Aikido Techniques and Women: Effective Negotiation is Like Slipping a Punch
Aikido Techniques and Women
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Learn about Aikido techniques and the philosophy of a purely defensive martial art.
Negative Interactions of the Fun Kind
Imagine someone coming toward you intent on punching you in the stomach. A first defensive move taught as the initiation of Aikido techniques is slipping the punch, also known as stepping "off the line". This move minimizes the chance of a force on force encounter. As the punch goes by, the energy of the blow is redirected so that the attack can be neutralized permitting control.
Now, you may ask, what does this have to do with a family argument? Picture the negative energy of a verbal argument directed at you - possibly with a point of view that is directly against something you hold dear to your heart. Would it be a stretch to say you would likely take it "personally"? I would say that the average response would be as though you were punched in the gut. A natural and understandable reaction would be to react in an angry or hostile manner. This would be the equivalent to a force on force encounter. The "winner" of the conflict my be the one the controls the money, or maybe the access to physical intimacy. Either way, there would actually be no winner because there would likely be hard feelings.
Leading - Redirecting Force
Blending, Redirecting, and Control
What if we were to use our imaginations to determine how we can apply the Aikido techniques we learned on the mat to this same family conflict. One of my early instructors, Rod Kobayashi, said "before you can control others, you must first learn to control yourself", which means you must also be in complete control of your emotions. How would your significant other react if, instead of coming up with reasons that the point of view was wrong, you sat down calmly and listened actively without interrupting and went one-step further to restate the opposing point of view possibly better that it was originally put forth? This would be the equivalent with blending with the force of the negative comment, rather than meeting it head on, and then redirecting the conversation in a way that conflict is minimized. In the ideal scenario, you may even be able to negotiate a win-win scenario in which neither party gets 100% of what they want but may get all of what they need.
When applied to Aikido techniques, this approach minimizes the potential for injury by decreasing the amount of force on force conflict. In family conflict, using these principles minimizes the potential for damage in the form of hard feelings which can, over time, damage relationships. It is through active listening that we can blend with and thereby redirect the destructive energy of conflict, control it and then redirect it to the positive energy of cooperation. A famous quote by O-Sensei Ueshiba, founder of the martial art of Aikido, "True victory is victory over one's self", summarizes what should be the goal of each and every family member. The true goal of every martial art, practiced in its purest form, is to promote peace through the minimization of conflict.