It has been 3 years since I last taught my aikido class for Vets at the VA hospital Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ward and posted my last blog. But it hasn't been wasted time. I have started a website web site www.keganinnosenshi.com
and written a book based on that previous blog, the comments from many Aikidoka, a considerable amount of research and thought and the opportunity to reflect back on the person I was when I got out of Viet Nam and how Aikido enabled me to deal with trauma I didn't even know I had. The book is titled "COMBAT RELATED POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER - A HOLISTIC APPROACH." It is being published by Levellers Press [www.http://levellerspress.com/]
The research has been both rewarding and depressing:
there will be over 300,000 people coming out of the current mid-east mess who have, or will have, Combat Related PTSD [CRPTSD]
50% of women involved in the mid-east war will suffer CRPTSD, a majority will involve abuse and rape from their "comrades in arms"
by the VA's own estimate, about 22 vets commit suicide EVERY DAY, there will be more combat veterans die from suicide than from combat injury
And on and on ad infinitum ad nauseam.
What has been rewarding is finding a growing support for the kinesthetic, movement based treatment Aikido can offer a victim of CRPTSD, and that O Sensei's belief that Aikido can be a way of peace, and further, a way to bring peace to those whose reward for serving their country [they have been told] is a hellish internal world of physical, psychological and spiritual torment.
All this has led to the creation of thenon-profit corporation, which is dedicated to bringing Aikido to Vets with Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This commitment is taking us down three pathways;
Continuing to teach classes locally, at the PTSD ward, for the VA hospital's general population, at the local Soldiers Home and any other local venue that will have us.
Developing a structured program for aikidoka and VA facilities interested in starting a program and promoting that program with dojos and VA facilities throughout the country.
Developing research projects which can provide objective "scientific" data which can verify that Aikido can be an effective part of a holistic, therapeutic CRPTSD program and a powerful tool vets can use in dealing with what is a lifelong struggle with their condition.
I want my efforts, and this blog to be a way of encouraging and supporting others in offering Aikido for Vets with CRPTSD, so I guess those last comments are what you'd call cliff hangers. I will cover each of these in the next few blogs
(Original blog post may be found here