I have been blasted for suggesting a marital arts solution to the growing violence in our world. Those who understood read my entire post or knew the power Aikido. Plan to take a break by visiting an Aikido DoJo.
in defense of aikido
To defend myself I had to go looking for more Aikido stories and comments. I liked this statement by Rocky Izumi:
I will try and paraphrase something that Tohei Akira sensei once said:
On the mats, or outside, one should try and achieve harmony. In the dojo, we hope there are no crazies so we should not act crazy. Outside is another matter. There are many crazies out there and we should harmonize with them also. In the street, use street technique. If the person is a little crazy, you should also be a little crazy.
That one reminded me of a woman who worked for me. My staff often had to work in unsafe parts of the South Bronx. Often they went where the police wouldn’t go. Then they could have security guards walking with them. This woman always refused the guards.
I worried about her and one day she told me, “Don’t worry, Katherine. When I walk those streets I always make myself into a crazy woman, I pull my hat down, mutter to myself and look like the craziest bag woman around. The bad guys give me a wide berth.”
A fellow Social Worker and now the host of Internet radio’s Full Power Living show, Ilene Dillon, MSW (emotionalpro.com & raiseincrediblekids.com) sent me this story of how she used Aikido to tame a group of wild teenagers bent on being nasty:
….during my internship placement at Catholic Social Services in San Rafael, California, I was assigned to run a group for 12-14 adolescent boys, ages 12-13. My co-leader was Pat, a warm and gentle man who was doing community service as a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War. We were enjoying working together with a group of boys who had moderately severe emotional problems, and who could sometimes be rowdy.
On one particular Friday I learned that Pat would be unable to lead the group that day. With only a fifteen-minute warning, I prepared myself to lead the group alone.
The boys, already assembled, were whispering and laughing when I entered the room. I noted that they were eyeing me in an unusual way, then snickering together. Listening carefully, I determined that they had been making plans for something. Shortly the boldest of the group stepped forward and informed me that they were planning to attack me and remove my clothing. He moved toward me, ready to begin the attack.
One year of studying Aikido is not really much, but I realized it was all that I had.
I centered myself, took a firm stance, and attempted one of the moves I had learned. The young man fell to the floor. He got up, eager to close in for the “kill” and came after me again. Once again, using another move, I applied pressure on his hand in such a way that he fell to his knees, unable to do anything but pay attention to the discomfort in his wrist. He quit the field.
In their turn, three more boys came after me, fortunately not all at once. With each one of them, I used what I knew of Aikido, leaving them flat on their backs on the floor.
As this happened, they became curious. Finally the first boy said, “How do you do that, anyway?”
I informed him that I was using Aikido, something I had been studying recently. I told him if they would stop their aggressive actions toward me, I would teach them some of what I knew. The boys eagerly agreed and we spent the rest of our therapy time doing “Aikido rolls,” learning to “move from center,” and other basic things I had learned from Mr. Nadeau. The crisis was averted. Patrick returned the following week; and the boys in the group kept working until they graduated.
ParentS “Take a Break’ Advice
This week as you plan your Take A Break Time, seriously consider making family time an Aikido Adventure. Find an Aikido DoJo and set up an introductory session for the family. If not this week, soon. You will not regret doing so.
If you remain skeptical about a martial arts experience, contact the Alternatives To Violence Project and sign your family up for one of their trainings. I think adding self-defense training is imperative, but understand some of you don’t agree.
A sad fact of modern life is the increase in violence. I am hopeful that the call for multiple remedies to the Newtown murders are the beginning of something good. Conflict resolution is part of all my programs and many of the exercises work to help you stay calm and focused on what matters.
ALL THE OTHER USUAL STUFF ABOUT STAYING STRONG
Here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me. It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with anger, sadness, stress and other of life’s every day problems. They will help you stay calm and in control.
You can also follow me on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook page. If you go there please take a moment to like it.
Finally, You might find my Emotional Fitness Training’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, and I also share other people’s information that I think will help you stay strong both as a parent and an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.
As I tell myself a thousand times a day, do not weaken, give lots of love to others and to yourself, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.
DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere. If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.