In our terminology, “Separation” is a process of dehumanisation of the “other” and of one’s self. It is the practice of Fear. Separation leads to giving Fear control. Separation is an essential prerequisite to violence. Whether that violence is in the form of belittlement, marginalisation or a physical attack; be it domestic, self-harm, street fighting or full scale war, the “other’s” humanity must be diminished first. No war could be waged without first separating Peoples. If we were fully aware, in the moment, of how alike we really are, violence would be unworkable. If we walked a mile in each other’s shoes, and came to understand each other’s dreams and fears, violence would become inconceivable. But, of course, both parties would have to do this for Peace to prevail. It would be naive and unrealistic to think we could avoid having to defend ourselves in every case.
If you think you are immune to this and are incapable of violence, individually or collectively; think again. When we dilute people’s individuality and humanity by lumping them together into a crowd, swarm or wave, when we focus exclusively on the differences between us and ”her” “him” or “them”, when we practice fear by creating the “other”; we prepare the excuses for violence, and provide it with motivation. With enough fear and enough pressure, violence is second nature to us all.
To think others are capable of violence but not you, is deluded, and is to have started separation already.
Understanding separation is why it is no surprise to us that violent crimes have recently multiplied in England after decades of reduction. In Isshinkai Aikido we are not pacifists but we practise “Connection” which is the antidote to Separation. Separation cannot co-exist with Connection; and this works even at a physical level. Our Isshinkai Values identify the 5 choices essentual to sustaining connection and vaporising fear, and our Isshinkai Principles deal with their technical application in movement for personal safety. This is the essence of our Aikido - an effective way to defend yourself without joining-in with the violence.
Isshinkai is an international community of people who share a belief in the principles of Isshinkai Aikido, and in their value when applied in life, for the greater good. All of us practise these principles in some way. Some simply support what Isshinkai does, and many of us root our study in the regular practice of Isshinkai Aikido. We look on this as a form of further education: learning, in a non-haphazard way, some of the most important life-skills often not learnt effectively in schools, colleges and universities.
Isshinkai organises and supports Isshinkai Aikido - and also offers training outside that context to share some of this value in other activities and life-challenges. These include areas like sports performance, organisational development, personal development, career development, education and training development, mental health and resilience, energy and balance.