Nowadays it’s much more “accepted” to be subjected to psychological or verbal abuse than physical abuse. Due to this social tolerance and the apparent subjective nature of such abuse it can be considerably harder to deal with it or to even imagine that it could subside. Too often, the victims of regular and persistent verbal abuse continue to grin and bear it without having a means to deal with the abuse intelligently and peacefully. Verbal Aikido is simply a communication tool that has proven to be an efficient approach to managing and defusing conflict – and one that can be easily acquired in three straightforward steps.
Verbal Aikido is a means of communication that is based on the aikibudo philosophy and martial way, created and propogated by Morihei Ueshiba during the 20th century. It is a style of conflict management and transformation that involves treating the ‘attacker’ as a partner rather than an adversary. The techniques practised by Aikidoists aim at restoring a balanced interpersonal dynamic and/or reaching a positive emotional result in an exchange.
- Receiving the attack with an ‘Inner Smile’ (a serene inner-confidence)
- Accompanying the attacker with verbal Irimi until destabilization
- Proposing Ai-ki (an energy balance)
Through the methods and exercises taught in Verbal Aikido training, the practitioner works on developing a sense of self-control, an assertive style of communication, and the practice of deliberate intention. The clarity to habitually react with deliberate intention in a conflictual situation highlights the difference between letting a situation escalate into a negative outcome, and providing opportunities for it to move towards a constructively positive direction or a balanced outcome.