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Old 02-08-2007, 11:40 PM   #1
AikiWeb System
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,320
"Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"

Posted 2007-02-08 23:38:42 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://media.www.bgnews.com/media/st...6412.shtml?sou

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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Old 02-09-2007, 04:52 AM   #2
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,902
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.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:51 AM   #3
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 261
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.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:07 PM   #4
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Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
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.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:14 AM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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 go....now they can defend themselves! Let high five ourselves and call it a success!"
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:45 AM   #6
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Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
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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.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:22 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 534
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.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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