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Building a Civil Society with Martial Arts Training

“F**k you!” My Monday morning greeting from a third grader I was meeting for the first time as the substitute teacher in a suburban mid-west town.  I was struck by the intensity of his emotions. His face contorted with anger, body tensed with fear. What could cause such a reaction from an 8 year old? What was going on in his life that this was his way of communicating? How did he learn this behavior? How as a society have we allowed this behavior to become more and more common?

Read more on how martial arts training can aid in develpoing a more civil society.  //" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Click here to read the article at Medium   (this will open a new window.

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Creating Safer Communities

The samurai is the first to suffer anxiety for human society,
and he is the last to seek personal pleasure.
Morihei Ueshiba

Many train in the martial arts to be able to defend themselves, their loved ones, and by extension their community from the dangers of our world.  We prepare our bodies and minds to engage in conflict.  

In the practice of Aikido we engage and embrace those who would attack so that we may better understand and re-mold the action of the conflict.  In this way we actively choose to include the attacker in creating a solution to the conflict rather than destroying the attackers offering.

It is difficult to create a supportive community if we destroy those who conflict with our own ideas.  It is equally difficult to embrace that which we fear and disrupts us.  Through our training in Aikido we train to maintain a calm and centered posture as we step into the chaos of conflict.  It is from this centered, not fear based position, that we can begin to constructively engage with the conflict at hand.  Here we can begin to remold the conflict into a constructive addition to our community.  In this way we create a stronger more harmonious community.

What if we could work out conflicts from a safe, centered place where we are able to truly communicate our needs?

The dojo is a mini community where we can practice.  It remains only a practice if we never take it out into the community.  We must take the things we learn in the dojo and find how they can be utilized in our day to day life.  

In this way we can disarm the attacks of conflict in our community and build communications that lead to constructive solutions.  This is how we can become modern day samurai and serve our community.  Disarm the attacks before they can become destructive.  Not by destroying the attacker but by positioning ourselves in such a way as to make the attack powerless. Use that energy instead to build and create.  

Building safer inclusive communities through centered dialog and action.  This is one of the many lessons we learn in the dojo.

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