Jedi training in Belfast?

Ok, ok, bear with me here :-).

Allen Baird and Rory O’Connor will be offering a personal development seminar in Belfast on the 17th October, but with a twist. Like a previous event that Allen has offered, the whole thing is steeped in metaphors related to the Star Wars movies, in order to put over some serious ideas in an accessible and fun way.

The event will explore lots of concepts like non violent communication, body language, assertiveness among others. I will be offering a slot at the end with a little aikido, to explain how it physically embodies some of the other concepts in resolving conflict with a minimum of force. And I’ll be helping John Donaldson demonstrate some iaido, and finally we’ll have some fun (I hope) with the lightsabers Allen and Rory are giving out to to the delegates as part of the package.

And then, we will go home and rethink our lives. 🙂





2 responses to “Jedi training in Belfast?”

  1. Donal Campbell avatar
    Donal Campbell

    I’m sure this will be a lot of fun, although I’m slightly concerned by the use of the term “non-violent communication” by the organisers. I think from the context and the mention of body language, they might mean non-verbal communication – specifically the social signalling controlled by the human limbic system.

    There is plenty of scope for you to bring in the martial and self defence aspects of non-verbal communication in your demonstration, for example how the use of particular stances can manipulate an opponent into attacking in a certain way, or how a sudden shock (like a well-timed kiai!) can induce a momentary freeze reaction in the opponent by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. Or even how you can spot when a confrontation is about to turn physical!

    I have some reference material that may help if this is an area you want to develop for your presentation, and I’m sure there’s no better man for a blood-curdling kiai than John!

  2. Colin Turner avatar
    Colin Turner

    Hi Donal,

    Hmm. Possible they mean non-verbal communication, but funnily, I am currently reading a book on non-violent communication that was recommended to me by Ian Dodkins, (which has some very interesting ideas), so it might be that. I suspect in fact it will be a bit of both in the end.

    Those are all good ideas, and I’ll be careful to bear them in mind as I put together an outline of what we will talk about. I’ll have a good chat with you about the outline before we go live.

    Ahem, as for John. He came up tonight to help with some publicity photos before the class. Then he gave about 30 minutes of a class. It was very informative for all of us, and he finished with an extremely impressive Karate kata, where I pointed out that he had been going very slow with the class, whatever they might have thought :-). And yes, he did do some kiai. It’s not something that comes naturally to me at all, quite a failing really!

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