Books & Audio

We get better at what we practice. These books and audio offerings were created to inform, inspire, and support you in your practice.

Unlikely Teachers
Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict
by Judy Ringer

Your struggle with life's challenges can change in an instant.

Unlikely Teachers 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, concrete practices, and real life examples on how to manage something more important—yourself. It will serve you well as a stand-alone resource, and is extremely useful as pre- and post-workshop support.

Transforming Conflict

As a writer, speaker, and martial artist, I teach internationally on how to convert difficult challenges into useful energy. I created Unlikely Teachers so that anyone can have this teaching at any time. Each story applies Aikido principles to real life conflict—arguments, workplace irritations, relationship difficulties—the unexpected and unwanted events that life throws our way.

The book's primary message: You have more power than you think.

  • Improve business relationships.
  • Reduce stress at home.
  • Increase self-awareness and confidence.
  • Direct the energy of conflict instead of reacting to it.

Begin now to find the hidden gifts in your daily conflicts.

Table of Contents

Whether on the mat or off, I see the process of conflict similarly. We start by resisting. It just happens. If we're aware enough to change, we connect with the conflict, practice, make discoveries, learn about power, and eventually (if we stay with it), we begin to see the conflict as a teacher.

The six chapters of Unlikely Teachers, like the six stages of conflict, are interrelated and correlate with how we encounter, manage, and resolve the conflict. Each story is complete with its own practice and related examples.

You're welcome to download and print the underlined stories. I ask only that you keep the article intact and use the "about the author" information at the end of each piece. Thank you!


ix Foreword by Thomas Crum

xi Preface: On This Planet

3 Introduction: Hidden Gifts

Part One: Resistance

13 Choosing My Self

19 Listening When It’s Not Easy

26 Unwanted Guests

Part Two: Connection

35 Becoming Each Other

41 Relax!

46 Turn Signals and Enlightenment

Part Three: Practice

53 Getting on the Mat

62 Keeping Conflict in Perspective
69 Ah, Yes … Another Sporting Event

Part Four: Discovery

77 Life Is What You Make It
82 Discovery on an Icy Bridge

90 Many Lessons

Part Five: Power

97 Beacon Street

103 Wearing the Hakama: Lessons in Leadership

108 What Is This Thing Called Ki?

117 Inventing Your Life

Part Six: Teachers

129 Where’s the Struggle?

134 Dancing with “Difficult” People

140 Unlikely Teachers

145 Thank You Very Much

151 Afterword: See You on the Mat

155 Acknowledgments

157 Permissions

159 Resources

163 About the Author