Aikido, NVC, Nonviolent Practice

“The only competition you will find in Aikido is the most challenging type. You compete with the learned behaviour within yourself that keeps you from being at peace and in harmony, and which keeps you from accepting, blending with, and executing a technique while caring for your partner. As you continue your Aikido practice, you will find that you can accomplish all these things by resolving your inner conflict.”

Greg O’Connor ‘The Aikido Student Handbook’

I am not a student of the Japanese martial art Aikido (yet – would like to be one day), but I am a student of non-violence (aka ahimsa), and I love this principle – that we can meet others in a way where we accept and blend with them  in a skilful way. This is what we do in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) – accept the met or unmet needs of the other, balance them with our own, and look for a way to move forward that cares for both of us equally. Just as a student of Aikido needs to practice techniques and moves to be able to execute them skilfully, practitioners of Nonviolent Communication need to practise. It takes a lot of awareness to act counter to one’s conditioning, and our conditioning is very much in reacting with judgement, blame, fixing, educating, minimizing, taking it personally – moves which deflect rather then blend with the other. Do you know the violence of being ‘deflected’ in this way? How does it feel? Have a look at NVC if you are interested in exploring another way. Australian practice groups are listed here:  Mine is in Newcastle. All welcome.

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