Come join an evolving community of people who are dedicated to practice in the Art of Peace.
Two Rivers Aikido / Kalispell Zen Center is a community resource offering a venue for those interested in and dedicated to Peace.
The Aikido School is affiliated with California Aikido Association, which credentials our ranks in Hombu Aikikai, International Aikido Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan. As an International Peace Dojo through Aiki Extensions we utilize our on the mat training in programs taking Aikido principles and practices “off the mat” to bring peacemaking into the community through outreach in schools and community service organizations.
Aikido: Often translated as The Art of Peace, is a martial art that leads us through non- violence to a peaceful warrior stance in the world. It is a way to train the Body, Mind, and Spirit, to be at peace within oneself and in relation to the world. Effective as a powerful self-defense it also (and more importantly) teaches a way to be in the world where students learn to deal with life’s “attacks” and where ultimately, no defense is necessary. Integrated within, yet far beyond the martial discipline Aikido is a path of personal, relational, and community transformation.
As a Zen Center, Aikido is practiced as a fundamental movement meditation in concert with sitting meditation and contemplative studies.
“Zen” is simply, without religious affiliation, a Japanese term meaning: Contemplation or Meditation.
Universal Energy: The stuff of which everything is and what holds everything together, God
A dedicated path. Usually one oriented toward significant transformation of the individual.
Aikido: A path toward harmonizing with the natural flow of the Universe.
Benefits of Practice
The Martial Aspect (self defense)
Aikido has its roots in a powerful and effective martial art. It can subdue the most violent physical attack. As a martial wisdom practice: Aikido is really about not fighting, stopping the fight within us and then in the world. It is not however, about retreating from or avoiding conflict. It is about engaging in life fully and fearlessly with the skill to transform aggression and violence. The goal of Aikido is to bring harm to no one, even an attacker. Additionally, in Aikido, we learn how to fall. We learn how defend (protect) ourselves from unforeseen or unexpected variations in our circumstances. It is at least as important as learning how to throw or pin an attacker . . . maybe more.
Regular training provides for a thorough movement discipline that increases strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, spacial awareness, and vitality. We learn energy (Ki) exercises that help us to be more resilient in our lives, more available to sustained health, more sensitive to our bodies needs, and more open to an integrative awareness of body and mind.
Is the what, when, where, why, and how of our emotional life. Learning that in different circumstances and situations with different people and environments we feel a wide range of easily non-predictive emotions. Understanding this process in our bodies (especially during conflict) is an immeasurable benefit to navigating our daily lives. Increasing our literacy to predict potentials provides for options in self-regulatory skill. Learning how to “take falls” in life and how to get back up confident and ready to try again is a fundamental skill whether slipping on the ice, being pushed down, getting a poor grade, losing a job, or the break up of a relationship. Learning to take a fall gives a person a tremendous amount of confidence in their ability to deal with life’s challenges. Through Aikido we practice the ability to become more emotionally resilient.
We engage in a practice to develop positive (forward) thinking, present moment awareness, and discernment of future possibilities.
We learn how to make effective decisions quickly and assess the need for change proactively. We also develop an insight into what is of benefit to all concerned parties. We learn to lead others into the space of that same positive and unified progress toward mutually beneficial goals.
When we learn how to take a stand for what believe in and can stay connected to what we most care about, we become more dignified, more compassionate, and demonstrate the ability to maintain this and help others regain or retain their own honor. We are able to guide ourselves and others through difficult situations resulting in consensus building and mutually personal victory: A true Win/Win encounter where no one loses, where loss is eliminated for the equation.
Aikido’s benefits transcend the development of mere martial skill. We study the ethical decision point between harm and protection, between hurting and healing. With time we have an increased capacity to handle the pressure of an “attack” – the pressure of conflict. The path of Aiki teaches us how to be more authentic within ourselves and in our relationships in the world. It is a non-violent resolution and reconciliation process for every conflict both internal and external.
Aikido: is not a religion and embraces people from all faiths and practices. At a deeper and more essential level, the level that O’ Sensei points us toward, Aikido is a spiritual path aligning it’s practitioners with the natural laws of the Universe. It shows and invites us by method and practice to directly experience our innate interconnectedness and Unity with each other and all things. The study of connection leads us to a “felt sense” of Union and a direct experience that even amidst our unique diversity and multiplicity, we are upon final realization . . . One.