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Old 11-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #1
Thomas Osborn
Dojo: Aikido of Northampton
Location: Holyoke, MA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 108
The Power In Standing Pins

I have advocated for the use of no falls, no throws in bring Aikido to vets. I've done this because our "mats" have usually been a bare gym floor, or industrial carpet glued to concrete, many vets have physical injuries restricting movement, it would take-up most of the few weeks I have them for class, it requires more focused attention to tori maintaining uke's, and their own balance throughout a technique and it really isn't essential to learning what I believe is the essence of Aikido.

However, based on remarks made by vets during practice, I realize there is an even more important reason for doing standing pins. One of the common aspects of PTSD among combat vets is fear of losing control, of the real risk of bringing serious harm, of destroying in order to retain control and personal safety. Several times vets have remarked that they liked being able to hold their partner off balance and under control with out anger, with out hurting them, with out having to use force, with little or no effort, while remaining calm and relaxed. The sense of empowerment, the ability to control a situation while remaining in command of themselves, for many is exhilarating. And does it give me a sense of exhilaration, knowing I can bring something of such value to these warriors.

So again, I encourage anyone working with vets with CRPTSD, even if you have access to mats, utilize the power of standing pins. And once in while, utilize it in your regular dojo classes

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
oisin bourke
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 359
Re: The Power In Standing Pins

That's a great post. The sensitivity developed in this type of practice has great benefits in developing empathy and self understanding for everyone IMO. it's a powerful aspect of budo practice. Thanks for that.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: The Power In Standing Pins

Good post!

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:54 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 243
Re: The Power In Standing Pins

Nice post! Although when i train i practice ukemi and breakfalls there are always techniques that can end the way you describe. To me, it is very important to try to find a way to practice through physical injuries, so it's a very good thing that you can make it work that way.
What i liked most about the post though, it's something not directly related to the topic. The very positive feeling one gets when he develops the skill to be in control of his opponent without being violent or using brute force, which in my opinion is fundamental to aikido.
And when it comes from the people who have been in real battles, it points out the difference between training in combat methods and studying the martial arts.
Sorry if i went a bit off topic, but it sounded important to me...
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