Welcome to Association Building Community!
Since 1999, we have supported individuals and groups making thriving communities more humane and sustainable through process arts--group process design and facilitation. Our individual and organizational members make peace as a cultural art form through the daily practice of conflict done well.
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Training schedule - week of 2015 02 23
Upcoming Peace Practices classes for adults at Pacific Rim International School (PRINTS)
All are welcome to join us.
All Golden Bears Aikido classes are Free Aiki Dojo classes, and vice versa. We are a single training community.
--- Monday, February 23rd, 2015Monday 11:30am-12:30pm Golden Bears Aikido on the UC Berkeley campus - SPROUL PLAZAUsed to be on Faculty Glade. NOW ALWAYS ON SPROUL PLAZA: Weapons training - rain or shine. Bring bokken and jo if you have them. We have extras if you don't. THIS CLASS REQUIRES AN RSVP. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WITH YOUR MOBILE NUMBER AND WE WILL EMAIL AND TEXT OR CALL YOU BACK TO CONFIRM.1:30pm-5pm Peace Practices at PRIntS San Mateo
Learn Martial Nonviolence while helping with any one or all three 50 minute Peace Practices classes for Montessori youth. Learn more here.
--- Tuesday2:00pm-5:30pm Peace Practices at PRIntS EmeryvilleLearn Martial Nonviolence while helping with any one or all three 50 minute Peace Practices classes for 3-6 year olds. Please email my assistant, Cheyenne at abcglobal dot net, to express interest. We (Association Building Community) are hiring people to train as instructors and lead their own programs.6:30-7:30pm Free Aiki Dojo at 1514 University AveFree Aiki Dojo classes are from 6:30-8:30pm at our host location, Aikido of Berkeley (1514 University Ave.) 6:30-7:30 is a basics class with Brandon Sensei. Kayla Sensei usually teaches a general Aikido of Berkeley class from 7:30-8:30. You are always welcome to train in both classes, especially when I teach for Kayla Sensei. If you stay for class when Kayla Sensei's is teaching (which is highly recommended), or come for any other AiBerk class, please leave a $5-$15 donation in the wooden box on the cabinet near the front door.--- Wednesday7am - 8am Free Aiki Dojo at 1514 University Ave1:30pm-5pm Peace Practices at PRIntS San MateoLearn Martial Nonviolence while helping with any one or all three 50 minute Peace Practices classes for 3-6 year olds.5-6pm Adult Peace Practices class in San MateoWe are again offering an adult class, specifically for Pacific Rim International School parents but open to all. Learn more, rsvp, and tell your friends via our Facebook Event.--- ThursdayNo classes today.--- Friday--- Saturday
2:30pm-4:30pm Free Aiki Dojo at 1514 University Ave
- a sempai lead study group facilitated by Tyle, who is a long-term Aikido of Berkeley apprentice. I highly recommend showing up to check out this training. It is at an ideal time for many people and we really want to encourage its continuance.
9-10pm Golden Bears Aikido at UC Berkeley Hearst Gym room 234
- a sempai lead study group facilitated by James Liao at UC Berkeley10:30am - 12pm Free Aiki Dojo at 1514 University- with either Ricardo Sempai or Brandon Sensei.As always, please follow either of our Twitter feeds for the latest changes, weekly class times, etc. at:
I look forward to training with you!
As always, no previous experience is necessary.Show up and train no matter what. Please bring a friend.Pay what you can. If you can't, don't. No kidding.
We need your help!
In December we called on our community to help us grow Peace Practices into its second year of teaching "conflict done well" at PRINTS and beyond: locally, nationally, and then internationally. The international foundation providing our launch funding has given us a challenge and is ready to match your donations. We also still have gifts for those who offer financial support at this time. Especially if you are training regularly in Free Aiki Dojo or Golden Bears Aikido classes, please set up an automatic donation for whatever you can afford through Association Building Community at http://abcglobal.net/Free_Aiki_Dojo_Partnership,and thanks!
Get your Peace Practices gi -- both lightweight and heavyweight!
It will also help to support the Peace Practices project if you purchase our custom gi. In addition to the basic karate-style gi for kids, we are now also offering a high quality gi top for adults (no white pants included) that is long enough to work well under a hakama (see Brandon in his below). Find it in the store herePlease click here for our petition to support aikido at UC Berkeley and forward this link to your networks with a note explaining why it is important to you.Please share your Google Calendar with email@example.com so we can coordinate and plan together, but always email firstname.lastname@example.org because it goes to everybody who needs to see it and will get you a much faster response.If you didn't receive this through freeaiki@ or email@example.com, you will soon receive an notice of being added to our email lists to receive weekly notice of classes. Please make sure you have become a member by checking your status.
Our Google Groups are mostly about weekly announcements. If you would like to be on the inside of the logistics email loop where the decisions are made about class scheduling, special events, and the future of our training community in general, please email my executive assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will add you to the development list: email@example.com.
If you haven't checked out the Golden Bears Aikido Facebook Group yet, by all means go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoldenBearsAikido/
Some maps for locations:
Free Aiki Dojo (hosted by Aikido of Berkeley)
1514 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94703
Marshall Rosenberg 1934 - 2015Marshall Rosenberg, a loving elder and key innovator in the world of process arts, has passed. We salute his memory, extend an offer of compassionate support to the worldwide NVC community, and mourn his passing. The following messages are from colleagues of his in the world of Nonviolent Communication.
February 11, 2015Dear Brandon ,
Yesterday I received the news from CNVC that Marshall Rosenberg died. I am passing along to you the email that came from CNVC's board president, followed by some of my own personal reflections about Marshall's life and what his death means to me. Also, if you receive this message before 11am Pacific time on Feb 11th, you can click here to find information about joining a live line to connect with others who are moved to be together at this time and share memories and teachings.From: Dominic Barter, CNVC board president
It is with great emotion that I write to tell you that Marshall Rosenberg passed from this life 3 days ago, on Saturday, February 7th.
It was recently discovered that he had late stage prostate cancer. He passed peacefully at home, with his wife Valentina - who shared the news with me a few minutes ago - and all his children by his side.
I know no way to describe the impact this man had on so many people - for his work and for his being, and for the extraordinary power the balance between these two unleashed. He was a beloved teacher to countless people on every continent, people whose hearts were touched and shone with the possibility his work made tangible.
To many of you reading he was also an inspired and inspiring colleague who changed the course of your lives and brought an inestimable sense of meaning and the potential for transformation to every area of your world. And who, at each moment, did this with utmost simplicity, humility and humanness.
In great mourning, and with the most profound reverence and soaring gratitude for the spirit he released in us, and whose light we carry forwards,
President, CNVC Board
I met Marshall for the first time in 1993, when a visit to Israel coincided with his leading a workshop there. From then and until his last visit to San Francisco in 2008, I was with him for dozens of days, listening to every word, imprinting them deeply in me, and then unpacking his sayings in my mind as part of finding my own way to pass along to others the once-in-a-lifetime gifts that I received from him.
During one of his visits, Marshall sat with a group of trainers in someone's home and wept about how much he didn't want to be a "guru." That moment stays with me as a reminder of his profound commitment to a lived vision of radical equality. The other strong memory that stays with me is seeing him laugh, a frequent occurrence when he was connected with a group.
Although Marshall's biggest actual effect was on hundreds of thousands of individuals whose lives were transformed by what he taught, what he most wanted to accomplish was a systemic change that would bring an end to violence, exploitation, and all forms of injustice. His sight was on a future in which we humans reorganize systems and structures in all areas of life to align with the principles of Nonviolent Communication.
Although Marshall had retired a few years ago, he was still there. With his passing, I suddenly feel like an elder, along with others from my "generation" of trainers, ever more deeply committed to the calling. I sense that I am not alone in this; that many of us are drawn to taking even more responsibility for carrying forth the extraordinary potential that we see in this body of work.
In peace and hope,Miki KashtanCo-founder, BayNVC
Please click here to support Peace Practices!
We need your help to move "Peace" from being something others should do to being a concrete practice in which thousands engage on a daily basis. Your donation will be a vote for Peace Practices, a move in the direction of the clearest and most direct path ever offered to make peace a reality, an expectation as basic and universal as the need for education itself.
My daughter, Rosalie, is three and a half and quite capable of acting out when she isn't getting what she wants. Because she is studying Peace Practices, she is also using Martial Nonviolence tools to be and feel safe, get what she wants by listening for the needs of others, learn physical and emotional balance under pressure, and use words and her body together to help everybody involved win. Over one hundred of her friends (and their parents) and teachers are learning to do likewise, and this is just the beginning.
Peace Practices is a curriculum that delivers Martial Nonviolence techniques, which combine a martial "art of peace," called aikido, with language that models "conflict done well." Martial Nonviolence takes the next necessary step beyond the physical aikido practiced around the world, creating an Aikido 2.0 which includes language with each movement. Since Association Building Community received international funding in 2014, Rosalie's friends on both campuses of the Pacific Rim International School have been practicing "conflict done well" with our guidance.
From a teacher:[A four and five year old] had an incident that I want to share with you. Both of them wanted to put the same bike back into the shed and could not agree with each other.... One bit the other, and that one bit back. Both were hurt physically (very hard to see) and emotionally, since they have been good friends for a long time. Both of them cried hard and did not want to talk about it. I had a conversation with them [about] feeling frustrated and how they can deal with [feelings using] words.
[One] suddenly said, "Oh, yes, just like the aikido class: when someone tries to hit, we take their hand and say 'let's go together'." I asked them what they [might] say to each other [in this case], and both of them said that they could say "let's do it together or let's go together." Then the other said "But sensei said we also need to practice so it can be part of us." I asked them how they wanted to practice and they [asked] me to stage the bike to its original place so that they [could] run to the bike and practice with "non-harmful" [words]. I replaced the bike and they said ''let's go together' and "let's do it together" to each other. When they put the bike back they stared at each other, smiled, and hugged each other.
The world needs more stories like this one. More children are ready to learn but they need your help. Please help us share Peace Practices with local schools and families, and then with the world.
Right now we are:
- Sharing Peace Practices with more than 100 children, young adults, parents, and educators.
- Beginning the first phase of a study to demonstrate what is most effective about practicing peace as though it were a martial art.
- Introducing two new assistant instructors, who are founders in the generation that, with your help, will build Peace Practices into the foundation of all basic education.
- Cultivating partners for our first national program expansion in 2015 and planting the seeds of our first international offering in 2016.
- Turning donations into training and uniforms for those who cannot afford them while offering Pay What You Can classes for adults.
- Making a direct and demonstrable difference in the lives of those who want to live in a more actively peaceful world and are ready to act in order to make it so.
The international foundation providing our launch funding has given us a challenge and is ready to match your donation. If we hit our goals for this year then we get another round of funding next year. With your help we will raise even more than the $20,000 necessary to receive $80,000 in 2015. Your dollar will have effectively quadrupled and empowered us to serve.
We have begun selling gis (uniforms) as well, as a way of raising funds, but our current resources represent a tiny amount compared to the budget we must fund in order to launch the dream--peace being practiced like a martial art around the world. Our primary mission is to teach--we need your donation today in order to grow as well. Please look below for ways in which we intend to express our gratitude for your generosity and click the donation button below to complete the process via Paypal. Please make your membership donation recurring (once a month) and multiply the base amount by twelve to calculate the recognition you may expect.
When you donate, you become a member of ABC. You may also send your 100% tax deductible gift by check to:
c/o Association Building Community
5739 McBryde Ave.
Richmond, CA 94805
If it would help in any way our staff is ready to answer any questions you might have.
Please call toll free: (866) 236-0346
Appreciating your warmth, generosity, and hope for our shared future,
Brandon Williamscraig Ph.D.
Ways in which we intend to express our gratitude for your generosity:
All donors become members of Association Building Community entitled to the personal and professional support that flows through our networks. We know that some of you would like the entirety of your donation to go towards this program and that you would prefer to not receive a gift. If this is the case, please let us know in the commentary of the donation, email us, or call us at (866) 236-0346.
$25 the beautiful patch above stitched with the PxPx logo to attach to your gi, jacket, or bag
$50 a drinking jar (Mason-style with stainless steel sipping top) etched with the ABC or PxPx logo OR a logo T-Shirt
$100: a logo patch on a maroon hoodie or a red, short sleeved, knitted shirt with a collar and mention as a supporter in our widely circulated annual report and on our website.
For yourself, or as a gift for a friend or organization you value:
$200 reserves one hour of private instruction for an individual with Brandon Sensei and, if you wish, mention an individual as a supporter in our widely circulated annual report and on our website.
$1000 reserves one weekend day (2 hrs before lunch and 2 hrs after) of instruction for a group (5-10 adults or children) with Brandon Sensei and, if you wish, mention an individual or organization as a sponsor in our monthly email newsletters and on our website.
$5000 reserves four one hour corporate/group consulting sessions, one each week for a month, with Brandon Williamscraig Ph.D. He will help tune up the culture you are continually constructing, specifically your team's way of working through conflict and, if you wish, mention an individual or organization as a sponsor in our monthly email newsletters and on our website.
These benefits refer to your donation amount for the year.
Set your payments to recurring and split up your payments over time. Multiply your monthly payment by twelve to calculate the recognition gift you may expect. For example, a monthly donation of $8.34 a month would reach the $100 donation level over the course of the year and you would receive your gift of a Peace Practices hoodie for your support.
We provide pay what you can classes and gis at cost and we absolutely understand if you don't have the money to put where your vision is at the moment. If you cannot donate at this time, you can vote for the growth of Peace Practices by:
- Introducing us to someone (Send us an email and include/Cc them) that might contribute at administration[at]abcglobal[dot]net
- Letting us know (administration[at]abcglobal[dot]net) you want to be kept in the loop
- Telling us that you're interested in volunteering (reply to this email or contact administration[at]abcglobal[dot]net)
Peace Practices - November 2014
With the arrival of Fall, we began reaching out to you regularly to celebrate your children's success and ask for ongoing involvement with Association Building Community (ABC) and Peace Practices (PxPx). This seems like a good time to write briefly about our work together so that I may make our planning transparent and ask for your input.
As long as there have been people, adults have opened their eyes in the morning and seen both the beauty and the dilemmas that each day promises. Our generation is not the first to feel a drive to work today to make tomorrow better--more likely to welcome our children than threaten them. In every age, in order to flourish, each child must learn to shape and use their own attention in order to deepen their experience beyond mere functional adequacy and find the kind of meaning in life that leads to both an authentic individuality and humane participation in civic life. Even so, for each generation born into our world of instant high-capacity communication this particular challenge is more problematic than ever before.
Attentional capacity development now happens in the context of relentless and ever-expanding media exposure: not only the ubiquity of delivery mechanisms, such as screen devices grafted on to every social and management function, but also psychological campaigns designed to capture individual interest and operationalize desire to serve consumption, and infonews businesses whose entire revenue stream depends on exposing individual eyes unremittingly to the vast scope of our shared dilemmas. It is increasingly hard to handle any single choice while being barraged with too many. This is especially true of children whose brain development is happening under the influence of audio-visual media designed to keep and control a user's attention. They have no defense until they are provided with the time and attention needed to develop useful strategies. How are they to defend themselves against overwhelm while trying to develop the capacity to do so? It seems almost a parallel process to studying a martial art in order to keep one's balance and make conscious tactical choices during physical conflict.
Adults too have never before had potentially conscious access to the immense and impersonal complexity of the systems humanity is creating. Beyond the tendency of screened images to overwhelm and control how we think and make choices, the energy we spend communicating is often consumed by those willing to reduce ideas to their most simplistic, attempting to clutch our precious attention under the false pretense that an idea that is faster to grasp is more useful in the metaphorical hand of decision-making. Constant grabs for our attention prevent rather than refine our understanding as we try to find some way to grapple with challenges much larger than an individual can fully comprehend, much less decide how to respond in a way that includes all relevant aspects of our shared problems.
It is the purpose of Martial Nonviolence and the work of Peace Practices to be a whole conflict system, helping you and your child bring your body and attention together under your own direction, especially while in conflict and under pressure, in order to make decisions and act in a way that works out well for everyone involved. This is in order to give us, and generations that follow, more tools to deal with issues that reach from the broad, almost mythic ("As long as there have been people...") to the specific and daily (we have sought "some way to grapple with challenges..."). If you'd like to hear more about the details of our work, please read on. If you'd like more information after reading this, please email [ administration at abcglobal dot net ] and we will be more than happy to respond.
Determined to address the challenges we face, members of ABC want increasing traction for our work for a more hopeful future. We want to be part of a growing group of people similarly devoted to understanding and changing the Big Picture by working together. We believe that the group that creates itself as though the process of co-creation were an art form has the potential to actually change the world for the better (please see: process arts). At ABC, we have found that purposeful association--attentiveness to the quality of our relationships--keeps us moving, together, in a relevant direction. Our daily association is building community. Roundtables prepare us to understand the stories on which our world is built because we want our projects to make a difference that anyone can recognize and see the value of promoting.
Peace Practices is just such a project. Peace is that daily reality in which the most vulnerable, especially children, are more likely to find welcome than threat. "Community" is another word for this experience, a felt sense that conflicts are normal and will be approached as a practice, an opportunity to transform fear into opportunity with the help of others who care about the future and practice a dedication to nonviolence that is martial in character and commitment. In community, every individual learns to expect access to all that they need and an opportunity to work through conflict toward what they want and dream about.
The children and adults of Pacific Rim International School joined us in May 2014 to work toward this vision. Parents have joined us in regular training with their children and begun to attend the special evening classes for adults. Teachers report that the children studying Peace Practices (almost 100% on both campuses) are using the language of Martial Nonviolence every day to resolve conflicts and successfully navigate the troubled and troubling waters of disagreement. Parents report their children bringing uplifting options home from school and applying at home strategies they didn't even know were available several months ago.
It is time to grow. As we prepare to reach out nationally and then internationally,
- Aikido professionals from around the world have consistently expressed their strong desire to learn Martial Nonviolence and create Peace Practices programs of their own. We will provide an instructor training in the first quarter of 2015 and welcome those who are able to join us in the East Bay.
- We will begin our first study of this work in the very near future and are searching for a Study Director.
- You are no doubt already aware that we are offering sturdy uniforms as a fundraiser. They are necessary to keep your child's clothing from being damaged as they learn to keep their bodies safe, and we hope you will help the program by buying them at the promotional price. We are also prepared to offer them at cost, if your family is in financial difficulty. Please visit our store today!
- We have secured a working agreement to establish our office in downtown Oakland.
- We have assistant instructors working with us now, and more waiting their turn to begin. It is on these excellent folks that the future of the work also depends, as they will make additional programs possible. It is time to give them an unqualified message of support as well.
Now it is time to fund the future. We are counting on you to vote for your children's success and the growth of our work together with your attention and money. Inaction is not neutral, but is a vote against a profoundly hopeful and practical path to peace that can reach around the world, building one community at a time. As you consider how you will spend your time and allocate your treasure this holiday season, please join your children and join us in actively practicing peace.
PLEASE RSVP and come to Peace Practices for adullts at PRINTS:
or Free Aiki Dojo class (please see our schedule at freeaiki.com).
Please cast your unambiguous vote for our success by creating a recurring donation!
An invitation to help shape our studyDear colleague,
A San Francisco Bay Area tax exempt (501c3) NGO, Association Building Community (ABC), received international funding in 2014 to launch a curriculum called Peace Practices(PxPx). Local sites have included schools in Oakland, Emeryville, and San Mateo, and we will expand to a national application in 2015-16 and an international application in 2016-17. Please see http://peacepractices.org.
We hope to tell the story of our work and demonstrate the benefits of framing the practice of peace as a martial art: an ongoing repetition of physical, verbal, and co-creative practices which allow the practitioner to keep the bodies involved in a given situation safe while refraining from violence and domination of others, even in the face of physical, verbal, and systemic violence. The method within the Peace Practices curriculum is called Martial Nonviolence and combines aikido with language patterns aligned with specific techniques. The practitioner learns to apply whole system strategies to group awareness and participatory leadership.
A study will accompany the project, beginning with a qualitative sample in the mode of depth psychology (a focus on the engagement of imagination to make meaning, understand roles, and co-create culture) to generate a narrative that will both grow the program and choose the appropriate questions for a quantitative study. ABC needs the help of an independent researcher to work with our staff and client sites to structure the study and guide it to completion. The work will begin as soon as the selection process is complete and we have a Study Director in place. If you would like to be a candidate, or know someone you would like to recommend, please contact our staff via (866) 236-0346 or administration at abcglobal dot net.
With gratitude for any suggestions you might offer,
Brandon Williamscraig Ph.D. 4th dan
CEO, Association Building Community
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