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Free Aikido class for United Nations Peace Day

Our lives would be so much better if we all had better tools for resolving conflicts.

During the week of Sept.19-26, in honor of the annual United Nations Peace Day, Aikido schools around the world will offer to the public free classes focused on conflict resolution. 

Aikido is a non-violent martial art. For many people outside Aikido, it is a new and surprising idea that physical practice with opponents is important in training yourself to receive opponents peacefully. Aikido techniques go along with the flow of the attack to control the attacker, ideally protecting the attacker from harm and ending the confrontation as peacefully as possible. In Aikido, we repeatedly make the mental and physical adjustments necessary to replace fight-or-flight aggression and fear with calmness, inner strength and compassion. Through training, we gradually overcome the human body’s aggressive reflexes. Training makes a peaceful reaction our default response in times of stress, conflict, or attack.

“Aikido is not a technique to fight with or defeat the enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.” Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido.

The free Aikido class here in Pagosa Springs, conducted by Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco of Aikido of the San Juans, will be held at 5:30 p.m. at 151B Great West Ave. 

“Aikido is a great way to forget about everything else for an hour or two and focus on something that is challenging, effective and fun,” says Lisa Jensen, a second degree black belt who has been training for over 20 years.

Conflicts in daily life disputes can be handled the same way Aikido deals with physical attacks. First join with the content and energy of the opponent’s assertions; that is, find the core of the assertions and express an understanding that your opponent’s views make good sense from his/her perspective. And then gradually add new material to lead the discussion where you wish it to go.

For more information on IAPW, and to see the worldwide list of participating dojos, go to http://www.aikipeaceweek.org.