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Old 06-29-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Rape Survivor and Aikido

This is essentially what I would say so just want to add my voice of support.
To the fellow asking then why is the OP even doing aikido...some folks are led somehow to what they need in life, and sometimes that something is a safe space in which to slowly explore what pushes one's buttons. It's NOT therapy or a replacement for it but a sort of living laboratory for controlled experiments in changing one's reality and one's self. At least that's my take on it.

Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Good that you are trying to work with your challenge instead of working around it. Maybe the fact that you are aware will help you to gradually desensitize yourself to it, at least enough to be able to really enjoy your aikido training.

The teacher's friendly hand on your shoulder, and other kinds of benign contact, make you flinch now, but maybe if you let these things happen and remind yourself that they are benign, the flinching will eventually stop and you'll be able to relax. It's like getting used to cold water... step in toe first, grimace, adjust, go in up to your ankles, grimace, adjust...etc. Same with aikido technique. Nikkyo is a good "minimal contact" technique -- just hands and wrists. It's the toe in the water.

I don't pretend to be an expert in this area, but I do believe that arts such as aikido provide a safe and controlled venue for working through personal challenges such as touch aversion. I'm not sure, though, that it's a good idea to try to accomplish this on one's own. While it isn't necessary to tell your teacher your whole story, it might be productive to tell him that you have problems with touch aversion that you are seeking to overcome, and let him help you devise a way to work through it within the context of aikido training. Having an ally in your training will make your burden a lot lighter, IMO and IME.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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