“As I began to practice aikido, there were indeed moments when my own energies blended with those of another person and I had a taste of what I had hoped to find. But often I reacted unthinkingly when someone grabbed at my arm or struck toward my head. Id try to muscle through or, just as tensely, hold back from moving. As I witnessed these automatic outbreaks of fear and hostility, I began to recognize the truth of Morihei Ueshibas assertion that the mind of contention within myself was the real, or even the only, enemy.” In her mid-fifties Mary Stein began practicing aikido. Now in her eighties she continues to be an inspiration to many. This excerpt from her book “The Gift of Danger” shares more about the profound principles behind aikido and their application to daily life.