Aikido and Attention
In the Martial Nonviolence classes I offer as part of my Peace Practices curriculum at The Renaissance School in Oakland, California, parents and staff often recommend children to me in order to work on behavioral issues. Many of these fall on the spectrum of attention issues which draw diagnoses of disorder and deficit, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The classes take place in a non-clinical setting, are directly focussed on learning to work well through conflict, and rely on principles associated with a martial "Art of Peace", called Aikido, so clinical diagnoses often end up being at best peripheral. Children are offered "metaphors in motion" which are both martial and nonviolent, so that they may deploy their energy and natural tendencies to develop ordering habits which they may use and refine to compensate for the places in life where they find disorder and fear.
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