- Balance and deploy from a position of strength while under stress, including the stress of being a student
- Plan strategically and execute tactically as part of a team striving for excellence
- Transition between roles and assignments in a way that makes sense, for instance, between command and control environments and civilian life.
You have a limited amount of time. Some essential skills get enough training to make a good start, but many necessary capacities get less attention than they deserve. In my experience, the one essential skill that gets the least training is how to do conflict well. To be a part of any team, you need to be able to engage in conflict on purpose while under stress, staying relaxed, balanced, and ready to choose the options likely to work best for everyone involved. The only way to learn this is to practice it until you can embody it even when under attack.
So that they can apply these practices to their learning, leadership, and longevity, after getting aikido started, my students move beyond the physical movement into real-time conflict practice that is also verbal and systemic. In this way, physical and psychological modes work together. Body-mind-spirit-soul move in concert to shift conflict's rules of engagement from habits of automatic fight/ flight/ freeze to responsive, natural movement toward solutions that work in the real world.
If you want to be truly ready when duty calls, to lead and follow well, get your balance back when you lose it, and do well in whatever you choose, then the way to get there is through practice. What you do with your limited time is, finally, up to you. Train to be ready to do conflict well.
Many thanks to the UC Berkeley ROTC leadership for this opportunity!