substance for anyone to live deeply and meaningfully.”

– Mary Heiny, Aikido 7th Dan

“O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido, taught that we all must learn to live with the spirit of love and protection for all existence. I believe Susan Perry’s words are inspiring, and I trust her book will help nurture this practice.”

– Motomichi Anno Sensei, Aikido 8th Dan and contributor of Journey to the Heart of Aikido

“Philosopher, historian, and nationally known Aikido instructor, Susan Perry gifts current Aikido practitioners with a deeper understanding of their art and provides aspiring students and the public insights into the potential of this martial art.”

– Barry Portnoy, Ph.D., 4th Dan

“In The Hidden Power of Aikido, Perry Sensei has distilled her years of deep unflinching curiosity for truth through the training, study, and teaching of Aikido. She offers a smoothly written and easily accessible book.”

– Aimen Al-Refai, 35 years in Aikido, 5th-degree black belt, senior instructor at Aikido of Santa Cruz

“Alongside being an author and the publisher of Aikido Today Magazine, Susan Perry simultaneously created and operated a major Aikido dojo. All of this, coupled with her formal training and teaching in philosophy, makes her a unique and special voice whose insights will reward the reader and help illuminate the path ahead.”

– Doug Dearie, technologist, musician, entrepreneur, Aikido 4th Dan

“The deep sincerity of Susan Perry Sensei’s quest has enabled her to penetrate beneath the surface and enter the rich depths of this transcendent path. She has eloquently shared her discoveries in The Hidden Power of Aikido.”

– Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish, Head Shinto Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America

“Susan Perry has played an important and profound role in Aikido in America. It’s enlightening to hear more of her stories as she looks back on her career in Aikido and offers her advice and guidance to those who have come after.”

– Jacob “Budo Jake” McKee, 3rd-degree Aikido black belt

“Susan Perry shows us that Aikido, so much more than a martial art, provides a path for living as a good person. If you train in Aikido, read this book to deepen your understanding of Aikido. If you don’t yet train, read this book to learn how Aikido provides that path, and then go looking for an Aikido dojo.”

– Nancy Jane Moore, writer and Aikido instructor

“Explores how Aikido offers not only a template for what it is to be a good human being but also a method to become one. Highly recommended for practitioners, both actual and armchair, of Aikido and other martial arts.”

– Robert Kent, founder of the PeaceCamp Initiative

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