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AikiWeb System 02-09-2007 12:40 AM

"Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"
Posted 2007-02-08 23:38:42 by Jun Akiyama
News URL:

Here's another article, this one entitled "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts" which describes the "Children's Peace Project" started by Kristy Gano at the Bowling Green State University.

"In essence, the whole project was born in my mind through someone else's experience with an abusive relationship," Ganoe said. "Essentially the purpose ... is to develop self-defense skills through the martially-applicable skills we teach in the class."

What do people here think of these kinds of initiatives to take aikido "off the mat"?

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SeiserL 02-09-2007 05:52 AM

Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"

AikiWeb System wrote:
What do people here think of these kinds of initiatives to take aikido "off the mat"?

While I applaud people's attempts to apply the concepts and principles of Aikido "off the mat", IMHO in most situations it would be wiser to teach "escape and evasion" (get off the line) prior to self-defense.

Eric Webber 02-09-2007 07:51 AM

Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"
Much like The Art of War was taken into the board room in the 80's (with much thanks going to the character Gordon Gecko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street), aikido is being taken into the main stream (particularly in areas such as Leadership Studies). Principles can work well when they are understood and applied appropriately. Like anything, it (i.e. aikido and/or its principles) can also be overused, watered downed, dumbed down, and/or completely misrepresented.

crbateman 02-09-2007 11:07 PM

Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"
I second Lynn's emotion... The only confrontation one ever really wins is one he is not in... Avoidance and evasion come first. Confrontation is a last resort.

Kevin Leavitt 02-10-2007 02:14 AM

Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"
Avoidance and evasion certainly are two courses of action for dealing with conflict. Not sure that they are always the best ones. They may delay confrontation, and yes, they may help avoid it all together in a non-re-occuring situaiton.

However, some situatons it may not always be the best answer. Especially in places that kids are dealing with conflict like schools and communities where they are faced with pressures of bullying and peer pressure to join negative forces like gangs.

At some point they may have to face their conflict and deal with it. Given them the tools necessary to face conflict skillfully is a very worthwhile pursuit. the values of aikido that are transmitted through the art are ones that I think are worth while. Courage, committment, honor, respect.

If aikido or things like the art of war should not be transmitted or adopted into civilian life, then why are 99% of us studying aikido?

I do agree that they can be dumbed down and misunderstood. you cannot attend a few classes or teach a few things and say "well there you they can defend themselves! Let high five ourselves and call it a success!"

crbateman 02-10-2007 04:45 AM

Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
At some point they may have to face their conflict and deal with it.

Exactly. Other less violent options should be considered first. I do not study Aikido to learn how to solve my problems forcibly. I study to learn to blend and redirect. This is as desirable off the mat as on.

statisticool 02-10-2007 07:22 AM

Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"
"Ganoe noted the positives are that students develop and practice reacting to random situations, in terms of the quickness in their reflexes, students increase their physical flexibility, aerobic endurance and concentration."

This is a very important thing, IMO, if the practice environment is training against random aggression.

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