High Spirits on Aikido and Gender Day!

High Spirits on Aikido and Gender Day!

In an inspiring programme, around 50 women and men from all over Europe and the Netherlands combined Aikido training with a leadership workshop and a forum on the subject of 'Gender-equal leadership.

What does Gender-equal Leadership imply? In other words, how do you apply leadership  to yourself, your students, and to the outside world with due consideration for everyone's 'female' and 'male' qualities? The day started wit a good portion of physical training in 3 hours' aikdio classes given by Satomi IchikawaCaroline Bied-Charreton and Renata Jocic: all three highly graded women teachers who applied 'female' and 'male' lines and qualities in the training which enhanced your perspective on your ususal aikido routine. An abundance of irimi and flow was present in the practice.

The next element was connection. This was manifested in a Leadership Workshop by Anita Paalvast of Aikido in Company Foundation. We practised physically as well as In mental and physical exercises we identified 'female' and 'male' qualities in persons and interactions, and learned how to deal with the good sides as well as the shadow sides of both.

Finally, the forum allowed participants to reflect and discuss further options. The forum was opened by Ms. Lilamani de Soysa in a video message, followed by AN Chairman Gerrit-Bartus Dielissen and IAF-SG Wilko Vriesman. Forum organiser and researcher José Otte introduced the background: this day was the first activity of the IAF Gender Balance Group which was established at the 12th IAF Congress in Japan (2016). Staša Pišek of Aikikai Slovenia told about het resach on the insights of women in her federation. In their opinion, there was scope for development. Co-organiser, Cathrien de Pater, presented her view on the interaction between aikido and her professional life, framed in the themes of 'Culture', 'Communication' and 'Challenge'. This was followed by an hour of group discussions on four questions which yielded a host of recommendations to IAF to further promote gender-equal leadership in Aikido.

A sparkling day indeed!

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