View Full Version : Ireland?

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Jeanne Shepard
02-25-2006, 11:38 PM
So, I was watching the dvd "Michael Collins" the other night and I realized how little I know about Irish politics and history.
Are things still tense in Northern Ireland, and does Aikido (has Aikido) helped?


Amelia Smith
02-26-2006, 06:20 AM
I remember going to Northern Ireland in the summer of '97 and thinking, "Wouldn't it be great if they had aikido here?" Then Ian Dodkins started posting here a lot, so I knew that there was a start.

Has Aikido helped? I don't know. I think (my impression from the international news, along occasional conversations with people from Northern Ireland) that the situation has improved dramatically in the past decade or so, but it's not over. I just saw this news story today (I hope the link works) http://www.salon.com/wire/ap/archive.html?wire=D8G0C25G5.html :uch:

Mark Freeman
02-26-2006, 09:29 AM
Hopefully Ian will join in at some point and give an insiders view.

I don't know whether aikido has helped the big picture there, I'm sure it has helped the people who are practicing.

I do feel that the peace talks that lead to the Good Friday Agreement did indeed display aiki principles, in that all sides were included, the will of each group was considered. There were talks held with 'terrorists' despite the official line of 'we do not engage in negotiation with terorists'. You have to engage/blend fully with the enemy to bring about some sort of resolution.
My view as a close-ish outsider is that the peace is tenuous but the majority of people are fed up with the troubles, and have no desire for them to return. I just hope that in their next elections they elect people of as 'moderate' views as possible, who are willing to try and cement a system that can't slide backwards into violence.

Where you when we need you Ian?


Jeanne Shepard
02-26-2006, 07:42 PM

What do you think?


03-09-2006, 03:50 PM
Aikido has been used to bring people from communities in conflict together - in other regions. I thinking particularly of Aiki Extensions "Training Across Borders" event in Cyprus and the Salaam Shalom Aikido project between Israelis and Palestinians.

Re Ireland - I don't think aikido has ever been done with a stated "bi-communal" intent there, but this has happened naturally in some cases I believe. My being English was not a major issue while training in the Irish Republic - though I suspect it was to a minority.

I'm also interested to hear views and experiences of those in the North on this subject. Re Irish politics/troubles in general - I don't want to say too much as I'm no expert. The general view is that it's better than it was but is still far from perfect.

Views from the States on the subject are often odd in my experience - Jeanne - I feel happy that you are looking for other sources of info than Hollywood that's for sure!

Nick Simpson
03-09-2006, 04:13 PM
The general view is that it's better than it was but is still far from perfect.

Thats the view that I got from the both the locals and the general atmosphere when I was there.