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 01 26
Upcoming Peace Practices classes for adults at Pacific Rim International School (PRINTS)
All are welcome to join us.
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.
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 here
All Golden Bears Aikido classes are Free Aiki Dojo classes, and vice versa. We are a single training community.
--- Monday, January 26th, 2015Monday 11:30am-12:30pm Golden Bears Aikido on the UC Berkeley campusWeapons training - rain or shine - on Faculty Glade on all but the first Monday of the month. First Mondays are on Sproul Plaza. Bring bokken and jo if you have them. We have extras if you don't. UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THIS CLASS REQUIRES AN RSVP. EMAIL email@example.com 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 teaches a general Aikido of Berkeley class from 7:30-8:30. You are always welcome to train in both classes. If you stay for Kayla Sensei's class (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.All are welcome to this aikido-based class that brings together the body and language of nonviolence into one method, called Martial Nonviolence, deployed as a the Peace Practices curriculum. This introductory class will showcase Martial Nonviolence for parents and faculty of our PRINTS students, but all are invited and welcome to join us!--- Thursday2:30pm-5:30pm Peace Practices at PRIntS EmeryvilleGolden Bears Aikido on the Cal campus
The Late Night Study Group lead by James Liao is ON HOLD while we find a new time and place to train together on campus.--- 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.10:30am - 12pm Free Aiki Dojo at 1514 University- with either Ricardo Sempai or Brandon Sensei, alternating every other week.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.DONATIONS ARE ALWAYS APPRECIATED!
Please set up an automatic donation for whatever you can affordthrough our non-profit partner, Association Building Community,at http://abcglobal.net/Free_Aiki_Dojo_Partnership,
and thanks!Please 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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we can coordinate and plan together, but always email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com and she will add you to the development list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
Join Us for Peace Practices and Community Building!
Welcome to the Fall!
We hope this can be a time for grounding, harvesting what has been in progress all through the Summer in order to nourish us in the months ahead. At ABC, we continue in our commitment to you, our community, to Peace Practices, to being centered in our bodies and focused as we build our work together. Will you please bring your best gifts and join us?
New Peace Practices Classes Specifically for You
We are having an inspiring and lovely time with the children, teaching the next generation about conflict done well, but did you know that it's available to you too? We are happy to see more and more parents join us in classes with the students and faculty, and would love to welcome you as well. In addition to Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido classes, we are also now offering Peace Practices for adults on PRINTS campuses. Please read below for details; we'd love to see you there!
You probably already know that Brandon Sensei offers adult classes through Golden Bears Aikido (on campus at UC Berkeley)
and Free Aiki Dojo (hosted by Aikido of Berkeley at 1514 University)
- Mondays 11:30am - 12:30pm
We will now offer classes at PRINTS.
- Tuesdays 6:30-7:30pm
- Wednesdays 7-8am
- Saturdays 10:30am-12pm
The next ones will be:
- Wednesday, October 29th from 5-6pm at the San Mateo campus
- Thursday, November 6th from 5:30-6:30pm at the Emeryville campusPlease give us feedback about these days and times (should the next classes be similarly scheduled?) and stay tuned for each month's new class times. Please also follow Peace Practices on Twitter and get reminders and updates on classes or subscribe/see our public Google calendar here.
ABC Community Building Circlesand Culturesmith Roundtable
In the late 1990s we began offering open, regularly scheduled, facilitated opportunities to join a circle and be heard by others committed to building community on purpose -- for its own sake. We know you've probably already seen the Facebook invitation, etc.(No? Please visit and "Like" us at https://www.facebook.com/abcglobal)but we thought we'd remind you thatWe are offering our Community Building Circle again!
Every second Sunday evening
starting Sunday, October 12th, 5 - 7 pm
followed by the Culturesmith Roundtable, 7 - 9 pm
What is Culturesmith?
Imagine an inquiry with a diverse group of casual and professional cultural critics and change-makers turning over ideas and action together, forming and reforming a therapy of the cultural imagination. Imagine studying and working on the cultures in which you take part every day, such that psychology, religion, martial, liberal, and performing arts, politics, in fact all mythologies (belief systems) are shaped in service to the richness of life and the potential depths of human understanding and planetary stewardship. Would you like an introduction to that imagined conversation, and even to take part in realizing its conclusions? Learn more about Culturesmith here. Facilitated by Brandon Williamscraig Ph.D and other scholars of myth, psychology, and culture.
If the roundtable isn't for you, please come to the Community Building Circle from 5-7 and consider the 7-9 slot to be open space in which to propose a different co-creative process with the input of others present.
What is Association Building Community?
We meet as a community to explore ways of working together to build a deeper sense of community and the process arts (the field of group process design and facilitation) in a structured way. Through rotating facilitation, we both work together (creating projects and performing tasks we agree to complete) and explore individual and group dynamics, discussing what comes up while consciously building community. Learn more about ABC here.
What are the Process Arts?
Processes can relate primarily to the individual (such as meditation), interpersonal dynamics (as refined, for example, by Nonviolent Communication), group processes (e.g. Open Space, World Cafe, and wiki), on up to very large scale systems, such as economic, legal and political structures (e.g. Threebles, Restorative Circles, or Citizen Deliberative Councils). Even more than a list of particular processes though, the process arts are about an awareness that however we are doing something, that is simply one particular way, and we can and often do experiment with doing it any number of other ways. Learn more here.
Request for Support from the Community
Hugo is looking for a new home that is quieter than where he currently lives in the Elmwood district in Berkeley where his upstairs neighbors are disturbing him:
The "Property I am looking for: Ideally i would love to live in a property with a garden and easy access to nature
Price: up to $3000 per month Date of move in: 21st to 31st October
Lease length: until 15th December Location: ideally within driving distance of the dojo (which is on University in Berkeley)
Property size: large 1 or 2 bedroom apartment / cottage / bungalow (about 700 sq ft or more in size)
About the property: Quiet and thoroughly insulated to keep out any noise from any surrounding neighbors … so I can study in peace! Equipped with a kitchen and enough storage space for my bike
About me: I am a responsible 39 year old graduate student from England studying here in the East Bay. Currently I am completing my studies in Health, Leadership and Entrepreneurship before I begin working next year. If you know of any home that fits the description and is being offered for rent, I would be very grateful if you could let me know. I can provide excellent references and evidence I can afford the rent."
Many kind thanks,
(Please email email@example.com to let us know of any options we may pass on to Hugo.)
Copyright © 2014 Association Building Community, All rights reserved.
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