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Aikido in Teaching Relationships


What does aikido have to do with paper! 

Well, in a round-about way, all things are connected. I’m going to share a recent experience to show how the martial arts form, Aikido, can tie into paper and why I am blogging about Aikido today.

Magazine Article

A number of years ago, I came across a magazine article that I was drawn to about Aikido, a word I’d never heard of before.

It explained how the art of Aikido is strictly a         non-aggressive martial arts form, purely defensive.  As an attacker comes towards you, you engage with them as if in a dance, using your energy as well as theirs to stop the attack.  There are no offensive moves and as you grow more in tune with the system of Aikido, You “side step” negative encounters and learn how to control your emotions, feeling only the best in every situation.  

 A recent experience reminded me how Aikido works, even in subtle ways.

A Teaching Moment

While substitute teaching at an intermediate school the other day in a loosely structured study period, I soon became aware of a large girl in my class sitting at the back table with about six other girls who was quite loud, aggressive and seemingly non-responsive to my efforts to get her to be more quiet. She soon asked to leave the room for a short period, to get a grip on her emotions which I allowed her to do.  

Paper to the Rescue

While she was gone, I got the idea to keep this table of girls entertained with drawing and coloring in copied adult coloring book pages the teacher had left or just to use plain white paper.

When the “unruly” girl returned I was, unknowingly, sitting in the chair she had been sitting in; her backpack was still in the chair behind me.

As she burst into the room, in a loud voice she announced, “you’re sitting in my chair!”  Having fun and being so engrossed in art activities with the other girls I barely gave it a thought when I jokingly answered back, “well, you didn’t want it (the seat) so I’m using it.”

Aikido To The Rescue

 I think I caught her off guard (a great Aikido movement using the “opponents energy) as she resigned to me sitting in her chair and came over and sat in a different chair.  Her curiosity about what we were doing took over and she quickly joined in with our activity and began her own art doodling.

Sadly, I see many adults in leadership roles as I travel through different schools and grade levels, substitute teaching, who prefer a militant approach to squelch any disruption of the class, as well as tromping on a child’s spirit.

Calm Restored

We finished the class period in an upbeat manner with these “noisy girls”, calmed and engaged in a quiet, interesting activity using plain paper and printed art pages coloring and designing patterns using colored pencils, crayons and markers. 

Alchemy

Instead of making a bad situation worse, using a form of Aikido, I felt super good about changing chaotic energy into a positive, calming energy.

 I think you’ll enjoy engaging in quality time with a child,  grandchild, friend or group in the pleasant pastime of coloring in the fun adult coloring books found everywhere nowadays, as well as here on Haven Paper Company at very reasonable prices.

The Perfect Gift

These make perfect gifts, especially coupled with a set of colored pencils or a mug to sip coffee or teas and listen to soothing music as you color. 

 


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