Community on purpose developing the process arts
Help Grow the Practice of Peace On Earth from hundreds to thousands
Imagine a world where conflict is seen as a natural part of social life, as an opportunity to better ourselves and our relationships. Imagine a culture of Conflict Done Well, where we train ourselves to demonstrate compassion, integrity, and presence during confrontation.
How would your daily interactions change—with your boss, your significant other, the stranger cutting in line at the grocery store? How much more would you speak your truth? How much more would you trust others? How much more would you forgive and understand? If we can create this culture, how will the world change?
If conflict were seen as normal, expected, everyone could train for Peace like you would a martial art. We would expect nonviolent responses to all kinds of conflict, for this learning to be a daily part of general education, and this Martial Nonviolence would be a pre-requisite for any leadership position.
Without practice, even these best of intentions can fall by the wayside under the intense pressure of complex situations. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for a mastery of peaceful action in moments of conflict. The problems we face today seem to be growing, despite sincere commitments to end them. How is it that terrorist attacks and industrial warfare are still possible, when so many around the world aspire to live in peace?
That was the question most raised at Training Across Borders 2015, the international conference at which curriculum author Brandon WilliamsCraig was invited to introduce Peace Practices to leaders who practice the peaceful art of aikido (a core part of his curriculum) while living in conflict zones. Aikido practitioners from around the world gathered to train together and build relationships, because aikido practice can reveal whatever stops us from practicing peace when we are faced with conflict. These conflict professionals noticed their own avoidance of difficult issues, even while sharing tools for reshaping the fear of conflict into an opportunity to train in nonviolence. As colleagues, we noticed how easy it is to play it safe, to do whatever we have always done. Perhaps this is what Peace Practices really offers during this season of gratitude and new beginnings. One can discover a new practice of peace on earth, and resolve to keep a "beginner's mind" once again, and return to being a student so that we might all train together.Peace Practices uses the art and philosophy of Aikido to provide concrete physical, verbal, and mental skills to move beyond good intentions and actively create peace under pressure with body, words, and thought. As a one of a kind curriculum that applies verbal and physical nonviolence to real-world conflicts, Peace Practices is a map to peace at the local, national, and international level.
But we need your help to get this curriculum into the hands of teachers and the hearts of children around the world.
Supporting Peace Practices through a donation, helps us directly and immensely. An introduction to a philanthropist you know, or to a friend with a passion for finding funding to make the world a better place would widen our horizon and deepen our impact. A gift of your time can make a new relationship or deepen our existing sense of community - of working together to really make a difference.
During the holiday season we come together in gratitude and celebration, and open our hearts to helping others and to making the world a better place. (1) This year, your generosity can help thousands of students learn to create a more peaceful world through practice. If you wish for Peace on Earth, now you have the opportunity to directly support and join alongside those who work for peace.
We are ready to bring classes, instructional videos, group facilitations, and toolkits that can reach around the world, through translation and peace partnership projects, into classrooms and board rooms. We have local, national, and international partners, all of whose fingers are crossed that you will help expand our organization’s capacity to reach them. Your donation toward our $15,000 goal can put a map toward Peace on Earth in the hands of thousands more students (2) of all backgrounds and position us to better meet leaders across diverse communities who are ready to commit to a trained peaceful existence. Together we can shift from avoiding or escalating conflict toward actively training ourselves and our children in peaceful means for when it matter most.
Learn more about Peace Practices, and watch videos of some of our children's classes here.
This Giving Tuesday, give true Peace on Earth: Donate
(1) This is the time of year that charitable giving reaches its highest level. A Blackbaud Idea Lab report (https://www.blackbaud.com/files/resources/downloads/2014/2013.CharitableGivingReport.pdf) looking at 2013 showed that over 33 percent of charitable giving happened from October 2013 through the end of the year, with 17.5 percent in December alone. This year, as you decide where you will invest your generosity, let's make a commitment together that we can take action on in a very real way: a communal new year’s resolution that allows thousands of students to be impacted this next year and positions Peace Practices to serve more communities.
(2) To put our goal in context, $15,000 could pay for 3 classes a week for 3,120 potential students for one year, and portable mats which can be brought to open spaces wherever they are ready to train. We are committed to both partnering with institutions and making free classes available so that there is no obstacle to practicing peace.
$7,800 for trained Peace Practices instructors teaching 3 classes a week for 1 year (a total of 156 classes with potential 20 students in each impacts 3,120 students)
$2,285.37 for travel mats for classes (three sets plus tax and shipping)
$4,914 for 4.5 average base admin. hours a week over a year of meetings with community leaders, ongoing location sourcing, safety requirements and accredidations, partnership building with local communities, and promotion of classes.
Training Schedule Week of 2015 11 23Training Schedule Week of 2015 11 23
Please remember that Felix Flicker is offering Kung-fu at Aikido of Berkeley on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8:30, and that Enrique Chimeyo is offering a gentle entry into ground-work through his expertise in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Fridays at 8 PM. Class times and frequency may change in the new year.
The dojo will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
On Saturday 19th the 10:30 AM training will conclude with my 5th dan demonstration and Holiday/Birthday Party to welcome back Kayla Sensei. Please invite friends and bring festive food and drink to share. The 1pm All Ages class will be folded in to the party. Please bring children at 10:30 for the class and demo, or come as soon as you can!
There will be a special class with Claire Keller Sensei on December 23rd. Jamal Sempai will host. This class is highly recommended and offered entirely free of charge. Please thank Keller Sensei yourself for the gift of her expertise.
The dojo will be closed from December 24th through January 2nd.
The first Free Aiki - Golden Bears Aikido class of 2016 will be at noon on campus, Monday, January 4th.
All Golden Bears Aikido classes are Free Aiki Dojo classes, and vice versa. We are a single training community. Brandon Sensei teaches all classes unless otherwise noted. You are always welcome to train in any class at Aikido of Berkeley. We highly recommended them. When you train in a class taught by someone other than Brandon Sensei, please leave a $5-$15 donation in the wooden box on the cabinet near the front door.
--- Monday, November 23rd, 2015
11:30-12:30pm Fundamentals of Aikido Weapons at UC Berkeley on Sproul Plaza
This Golden Bears Aikido class offers aiki weapons training - rain or shine - on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley. If it rains, we meet a bit early wherever there is cover near our usual place, next to the Savio Steps, and find an empty classroom nearby. Call our toll free number (866) 236-0346 and leave a message with your cellular number, if you must be late and want to find us. Please bring bokken and jo if you have them.
1:30pm-5pm Peace Practices at PRIntS San Mateo
Want to learn Martial Nonviolence while helping with any one or all three 45 minute Peace Practices classes for 6-18 year old Montessori students (and faculty)? If you are a PRINTS parent, you are welcome any time! If not, please contact us for more information.
--- Tuesday2:00pm-4:30pm Peace Practices at PRIntS EmeryvilleWant to learn Martial Nonviolence while helping with one or both 45 minute Peace Practices classes for 3-6 year olds? If you are a PRINTS parent, you are welcome any time! If not, please contact us for more information. Also, we (Association Building Community) are hiring people to train as instructors and lead their own programs. Learn more here.6:30-7:30pm Fundamentals of Aikido at Aikido of Berkeley (1514 University Ave)Brandon Sensei's Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido classes are perfect for both beginners and advanced adult students, but this class is dedicated to the basics.7:30-8:30pm General Aikido Class at Aikido of Berkeley (1514 University Ave)Kayla Sensei continues to teach a second class in which all adult students continue to work together at a more advanced level.--- Wednesday
7am - 8am Fundamentals of Aikido 2.0 at Aikido of Berkeley (1514 University Ave, Berkeley)This Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido class is perfect for both beginners and advanced adult students.--- ThursdayNO CLASSES for Thanksgiving Day--- Saturday
10:30am - 12pm Fundamentals of Aikido for Adults at Aikido of Berkeley (1514 University, Berkeley) with Brandon Sensei or Ricardo Sempai (we alternate each week).
1pm - 2pm Fundamentals of Aikido 2.0 (ALL AGES)
at Aikido of Berkeley (1514 University, Berkeley)
Children and adults (especially parents!) learn Martial Nonviolence together in this introductory class with Julian Sempai.
We look forward to training with you,
Brandon SenseiAs always, please follow either of our Twitter feeds for the latest changes, weekly class times, etc. at: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!
We call on our community to help us grow! Peace Practices needs your help to teach "conflict done well" in the East Bay, at UC Berkeley, Pacific Rim International School, and beyond: locally, nationally, and then internationally. The international foundation providing our launch funding renewed their commitment for a second year! They did this because of the amazing potential of the program, not because we raised enough funds to become financially sustainable. In order for use to continue, we absolutely must raise funds like never before. If you know someone who is a fundraiser or social entrepreneur who invests in essential projects, please connect them with us. 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 help to support the Peace Practices project if you purchase our custom gi. In addition to the basic karate-style gi for kids and adults, we also offer 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 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 94703Cheyenne's AppealWith a heavy heart, I write this call for help from my mom's hospital bedside, waiting to find out which direction her health will turn in the coming days. As an only child, I cannot fathom leaving her for even an hour. After a severe stroke and a freak reaction to it spanning the last two weeks, anything could happen from moment to moment. We do not know what to expect.It has truly been an added burden to me that I cannot maintain the work at Association Building Community that is necessary to help us survive while I am away. Brandon and I work as a 2-person team doing all that is necessary behind the scenes to run our successful but severely underfunded Peace Practices program. He cannot continue to keep up the workload of the entire program without help. I am calling out to everyone who believes that peace is possible, that nonviolence is necessary, that children must learn from early on how conflicts can be opportunities for peacebuilding.We call on you, our community, to help us hold this sudden emergency that has pulled me away so that Peace Practices and Association Building Community can weather the shock waves of the storm that has struck our family. If you have expertise in fundraising or general development, nonprofit management, grant writing, administrative work, or know of someone that does, please contact us. Beyond potential volunteer help, please consider donating to help us pay for the support we need.People in conflict around the world need your help to access Peace Practices
Brandon here. I've just returned home as you read this, am back at my desk, looking out my window over the the San Francisco Bay Area. I know that my children and I are very likely to eat and read together tonight, and go to bed in safety. While I sift my "Developed World" challenges for solutions, sometimes it seems that Those People Over There are the ones to change how conflict works, if anybody can, because they are in the thick of violence. Sometimes I forget that they are supremely vulnerable and just trying to survive.
The amazing participants in Training Across Borders have just completed an event which has nothing comparable to follow it. They are amazing, inspirational, beautiful people, who engaged Peace Practices with their hearts, minds, and an eye to the future. I am thankful for being able to share their time on earth. Several are considering long term involvement with Peace Practices.
Even if just for them, I wish each attempt to gather people to actually practice peace didn't feel like beginning from scratch. Momentum builds over decades as people suffer needlessly and die today. Perhaps this is as the world has always been. I am certain that it doesn't have to be this way any more, if we insist.
The work of making actual peace happen, by practicing Conflict Done Well™ with as many people as possible, is in our hands---those of us who aren't in harm's way and have the capacity to train for and insist on peace with as much commitment as those who train for war. That is why nonviolence is a martial art. That is why peace is something we must practice so that we may be models for our children and insist on results from the politicians we elect. That is why Peace Practices is the most important project you will ever support.
Please help us build infrastructure that will last. Donate, please, but also help us connect with foundations and individuals who fund far reaching, sustainable solutions. You may not think you know somebody like that, but you do, or are separated by one mutual friend. Advocate for us, and those dedicated to building a better world will come to you. If you are ready to truly make a difference, but don't know what next step to take, please contact us now and hear a few suggestions. We need you and, more importantly, so do the children being born into war zones as you read this.
Get Involved!We need your help offering Peace Practices for those in Conflict Zones
Brandon is in Greece this morning and en route from Athens to Loutraki. There he will connect with community leaders from conflict zones and offer them our support. We have been working toward a culture of peace at home through our Peace Practices program and this week, as he meets with and teaches aikido instructors from Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Bosnia, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and Ethiopia they will build partnerships that will lead to Peace Practices programs in conflict zones around the world. With his presentations, relationship building, and demonstrations during the conference, Brandon will be able to plant these first seeds of interest and find opportunities for Peace Practices to grow where it is needed most.
We need your help because this journey stretches an already bare-bones budget to the breaking point. We could not pass up an opportunity like this, but we still need your help to cover the cost of Brandon's travel to the conference to meet these leaders. If every person who liked us on Facebook put $10 towards really getting traction for peace at this conference, we would meet our goal of $2,000, but we are hoping to raise $3,000 so that we cover expenses and can further support the scholarships that were extended to those coming from conflict zones. Please give wildly, from the heart, and let us bring this work into the international light and to those who need it most.
We invite you to share the love and join us in thanking Aiki Extensions and all community leaders for practicing peace. Follow the event and the messages via:
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