Listen: “Aikido, Empathy, and Neurodiversity” with Sensei Nick Walker, M.A.

I have a podcast to recommend to you. I’ve listened to it a few times before, and just listened to it again, twice, while doing some gardening at sunset out in the front yard.

The interview provides an excellent, clear, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to Aikido. If you are not yet familiar with Aikido you’ll learn a bit of its history, and how it’s distinct from other martial arts. Even if you’ve trained for years, there’s probably something new here to consider about your practice.

The podcast is just over an hour long. At about 16 minutes Walker Sensei makes a very interesting point about the practice of Aikido, in contrast to non-contact practices like (most) yoga and meditation. He also discusses his work in neurodiversity and autism rights activism.

Interview #323
“Aikido, Empathy, and Neurodiversity”
with Sensei Nick Walker, M.A.

The source is Shrink Rap Radio, with interviewer Dr. David Van Nuys, Ph.D. (AKA “Dr. Dave.”) He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Sonoma State University.

According to the brief bio on the site (from 2012), “Nick Walker received his M.A. in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, where he now teaches in the undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies program. He holds the rank of 6th Dan (6th degree black belt) in aikido, and has taught the art of aikido to adults, teens, and children for over 30 years. He is founder and senior instructor of the Aikido Shusekai dojo in Berkeley, California.

I will be looking up other podcasts from Shrink Rap Radio, too. There is another with Walker Sensei, and #268 – Visual Thinking in Autism with Temple Grandin Ph.D. Hundreds of interviews. Good stuff. They also have apps for iOS and Android, plus you can download the podcasts from iTunes.