The Aikido of Conflict

By UPLIFT on Sunday May 31st, 2015

The Aikido of Conflict

Ever find yourself stuck in a gnarly conflict with a friend,  parent, or partner and not know how to get out of it?

How to break the deadlock when the two of you have locked horns, and no matter what you say, you’re only digging yourself in deeper? If you try switching your attention from the fiery words flying back and forth, to the energy moving between you instead, you might have a great surprise – and relief – in store for you.

When you step back and see whatever is going on between you and another person as a play of energy, you access a space of consciousness that allows you to break the vicious chain of action and reaction. The point in any argument or conflict is never so much the issue at hand, but a clash of vibrations or frequencies between you and the other. Something is “underneath” the surface level of the conflict, both in you and the other – when we look there, without judgment or blame, the knots begin to become undone by themselves. The deadlock shifts into connection, and long-held energy patterns begin to melt down on both sides. How does this magic happen?

How to break the vicious chain of action and reaction?“How to break the vicious chain of action and reaction?”

According to James O’Dea, the lead faculty of the Shift Network’s Peace Ambassador Training,

Peacework can be compared to Aikido. To be effective one must go far beyond merely dealing with spoken input. Ambassadors of peace must also become highly skillful in perceiving energetic shifts and signals in themselves and in others.

In his insightful interview “The Aikido of Conflict”, he gives us some valuable clues to how this works.. He is talking about peace-making between cultures and nations, but what he says applies equally well to us in our everyday lives. This is what he shares:

“What we see in the great teachings of the masters through the ages is that your consciousness modulates the energy around you. It’s your consciousness that expands the energy or contracts the energy. So right there we have the primary map — all of our skill- building boils down to whether you’re expanding or contracting your consciousness and, of course, how we do that, particularly in difficult conflict situations.

The new physics of the last 50 years tells us that everything is energy. Matter is energy and, wow, there’s something so important in this discovery because that energy is nonlocal. So whether you want it or not, whether you hate some people or you don’t, whether you feel you’re separated or not, we are all connected. That’s what contemporary physics says. Energy is everything and everything is connected and it’s connected nonlocally all across the universe.

And once we start talking of energy that leads us into a conversation around fields. In his new book Ervin Laszlo speaks about the self-actualizing Akashic field of universe, which he calls a field beyond all fields. We call it the mother field. We can go from that Akashic field all the way through intermediary fields to the field around our own body. What’s happening in that field is vital to your understanding of what’s going to happen in conflict situations around you.

I learned so much about this when I was with the Kogis. The Kogis are an indigenous ethnic group in Colombia, whose civilization has been continuous since the Pre-Colombian era. The Kogis are energy masters. When you go to a Kogi village you don’t just walk in. They meet you and they scan your energy field. What they are doing is looking for elements of energies in your field that are unintegrated. What you’re bringing into their village energetically, bringing on to their mountain energetically, is most important.

And then they have a process if you’re not carrying too much baggage. They say that non-judgment clears the field. So before you go anywhere or any encounter in your life, you need to do some field clearing.

Whether you’re holding something about yourself or somebody you’re in conflict with — for instance, you’re nervous about meeting them, you feel that they’re volatile and it’s going to be difficult — ask yourself: What am I holding? How am I going to release that? The first thing the Kogis would have you do is be non-judgmental of yourself and others. Just look at that energy, look at that relationship and release it.

They have a beautiful ceremony in which they put cotton balls into your index finger and thumb. And as you feel that vibration shift into your own energy field, you release the energy into the cotton ball. So you’re doing energy clearing. I saw one couple that was amazing. They were sitting down doing couples work, releasing the energy from themselves and even from the objects of their household. There were several toys and objects and I noticed how they held them, cleared the energy around them — and then the children came and picked them up and started to play with them!

So they understood the energy isn’t just people. It’s in things. It’s in everything. That’s a very good example of the very first principle we talked about. Consciousness modulates energy and the cleaner in the group is non-judgment.

Shakti, Prana, Qi — all of those words mean the subtle life force energy“Shakti, Prana, Qi — all of those words mean the subtle life force energy”

There is research that shows that even when you apply subtle energy to cells in a Petri dish, you can positively influence their health. And the principle here is that subtle energy organizes denser energy. We’re talking here about Shakti, Prana, Qi — all of those words mean the subtle life force energy.”

So the next time there’s a relationship issue that’s really challenging you – stop, make space, release judgment, feel the energy, and let it go – then watch the magic happen!




How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.



Creating a New Story for Humanity

Why Men’s Friendships Can Feel So EMPTY

Maya Angelou’s 3 Word Secret to Living Your Best Life


Choose Her Every Day or Leave Her

The Amazing Legal Movement Giving Water a Voice

How to Manage Your Time More Effectively


Subscribe to UPLIFT

UPLIFT is dedicated to telling the new story of inspired co-creation.

Get free updates and news about UPLIFT events and films.




the yoga channel


follow UPLIFT on   



Join the Conversation

1 Comment on "The Aikido of Conflict"

newest oldest most voted

While in conflict resolution training this week I offered aikido as a perfect analogy. That it is reflected perfectly in the way of the peaceful warrior. Thanks for giving such a clear example for me to share. A deep bow to you. 🙂