Peace Practices+classes for children

The statistics are alarming: one in six 6th-10th graders are victims of bullying each year, and three of every five 6th-9th grade boys who bully are convicted of a crime by age 24. Since only a quarter of known victims report being bullied, the numbers are thought to be much higher. Even if your child has yet to experience violence they certainly know what everyday conflict is like. You may be the only one who can put Conflict Done Well within their easy reach and douse the fire of conflict before it escalates.

Peace Practices emerged from the world of aikido, a martial art with an innovative premise. Aikido is based on evidence that the cycle of violence can be broken by redirecting the momentum, rather than returning the force of an attack. Continuing the process of innovation, both physical and verbal self-defense results improve through integration of re-directive language with aikido's traditional techniques. These redirections prepare students to calm their natural fears and shift the unhelpful habits that are responsible for escalating conflict.

Ongoing learning allows students to process rather than avoid conflict. It arms them with strategies and tactics rather than weapons, so that they can mindfully manage challenges.  Conflict is natural and inevitable, but violence is not. Peace is possible; it just takes practice.

 

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+Our Methods

Following best practices in child development, our program:

  • develops social skills based in resilience and compassion

  • builds an ordered environment that combines physical and verbal training

  • improves cognitive capacity and executive function

  • encourages constructive response and discourages knee-jerk reaction

  • encourages mindfulness of one’s body, words, and emotional well being

  • addresses psycho-social needs at each stage of development

  • encourages peer-to-peer support by rotating more experienced students through temporary leadership roles

We partner with you to:

  • design a customized program that fits your community’s needs

  • train parents and staff members to ensure that the benefits of the program move beyond the classroom and continue even after our involvement ends

  • illuminate shifts in student behavior in parallel with your existing metrics for excellence and well-being

  • demonstrate the value of working with us by surveying participants and sharing success stories

+About the founder

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Brandon WilliamsCraig, Ph.D. is co-founder and CEO of the Bay Area nonprofit, Association Building Community. He has extensive experience with private and public educational institutions, provides corporate leadership and group facilitation training, and has provided conflict management and community mediation services since 1998. His academic work focuses on the psychology of belief and the narrative construction of culture.

Brandon Sensei is a 5th degree blackbelt in aikido and head instructor of Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido at UC Berkeley. His students learn traditional aikido techniques paired with language that brings about the embodiment of aiki principles. His conflict facilitation method, called Martial Nonviolence, is the heart of the Peace Practices curriculum being practiced around the world by students from four to 74 years of age. He resides in Richmond, CA with his wife and two children.

 

 Please contact us to learn what we can offer your community: 

 


 

+References

1 in 3 high school students are in a physical fight over the previous year

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth risk behavior surveillance – United States, 2001. In: CDC Surveillance Summaries, June 28, 2002. MMWR, 51(SS-4), p. 5.)

One in six sixth to tenth graders are victims of bullying each year.

  • (“Bullying Prevention is Crime Prevention,” Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2003)

Only 20 to 30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying.

  • [Ttofi, M.M., Farrington, D.P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology,7(1), 27-56.]

Three of every five bullying sixth through ninth grade boys were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24 and almost half of them had three or more convictions.

  • (“Bullying Prevention is Crime Prevention,” Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2003)

In a national sample of 148,189 sixth to twelfth graders, only 29% to 45% of surveyed students reported that they had social competencies such as empathy, decision making, and conflict resolution skills; and only 29% indicated that their school provided a caring, encouraging environment.

  • [Benson, P. L. (2006). All kids are our kids: What communities must do to raise caring and responsible children and adolescents (2nd ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.]