I asked powerful women in martial arts how training in their discipline helped them overcome issues, be stronger leaders and become more confident in themselves and less-self conscious of their bodies. I received so many replies from amazing women I decided to do a Martial Arts Mini Series. I hope you enjoy their stories of strength and endurance as much as I do.
Martial Arts for Women: Find Your Power & Voice Amidst Difficulty
By Judy Ringer
Training in Aikido has changed my life personally and professionally. For the past 15-plus years, I’ve been practicing Aikido both on and off the mat. I founded Portsmouth Aikido (Portsmouth, NH, USA) in 1995, and am currently a second degree black belt. I’m also the founder and owner of Power & Presence Training, offering programs on conflict and communication skills that use Aikido as a metaphor and teaching tool. In 2006, I wrote the book, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict – stories and practices about Aikido applications in the real world. I happen to think the stories are dramatic and moving, and some are profound. You can read two chapters on my Web site.
Since you practice Aikido, you know how many ways the principles can be used in daily life. Personally, I’ve learned through Aikido how to be more assertive. As a natural accommodator and appeaser, my patterned response in conflict is to try to make everyone happy. Practicing Aikido has helped me find my power and my voice in difficult situations. When appropriate, I can now more easily say no, ask for what I want, and express a difference of opinion. Aikido’s emphasis on tanden or one-point has taught me how to center myself and that centering is a choice I can make at any time. When I’m centered, I’m calmer, more confident, and wiser. I’m able to connect with my best intentions and lead others by aligning with theirs.
Aikido’s emphasis on using the opponent’s energy has helped me (and helps my clients) transform conflict into opportunity and resistance into connection. Aikido helps with inner conflicts, too. The link below is a story from my monthly newsletter, Ki Moments, that applies to many women, I think.
Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict. She provides conflict and communication training throughout North America with unique workshops based on mind/body principles from the martial art Aikido, in which she holds a second-degree black belt.
Judy is also the author of two CDs, Managing Conflict in the Workplace: An Aiki Approach, and Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life’s Ki Moments, as well as the award-winning newsletter, Ki Moments.
Judy is founder of Portsmouth Aikido and sole owner of Power & Presence Training, in Portsmouth, NH.