The Hidden Power of Aikido

Transcending Conflict and Cultivating Inner Peace


• 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(s)

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.

John Stevens is the author of Aikido: The Way of Harmony.

John Perry is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford University.


“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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