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Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict

Book Summary:

Judy Ringer's newly published book on aikido and conflict is a practical tool to help you generate more power, presence, and flow in your relationships and your life.

Much more than a "how-to" book on conflict management, Unlikely Teachers offers personal stories, reflection, and direction on how to manage something more important—yourself.

Take a moment to engage your best self, the self that is wise, aware, and responsive. Direct the energy of conflict instead of reacting to it. And let life be more fascinating, purposeful, and fun.

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Review by:

This recently released book is the first from Judy Ringer, Aikido instructor and Professional Trainer in Portsmouth, N.H. It is a guide to self-improvement through Aikido philosophy and principles, in the same vein as “The Magic of Conflict” by Thomas Crum, who, not coincidentally, is one of the author’s primary teachers, and who wrote the foreward to this book.

This book contains no technical instruction. It is a delightful and interesting collection of anecdotes, quotations and stories, accompanied by the author’s interpretations of the lessons to be gained by thinking them through. Quotes are presented from such notable Aikido influences as O’Sensei himself, Mitsunari Kanai, Mitsugi Saotome, Thomas Crum, and Terry Dobson. Other notable quotations run the gamut from the Dalai Lama to Gandhi, from Shakespeare to Einstein, from Robert Frost to Emily Dickenson, and even Dr. Seuss.

The book is well researched, thoughtfully arranged, lighthearted, and not dull or preachy. The author gives common-sense advice to deal with everyday problems of human existence. The aiki principles of centering, blending and redirection are well represented.

It is an easy read, but do it when you are in the mood to think.

The format is good, with notable stories and points of emphasis boxed and highlighted. The printing is easy on the eyes. There are no photos or illustrations. Availability is primarily from the author directly at this early juncture (a quick “google” will lead you right to her), although I’m sure the usual sources (Amazon, B&N, etc.) will eventually get with it.

I applaud Judy for her considerable effort in preparing this book. It is enlightening, positive and thought-provoking. Hopefully, she will do more in the future. Check it out if you get the chance.

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