Aikido in Corporate Culture

We have another guest blog from Jamie Leno Zimron, Director – Mideast Aikido Peace Project.  The underlying principles of Jamie’s work are the same as those within the embodied training that Integration Training carries out. Check out the website for more details.

It is now well-known that stress and lifestyle imbalance are a major cause of dis-ease in our modern lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in corporate America, where “stress management” and “workplace wellness” have become prime buzz words. Finding easier healthier ways to get the job done, and done well, ranks right up with leadership development and team-building as choices for company trainings.

The ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu endeavored to teach people the paradoxical power of “do less, accomplish more.” The ancient Greek sage Hermes laid the foundation for all philosophy and science to come, including modern quantum physics, when he proclaimed “as above so below.” Hermes outlined 7 essential energy principles of “Divine Magic” that focus on Vibration and Rhythm in the manifestation process. The genius of Aikido’s founder, Morihei Uyeshiba O’Sensei, was in establishing a physical practice that embodies the esoteric and essential truths of how Ki / Energy works – in our bodies, minds, relationships, and throughout the entire planet and cosmos.

Relating the energy-wisdom of these great masters to lowering stress and raising results has become a focus of my work in recent years. In golf (and all sports) this looks like discovering how to stop killing-the-ball and mentally beating ourselves up, and using instead the power of breath, positive ki-flow and unified swing motion to play and score better.  In conflict resolution – from couples mediation all the way to mideast peacemaking – it is experiencing the “magic” of mutual respect, receptivity and non-violence to produce beneficial outcomes for all involved. It means leaving behind old habits of power imbalances, domination, fear and destruction. In the business world it resounds as a profound need to realize productivity and profitability goals in ways that are grounded more in fun, fitness and flow than in old-school hard-nosed hierarchical dictums.

Early in 2010 I developed a corporate leadership course called Effortless Power For Unprecedented Success. A workplace wellness variation on this theme is entitled Stress Less / Prosper More. I have been fortunate to become a speaker-trainer for CEO groups across the US and Canada, utilizing Aikido-based practices to help shift their modus operandi to a new somatic-based success paradigm of Peaceful Power.

It has been nothing short of fascinating and heartening to see the response of corporate executives to these teachings. The CEOs I’ve been meeting acutely feel the intense demands, pressures, pace and responsibilities of their jobs. They relate instantly to “multiple attack” analogies, and gratefully engage in “corporate randori” training.  Exercises to learn Peaceful Power / Stress Less Skills – including Centering, Grounding, Breathing, Relaxation, Alignment, Unification, Yielding, Blending, Flow – elicit amazed happy “aha”s along with a flood of new ideas, inspiration and solutions.

I am enjoying seeing how much CEOs, and other businesspeople, are enjoying the somatic nature of these corporate sessions. They really appreciate the opportunity to get out of their heads and into their bodies (and yes, their hearts!). It is wonderful to watch them letting-down and opening-up, and to see childlike joy infuse their grown-up thought and leadership. And it never fails to make my spirit smile when ties and high heels are taken off, office chairs pushed back, pens put down, and we all bow to one another in an Aiki breath of mutual peaceful empowerment.

Jamie is a 5th Dan, Psychologist and LPGA Pro, is the creator of KiAi Golf and The KiAi Way Inc. peak performance trainings.  She is a co-founder and director of the Middle East Aikido Project and serves on the board of Aiki Extensions. Based in San Diego, Jamie Sensei travels extensively conducting talks and trainings, and can be reached at 760-492-4653 /

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