Peace Practices

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Much is said about the value of empathy and the need to cultivate habits of nonviolence which lead to Peace. At the same time, it is very rare to find truly humane and co-creative environments which insist on the daily practice of peace in order to actually achieve this end. Through the local non-profit, Association Building Community, the Peace Practices curriculum was offered for the first time in 2009 at The Renaissance School, a Montessori learning environment in Oakland, CA. We opened a door there through which even the most scattered and conflicted children and families walked to learn habits of peaceful interaction. Peaceful ways of working through conflict and difference have always been one of the traditional pillars of learning and of Montessori education in particular.
In May 2014 we received three years of international funding and began the next phase, our local launch in partnership with Pacific Rim International School in Emeryville and San Mateo, CA. In 2016, we began working with Beacon Day School in Oakland. For more, please visit Association Building Community's Peace Practices page. In 2016, the second of three years of promised funding, the foundation supporting us failed, and we became unable to support our administration. Some classes continue, but our infrastructure had to be disassembled while we search for a more sustainable funding model. Now is the ideal time to offer your support and help us multiply our impact.


Brandon WilliamsCraig, Ph.D. is co-founder and CEO of the Bay Area nonprofit Association Building Community, or ABC (, on faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Depth Psychology Somatics Department, and Communications Director for Ragged Wing Ensemble & The Flight Deck in Oakland, CA. He has extensive experience with private and public institutions, accepts executive positions corp-to-corp and as a contractor or employee, offers leadership and facilitation training, and has worked in the study of peace and conflict since 1998, as well as providing curriculum development, conflict education, and community mediation services. His academic teaching and research focuses on the embodied (somatic) psychology of belief, the narrative construction of culture, and The Myth of Peace.

Brandon Sensei is a 5th degree blackbelt in aikido and Founder/Chief Instructor of Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido at UC Berkeley. His students learn to Embody Nonviolence through somatic conflict resolution, a pairing of traditional aikido, professional theater techniques, and real-time facilitation that results in practicing Conflict Done Well. This body-based facilitation method, called Martial Nonviolence, is the heart of the internationally funded Peace Practices curriculum being offered by ABC and practiced by students from 4 to 84 years of age. Brandon resides in California with his wife and two children, and consults nationally and internationally.

Why Aikido?
In my experience, Aikido can help students in several ways no matter their age. At least the following apply:  

For School-age Children



In-school Conflict Training
Using Montessori philosophy and Approach to the Child, we offer an aikido-based developmental curriculum that teaches children and adults to practice peace together with their ...

Aikido and Attention
68640 iconIn the Martial Nonviolence classes I offer as part of my Peace Practices curriculum at ...

As long as there have been martial arts, a minority of practitioners have carried forward the work of directly applying the conflict skills learned on the mat to situations that reach well beyond. Aiki Extensions, for instance, is an excellent contemporary example of aikido practitioners joining together to amplify the purpose of that art, as made explicitly clear by the founder, making a martial art into a process art for the benefit of the world.

Peace Practices - Class - TRS

 From Facebook 20120423

  • Alonzo Young 
    As an Aikido practitioner and a teacher in the educational system, I get the importance

Peace Practices - Discipline - TRS
This is a version of an email correspondence which addresses the issue of discipline in the Peace Practices dojo (classroom).

The Future of Aikido - Peace Practices

Feb 18-20, 2011 

Come welcome Golden Bears Aikido at UC Berkeley to the San Francisco Bay Area Aikido Community and support Free Aiki Dojo!


Click here for presentation slides:

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Publication History

2012-07-15 Collected ...

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