Thursday, November 22, 2012

At What Age To Start Aikido?

An eMail comes in:
John, at what age do you think a child can reasonably start to learn Aikido?  
The first time he is bullied.  The bully lives a false dilemma.  Abuse or be abused.  If you defeat a bully, it just confirms what he always knew, bully or be bullied.   If the bully is defeated, he then goes and reaffirms the known boundaries:  he beats up his wife and kids.  All is well in the world.  If the bully wins a fight, it is just proof that is how the world works. With aikido, the bully neither wins or loses.  Nothing happens.  No bullying, no bully, no bullied.  It is paradigm shattering.  The bully wonders: "You mean there is an alternative to bully or be bullied?"

No one hates bullying more than the bullies, but there is no means to reclaim them, except through showing them there is an alternative universe to the one they inherited.

Anti-bullying campaigns make sure bullying stays with us. Bullies just get more subtle, and the schools then don't have to deal with it.  Let bullying erupt, and then the adults should step in, and teach a conscientious objection to the activity.

Are schools overwhelmed with bullying?  Then rethink schools.  Education is normally an intergenerational thing.  Throwing kids of an age together is to create a Lord of the Flies situation.

But there will always be bullying, more or less.  Aikido is a martial art that does not strive for victory with aggression.  The time to start is when they are targeted by bullies.

It's that turn the other cheek thing, with what I suspect was it's original form, a sense of "game on."

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

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