Aikido, and Developing Resilience

Read the article below to learn the inspiring story of Molly Hale, who currently holds the rank of godan—5th degree black belt—in Aikido. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of training with Molly at several seminars. and she’s been a good friend and mentor on my Aikido journey. She’s a strong, positive, sweet woman, a passionate equestrian, and a brilliant singer, too!

Imagine having that kind of ability to work with what life deals you, instead of living in denial, pushing back against your circumstances with anger or negativity, or just giving up.

Hale credits Aikido for the unfailing mental resolve and resilience that powered her through the challenging, years-long recovery process.

“In Aikido, you’re going with the flow and you’re responding to the attack that shows up. On some level, it was almost as though I had been in training all of my life for this experience,” says Hale. 

— Carolyn Gregoire of The Huffington Post, in her article How This Woman Went From Quadriplegic To Black Belt — And Is Helping Others Do The Same

Be sure to watch the video, Moment to Moment, at the end of the article.

Benefits of Inhabiting One’s Body

Dessa, a 3′ 6″ Detroit disability activist, begins training in Aikido, via an Embodied Leadership workshop. She discovers how the practice can support her in life, and in her role as a leader. You can read in her article, below, how excited she is at discovering whole new dimensions of herself.

The way we move and treat our bodies is often indicative of (or a metaphor for) how we show up in the world.

Our bodies reflect where we are emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.

Read Dessa’s insightful article on Shetroit, “Warning: Learning to Flip Grown Men Can be Good For Your Health

Aikido is an embodied practice. As people, we become what we habitually do. Our repeated physical behaviors essentially wear paths in our way of being. If we spend our days fighting our circumstances, resisting conditions, and fighting against situations or others, we become resistant, competitive, oppositional – and probably tired, too. Instead, in Aikido we can practice being calm and soft, listening, feeling, being receptive, supporting, protecting, and collaborating. Then we take those ways of being into our daily lives.