Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.
Principle developer, retired California Attorney Jerry Green graduated from UC Berkeley and attended Boalt Law School. He defended holistic health practitioners , pioneered role clarification and shared decision making by writing and speaking on the healthcare contract. He consults for other attorneys on medical issues in malpractice cases and is a founding advisor to CommonSpace Community Land Trust. He studied Somatics, Structural Integration and trained in Aikido since 1980 at Tamalpais Dojo in Marin County and is a founding member of the Applied Aikido Association. He is a Lead Elder Emeritus for the Mankind Project in Northern California. Jerry discovered piano as biofeedback for unwinding tension patterns associated with a congenital cerebral palsy. Jerry’s collected writings on collaborative planning, shared decision making and conflict resolution are available at https://www.mediate.com/?s=jerry+green.
Aikido in men's work video is at: https://youtu.be/SgV5DZ2HkiA
New Zealand's Gerald Lopez interviews Jerry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB0PdQA3UiY
Elemental Sound/Movement Meditation,
Jerry’s Inner-listening piano inspirations are at: http://www.greenermediations.net/piano.
Three Giants and The Three Shapes
When Mitsumi Saotomi Shihan taught at Tamalpais Dojo in Mill Valley, the mat was packed with black-belts from all over Northern California. I arrived early just to get a seat on the bench under the windows, feeling the little boy in me who was intimidated by bullies and couldn’t do PE because of his mild congenital cerebral palsy. Saotomi expressed his joy at how popular Aikido was becoming here, and he looked right at me, except he wanted to see more interests “off the mat.” Hmmm.... where did I fit in this scene?
During his teaching visits to Marin County, Terry Dobson and I shared a tumultuous love of one another, including a mutual interest in Kabbalah. He told me about O’Sensei and his three shapes reflecting the energies of head, heart/hara, triangle, circle/square, and I shared with him about Jewish Mysticism. Abraham taught that Shin (Fire/head/300,) Mem (Water/hara/40) and Alef (Air-Breath/torso/One) are universal creative energies...hmmm. Three Mothers: Aleph Mem Shin Mem hums, Shin hisses and Alef is the Breath of air deciding between them. Sefer Yetzirah
In 2008, several aikidoka including a fellow San Francisco lawyer-mediator interested me in studying Non-violent Communication (NVC) with Marshall Rosenberg. It led me to conducting a seminar in “embodied compassionate communication” with an NVC instructor who recognized that distinguishing between NVC elements (heady judgments, heart-felt empathy) was greatly enabled by prior attention to the embodied self-awareness.
After attending a seminar with Marshall Rosenberg, I spoke to him about how Aikido focuses on head, heart, hara, which we say is the seat of intuiting unmet needs. Several of us had invited some NVC leaders to an East-coast conference to explore embodied connections with NVC language. He concurred, said that intuition was not part of their curriculum, and they had no tools for identifying needs. He encouraged me, and warned that the NVC leaders weren’t collaborators, had written the course for their “intellectual property,” and were even at odds with him about its authorship and content. Before Marshall passed away (in 2015) he and the NVC folks each had lawyers sorting out the details between them. The Aiki-NVC pow- wow didn’t happen.
I had no intention to teach this stuff, but trusted how being immersed in these wisdoms would seep into my mediation work; they always did. I gave a bookstore talk on what aiki-presence meant to me in legal conflicts and mediations, and then got asked to teach in a church group; I said what if, and went just to see what transpired. Someone said this should be a course, and after rejecting the idea, I wrote the ten-lesson TUNING IN to the Body in two weeks. Hmmm....
Since then it has lived on two internet platforms, receiving revisions with each iteration, and several seminar and men’s work presentations. I am most grateful for the intellectual contributions and energetic inspiration I’ve received from my colleagues in the evolving field of Applied Aikido, which prepared me to complete the current version of the course containing my video commentary on the lessons. They are my connection to the mystery of communication harmony that can reconcile the world.