1. Aiki-concepts at Work
Recently, I was asked to take part in an innovation workshop for two days and teach some aikido concepts to inspire the design and creation of the new systems at my employer, the European Patent Office.
The challenge was to find a way of inspiring the course participants to recognise their resistances and negativity which
could work against good teamwork, communication and trust, using aikido concepts as the medium of exercise.
On the first day, I was faced with some levels of scepticism, though I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of encouragement I got from the participants too.
After day two, I saw so many smiling faces, it made me smile too. I was impressed by the openness and willingness to try something completely radical away from the office's normal comfort zone. I am thankful for the varied and useful feedback from all participants. The group generally felt the need for more of this training and they have asked me to come back again for a third day
Day three involved more movement and really feeling resistance in our bodies looking for more "aiki" ways of dealing with resistance (such as
relaxing the shoulders, moving out of the centre and connecting to and feeling the partner's resistance, whilst trying to maintain a contract of trust coming from the centre and the heart). Of course, the results were not perfect though this was not as important as the participants getting to know themselves and the team with which they work.
The feedback provided was varied but gave a broad impression how aiki-concepts could be useful for a team of innovators and change managers. In principle, I got an impression from the facilitators that, by bearing in mind the aiki-concepts exercises, the participants became more orderly and seemed to converge in direction and vision when facing their workshop tasks.
The encouragement from the participants and the positive feedback made this event a great success and I look forward to exploring further how aikido can be useful in the workplace!
The result of three days of Aiki-concepts!
2. Yamashima sensei's Whirlwind Winterschool Tour in Holland
The CABN was fortunate to have the opportunity to receive Yamashima Sensei, 7th dan aikikai officially for the second time this year. Yamashima Sensei visited the dojos of Dordrecht, The Hague, Rijswijk, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Beverwijk and Delft for a week full of Aikido in his style.
The lessons of Yamashima sensei are somewhat simple but actually difficult to achieve. There is a way to move without resistance and from the centre though this is the art which takes decades to perfect. It is therefore no wonder that people watch Yamashima Sensei in awe as he seems to achieve the exercises effortlessly and has attracted the attention of aikidoka all over The Netherlands. Yamashima sensei returns for the Lent school taking place in February 2011.
During the class in The Hague, Yamashima sensei was interviewed on local TV. Here is the link to the interview and filming of the training:
With christmas approaching, the editorial wishes its readers happy holidays!