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Lessons From Aikido


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This was a lecture to the Australian Defence Force Academy organisational behaviour course on 19 May 2008. The lecture discussed the lessons aikido can provide to workplace conflict management. Practical aikido exercises were also undertaken, as well as a workplace scenario (which is in the notes of slide 6 or 7).

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Lessons From Aikido

  1. 1. Lessons from Aikido: Workplace Conflict Management Nigel Carruthers-Taylor
  2. 2. Who am I? <ul><li>Director and Principal Consultant iCognition Pty Ltd </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Management Consultancy and Implementation Company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 staff, several part time contractors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offices in Canberra & Sydney. Melbourne soon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aikido 3 rd Dan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25 years practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two years study in Japan </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is Aikido? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>ai ki do ai – harmony ki – energy do - way </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Aikido? <ul><li>a modern Japanese martial art (1930’s-40’s) </li></ul><ul><li>consolidated in post WWII Japan </li></ul><ul><li>the founder, Morihei Ueshiba, called it the Art of Peace : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ techniques of harmony, not contention… a way of avoiding fighting and war.’ </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Aikido <ul><li>teaches self-defence </li></ul><ul><li>but the greater essence includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to resolve conflict positively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning to let go of fear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines physical and mental control </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Some Aikido Techniques (1) © WESTBROOK, A. AND O. RATTI
  7. 7. Some Aikido Techniques (2) © WESTBROOK, A. AND O. RATTI
  8. 8. Some Aikido Techniques (3) © WESTBROOK, A. AND O. RATTI
  9. 9. What is noticeable? <ul><li>No blocking </li></ul><ul><li>‘merging’ of movement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘Go with the flow’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Neither passive nor aggressive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definitely assertive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not really win/win, but not really win/lose </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why Non-Resistance? <ul><li>Each action causes a similar or greater reaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Force vs Force = Greater Force Wins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss = Determination to Seek Revenge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sometimes we don’t have the greater force </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t need enemies (more than we already have?) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Non-Resistance <ul><li>Going with your opponents puts you into a position of power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes you off the path of conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps you understand your opponent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empathises with them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows you to walk them in the right direction </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What stops us doing this? <ul><li>Fear </li></ul><ul><li>Wanting to dominate </li></ul><ul><li>Needing to control </li></ul>
  13. 13. How to stop fear - Centering <ul><li>Harmony of mind and body is required </li></ul><ul><li>Where does your body and mind unify? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asians believe it is the pit of the abdomen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes sense – it’s where the kidneys and liver are </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From center our awareness extends out </li></ul>
  14. 14. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Illustrations from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, WESTBROOK, A. AND O. RATTI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aikido Kenkyu Kai club: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>