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Old 01-05-2014, 01:10 PM   #1
Thomas Osborn
Dojo: Aikido of Northampton
Location: Holyoke, MA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 108
"the Shits" And Balance

A joyous New Year from all of us at Keganin No Senshi Aikido.
May you find many times of peaceful strength and vigorous calm throughout the year.

In past blogs I have said that the purpose of any Aikido technique is to establish your own centered, balanced energy, accept and blend partners energy/balance with your own and then, by moving your center/self in a proper way, bring you and your partner to a point where you are both safe and secure, just that you are "safest",i.e., you remain in control of all balance and energy.

The most common and dominating symptoms of CRPTSD are stress and tension, what I call "The Shits'\", resulting from any one, or combination of causes. This is negative energy, internalized, overpowering, and usually held in the upper body and mind. When one's energy is in this state it is unbalanced. And this also has an unbalancing effect on every aspect of one's being, the mental, spiritual, psychological and social, as well as the physical. It means that one is consistently moving through life, facing life's challenges and situations, even the most mundane, off balance. It results in one having to deal from a position, a stance, that is insecure and unstable. It is no wonder that someone in this condition lacks confidence, feels a weak sense of self, sees anything new as threatening, views themself as ineffectual or a threat to those they love.

KNS' approach to Aikido, stressing a breathing - centering [kokyu ryoku - breath power] process, focuses on first establishing that inner core of a calm, relaxed, centered energy which brings with it a mental, spiritual, psychological, social, and physical balance. One quickly learns and experiences that practicing an Aikido technique from a centered, poised, balanced stance is what enables that technique to accept, blend and control "attack" energy. This kinesthetic learning is quickly internalized and becomes a natural way to move through the world.

In teaching a technique, we first establishing that center; deep breath through the nose, exhale softly through the mouth while relaxing muscles/tension/stress to the center. Then we emphasize blending partners energy into that center, taking their balance, and executing the technique in a smooth, continuos movement that maintains control of partners energy/balance, to that safe, secure point where you are in complete control, and if you merely let go, partner falls.

I've said this before and will undoubtedly say it again, over and over, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, the sense of empowerment properly taught Aikido gives to someone with CRPTSD is enormous. The knowledge that they can deal with both inner and outer devils effectively, with out having to bring harm to themselves or to others, is both a relief and a validation of their worth as a human being.

I will also repeat that Aikido is most effective when it is an integral part of a broad spectrum therapeutic program. What I see as a smorgasbord approach. To this end, the fifteen minute "debrief" at the end of each class could be most critical to the healing process. My next project is to develop a basic philosophy, structure and process for an effective, therapeutic debrief. I am open to any and all suggestions and hope to have a first draft as blog in the not-to-distant future.

Check out our website, www.keganinnosenshi.org , and look for our soon to be posted campaign on Indiegogo.
And as always,
Onward, into the fog.

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:17 PM   #2
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 407
Re: "the Shits" And Balance

Have you considered talking to professionals who work with rape victims and victims of domestic abuse? There is a lot of wisdom in the counseling room at your local women's shelter, many women deal with post traumatic stress disorder issues very much like the issues vets deal with.
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