Martial Nonviolence® refers to a unique training and conflict facilitation method created by Brandon WilliamsCraig which combines practices and concepts from the martial (aikido), theatrical (improv), and process arts (group facilitation) to prepare practitioners to provide co-creative leadership in conflict situations and systemic revision. Capable of engaging circumstances involving obviously physical conflict and covert systemic violence, the practitioner is an artist with group inquiry and long-term analysis skills, striving for the redefinition of peace itself as "conflict done well".®
Aikido is often practiced as a primarily physical method of literal self-defense. This is despite being referred to as the "art of peace" because its founder insisted that aikido also be understood metaphorically and practiced at the level of ideas: "we do not train to become powerful or to throw down some opponent. Rather we train in hopes of being of some use, however small our role may be, in the task of bringing peace to mankind around the world.” As a result, aikido practitioners often find themselves challenged when the need arises to respond to relational and systemic conflict. Academics and social activists, on the other hand, while focused on systemic injustice often find themselves lacking tools to deal with the energetic and bio-physical realities of conflict. This can lead to a retreat into theoretical abstraction when direct action is required to work for change. This is why, for instance, practitioners of meditation, passive non-violence, and the process arts frequently seek out aikido instruction to keep their bodies centered and conscious while responding to hostility.
Martial Nonviolence combines the body wisdom and moving meditation that is aikido with group process facilitation and professional improvisational skills in order to bridge the hidden and public lives of social change agents, activists and allies to support a more effective, more sustainable social justice practice which makes possible movements toward a more just world.
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