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Author Spotlight: Mary Stein Gets Physical in Her Fifties

August 18, 2009

The Gift of Danger by Mary Stein, Available Aug. 25, 2009

When most people Mary Stein’s age think about upping their fitness level, it’s a matter of joining a gym, taking a class at the Y, or maybe purchasing a bicycle. Stein, however, took a different approach, looking to her local Aikido dojo for defense training and wellbeing.

Now in her eighties, Stein continues to practice the art of Aikido, which she has both taught and studied for over 25 years. Her book, The Gift of Danger, Lessons from Aikido reflects on her journey in martial arts, from her first steps into the Dojo over two decades ago, to her lessons in mastery as a black belt. In this powerful set of personal essays, Stein recalls her first partners, 20 years her junior, relating to their frustrations while holding each other accountable for their own tensions and struggles to succeed.

A sneak peek, from the book, “When Something Shifts”:

“One of my first partners at Suginami was Adam – 220 pounds, six-feet-three, and originally from the same hard-line dojo where Jimmy had first learned aikido…Jimmy watched for a moment while Adam mowed down his attackers, then he stopped the rehearsal and cautioned Adam to ‘give them more space…. if you treat your partners like that on the test, they’ll hate you subconsciously and without even intending to could make you look bad’…From then on, I noticed when I practiced with Adam that  he was taking my smaller size and strength into account and modulating his approach.”

Mary Stein, author of The Gift of Danger

The Gift of Danger will be available for purchase at starting Aug. 25.

For more info on Stein and her book, including upcoming author events, check out her new website,

Want to meet the author in person? Mary Stein will be celebrating the relase of her book at Browser Books in San Francisco on Monday, September 14 from 7-9 pm. Please see the events section of for more details.

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