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Conferences > Extending into the Community

4th International Conference of Aiki Extensions
The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
October 4-6, 2002

Friday, October 4

  • 8:00-8:30am REGISTRATION Swift Lecture Hall (SLH)
  • 8:30-9:30am CENTERING & CONNECTING 1025 E. 58 th Street

At a time when media glorify violence, and martial arts get known as techniques for “fighting back,” many young people believe that the best way to deal with conflict is through physical or verbal combat. This attitude generates angry outbursts that disrupt classrooms, stresses that impair students’ ability to concentrate, and costly acts of violence. Aikido movements and principles offer students non-injurious solutions to conflicts, enabling them to remain calm, listen with open minds, communicate with compassion, utilize their creativity, and act with clarity.

  • 9:30am-12:20 YOUTH OUTREACH: I (OPEN TO OBSERVERS) Chair, Don Levine SLH

The Greater Chicago Aikido Youth Outreach Project has identified three programs that have had success in introducing aiki options for dealing with conflict. The programs differ in format but share a commitment to active experiential learning and harmonious, constructive problem-solving. Each program will be described by its creator and chief practitioner, who will also demonstrate features of the program with a small group of novice high school students.

    • Scott Evans, ALTER (Aikido Learning Therapeutic Experience Resource)
    • James Landry, Dynamic Peace
    • Michael Bailey, Ki for Peace
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm LUNCH (meet by clusters) Bartlett Cafeteria, 5640 S. University Ave.
  • 1:45pm-3:30pm YOUTH OUTREACH: II Chair, Jack Susman SLH
  • Discussion of morning demonstrations
  • Bronx Peace Village/Dojo: Four years of experiment in aiki training Bill Leicht
  • Update on Crystal Farms School Tom Osborn
  • Working with youth in prisons Pamela Ricard
  • Working with emotionally disturbed children. Mark Rubbert
  • 3:30-4:30pm Concurrent workshops SLH
  • Playing games with kids and teens Martha Levenson
  • Translating aikido into verbal responses Hugh Young
  • Writing grant applications Lynn Seiser
  • 6:15-7:15pm Keiko (with a dollop of AE mediation) Henry Crown Field House (HCFH), 5550 S. University Ave
  • Rick Stickles and others
  • 7:30 Dinner in local restaurants

Saturday, October 5


Aikido training has been found helpful as a way to give law enforcement officers and military personnel more resources for remaining grounded and aware in high-risk situations, a wider range of techniques for dealing with aggressors, and practices that strengthen the ethical tone of conduct both in uniform and after discharge.

  • 8:45am-10:00pm LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PUBLIC SECURITY Chair, Eric Henkels SLH
  • Update on Marine Warrior Project Richard Heckler (in absentia)
  • Strategies in peace officer training Bill Leicht, Keith Moore
  • Effects of aikido training on police work Officers Michael Bailey, Matthew Little

The Healing Arts cluster was formed by merging previously separate groups, Bodywork and Psychotherapy, given aikido’s assumption of the essential intertwining if not unity of bodily and mental processes. One area of their work consists of ways of dealing with abusive persons and their victims

  • 10:15am-noon DEALING WITH ABUSE Chair, Lynn Seiser SLH
  • Aiki ways to deal with abusive persons Hugh Young
  • Randori between extremes with the mentally ill Vaughn Brandt
  • Working with victims of sexual abuse Paul Linden
  • 12:00-1:30pm LUNCH (meet by clusters)


As advanced students and aikido instructors, AE affiliates naturally seek to enrich their command of ways to teach the practice more effectively—an interest that rarely gets satisfied beyond the confines of their dojos or associations. Aiki Extensions offers an opportunity to pursue that enrichment, and a milieu where senseis feel safe to try exotic techniques, explore “mistakes,” and challenge conventional modalities.

  • 1:45-2:45; 3:00-4:00pm IDEAS FOR TEACHING AIKIDO Facilitator, Don Levine HCFH

    This wide-ranging interactive session features a collaborative inquiry into ways we teach aikido and its applications. Participants will have opportunities to present and ask about ways to teach specific ideas and values, such as direct communication, courage in high risk situations, maintaining connections, active listening, getting back to center, and the like.

  • 4:15pm-5:15pm ROUND-ROBIN KEIKO (an Aiki Extensions special)
  • 6:00-7:00pm Board of Directors meeting
  • 7:30pm CONFERENCE DINNER 5721 Blackstone Ave.

Sunday, October 6


Often described as "moving meditation,” aikido requires stilling of the mind even as the body is in action. As with meditation, higher states of consciousness can be attained through practice. The practice of blending movements and deep breathing creates an experience of harmony in conflictful encounters, good foundation for an embodied spirituality that embraces compassion and connection with others—and links with other spiritual traditions.


  • 8:00-9:20am Time with Wendy Palmer

    Wendy Palmer has maintained an active sitting practice as well as a creative aikido career for some thirty years. Through workshops, videos, and publications, she has expanded the understanding of aikido as a spiritual practice. She will offer an experience of guided meditation, and then respond to comments and questions regarding her recent book , The Practice of Freedom: Aikido Principles as a Spiritual Guide.

  • 9:30-10:00 Aikido and Kabbalah Jack Susman
  • 10:00-11:00 Facilitated discussion David Lukoff and Beth Tabakin

    How can spiritual experiences be cultivated off and on the mat using aikido practices and principles? This session offers a space for dialogue about higher state and spiritual experiences associated with aikido.

  • 11:00am-12:30 BUSINESS MEETING


  • Don Levine, Chair, Conference Planning Committee (
  • Vaughn Brandt, Conference Secretariat (
  • Dwight Sora, AE Secretary-Treasurer (
  • Scott Evans, Newsletter & Program Editor (
  • Jason Shadday, Housing (
  • Kagan Arik, Local Hospitality, (
  • Kevin Roland, Registration (
  • Richard Baxter, President, U of C Aikido Club (


  • Prison Integrated Health Program (Wendy Palmer)
  • The Heal Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee (Stephan McLaughlin)
  • Rochester Area Community Foundation (Judy Warner)







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