July 25th, 2007

Wow! I’m at an Asian Facilitation Conference in Malaysia and today attended a session on Kensankai Aikido Dojo. Aikido is a Japanese martial art, focusing on peace and harmony, using minimal strength and agression.

We learned about presence and welcoming and centring and deflecting and movement and responding and blending techniques (enetering and turning). This is a fabulous metaphor for the role of a facilitator – especially when faced with agressive, angry or bullying type participants.

And don’t even start me on the parallells with improv! Looking after your partner, being present and movement are integral to Aikido – something improvisers will easily relate too. Great stuff!

There’s SO MUCH more to learn.


AND, you can understand Aikido at a superficial level after a couple of years, but it takes many, many years and lots and lots of practice to master – and even then there’s still more to learn. Sounds a bit like the journey of learning facilitation to me.

3 Comments so far

  1. Azim Pawanchik on September 18, 2007 4:03 pm

    I am really glad that you enjoyed our session in Malaysia. I was at your Improv session during the IAF session in Kuala Lumpur as well. I saw many similarities between what you are doing and what we were trying to achieve. I guess in the end what matters most is a facilitator’s or learner’s ability to open up their mind to new learnings and possibilities.


  2. Viv McWaters on September 21, 2007 6:45 pm

    Thanks Azim – as you can see I learnt a lot – and am trying hard to practice what i learnt as I facilitate in different cultures eg Armenia and Uganda



  3. Facilitation - Evaluation - Beyond the Edge - Viv McWaters on October 3, 2007 3:36 pm

    […] this blog will know that I’ve written recently about the extraordinary similarities between Aikido (a Japenese martial art) and facilitation; and Haiku poetry as a reflection process. And today I […]

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