--Pergola workshop-- Paul Linden & Aikido of Columbus

You have decided that peace - even with your enemies - is preferable to continuing the war, so you've come to the peace table.

The person sitting opposite you did terrible things to people you know.

What does your body do? How will that affect your ability to negotiate peace? How does that other person react?

And how can your body responses be transformed so that peace becomes a real possibility?

Conflict and conflict resolution are usually approached as mental, emotional, spiritual, political, historical and cultural in nature. However, there is one element in conflict that is always present and often ignored - the body.

When people feel threatened or challenged, they typically contract or collapse their breathing, posture, movement, and attention -fight/flight/freeze/surrender.

These powerful physical response patterns undermine one?s ability to think rationally, interact empathically, and act peacefully.

Aikido is a way to interrupt contraction/collapse and replace it with a mind/body state of expansiveness and peacefulness.

Aikido practice supplies a steady stream of attacker to practice getting along with and provides a context in which the normal resistant, adversarial responses can be triggered, dismantled and replaced with an integrated mind/body state of calmness, alertness, kindness and power.

This will enable a person to consciously maintain a peaceful body and mind during conflicts, which will provide a foundation for resolving conflicts in harmonious and productive ways.

The workshop will consist of simple, safe body awareness exercises that will give the participants an actual experience of this aspect of aikido practice.

This one hour workshop is conducted without throwing or falling.

Check out this video clip for example activities from past workshops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZ0BrX1y_w

------------------------------

Aikido of Columbus was the first public Aikido school in the city, started in 1982.

We focus on Aikido as preparation for life - that is to say, the exercises teach people how to maintain calmness under pressure, and integrate awareness, kindness and power - as a foundation for effective and efficient behavior in any area of life.

We use openness of breath, proper body alignment, and flowing energy to achieve smooth, powerful defense techniques and an attitude of kindness. We have classes for children and adults, including one no-falling class for people who can't physically do regular Aikido or who want the philosophical core of Aikido but aren't interested in the full martial art.

Aikido is a Japanese art and was developed and taught by Morihei Ueshiba from about 1920 to 1969.

The techniques are derived from jujitsu and sword work. Ueshiba transformed the goal of practice from combat to personal development. Aikido is based upon the movement strategy and inner spirit of harmony.

The movement strategy of harmony means going along with the power of the attack to control the attack.

The spirit of harmony means receiving the attack without fear or anger but rather with kindness.

The paradox of Aikido practice is that it is a self-defense art which teaches people not to fight.

There is a good deal of physical exercise in the aikido self defense drills, so getting in shape is a benefit.

The aikido defense moves are spatially complex, and so people develop greater body awareness as well as better balance and better coordination.

In addition, the spatial awareness aspects of aikido encourage people to develop more alertness to and awareness of their environment.