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Old 02-09-2007, 03:15 PM   #12
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: "Verbal Aikido: 7 Ways To Handle Difficult Customers"

There are quite a few books out there dedicated to enlightening the business community by bringing Aikido principles into this sphere.
Some examples: Corporate Aikido by Robert Pino,
Leadership Aikido by John O'Neil
An Unused Intelligence by Andy Bryner & Dawna Markov Ph D

None of the authors have any extensive aikido experience, some have as far as I can tell have no mat time at all, only Bryner has some Ki Aikido experience, which is apparent in most/all of the exercises in the book, which are common in Ki Aikido dojo's everywhere.

This lack of mat time does not however invalidate the message in the books themselves. I found them all very interesting and they all have something of value to add to the overall sum of business/leadership knowledge. In fact they go alot further down the road of translating the effectiveness of aikido and it's principles to the wider world, than most of us quietly perfecting our art in numerous small dojo's around the world.

Personally, I have run quite a few in house corporate trainings where I have used ki development type exercises in the training room to illustrate metaphorically, real world events. These are then examined and other communications models used to translate the mind/body experiences into a usable tool for everyday life.
Virtually every delegate who went through this type of training enjoyed it, as it engaged them in a more complete way than the normal chalk and talk / powerpoint presentations they were used to.
I did alway make the point that I was not teaching them any aikido and that if they wanted to understand how aikido really works then they'd have to put in the mat hours like the rest of us. However, many of them that I introduced this method of training to, were grateful for the new perspective that they gained and some went on to put it to positive use in the workplace/home.

As George so rightly pointed out, statistically there are very few of us practicing our art, and even fewer that really excel. So I think that the skilled translation of what we do on the mat to the wider world through books, seminars etc, on the whole is a good thing. As long as the proponent are truthfull about their own personal expertise, and give credit where it is due.

O Sensei did say that aikido is for everyone, but they way we go about promoting it in the dojo world, it is pretty much annonymous. How many people do you meet that have no idea what aikido is? We still have along way to go to realise O Sensei's vision.



Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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