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IPCR F Martial arts for peace Page 4

Amy Buffenbarger MA/SOC ‘10

Sixteen adults in a semi-circle reach their arms toward imaginary stars. ey chant “ooh” and “ahh” in peaceful harmony. Next, they clasp their hands before them, and end the exercise with a minute of meditative silence.

  • e adults were participants in the

“Exploring Peace through Movement - Shintaido movement workshop,” hosted by the IPCR program. e Saturday workshop was led by master Shintaido instructor Haruyoshi F. Ito.

in their communities and work. ey believe their work as peacemakers is highly connected to their own relationship with peace.

Elli Nagai-Rothe, MA/IPCR ’10, organized the workshop. Nagai-Rothe has been practicing Shintaido for three years. She started to notice a connection between Shintaido and her studies in peace and conflict resolution.

“In the academic world there is intellectualizing and theorizing of peace and conflict. It’s in our head, not so much in our bodies. Shintaido can connect the two,” said Nagai-Rothe.

Shintaido is a spiritual martial art based on moving meditation. It focuses on using body movement to deepen the connection one has with their inner self and nature. While it is a martial art, Shintaido does not involve combat.

“e form you make with your body acts like an antenna. You receive the energy from nature and broadcast that energy to the world around you,” said Ito. rough that practice, Shintaido artists believe they can achieve peace in their minds and bodies.

Shintaido practitioners believe the inner peace they have achieved can be shared outwardly through peacebuilding activities

  • e workshop was organized to help

participants explore the role of movement and the connection between body and mind and then to use that connection to expand understanding and gain new insight for peace and conflict resolution. Rather than think of conflict resolution as an external issue to oneself, Nagai-Rothe hoped the participants would come out of the workshop with a more holistic understanding.

In layman’s terms, how is someone supposed to successfully resolve conflict in a community when they don’t have a full understanding of conflict as an individual?

  • at’s what the workshop aimed to explain

(from left to right) Master H.F. Ito, master Shintaido instructor and Lee Ordeman DC Shintado instructor. (Elli Nagai-Rothe).

by introducing peaceful movements of Shintaido to connect the mind with the body and through discussion about how to use that connection in peacebuilding work.

  • e Dialogue Development Group and

Creative Peace Initiatives, two student organizations, co-sponsored the event.




and the


on Crisis

Reporting, American University






Sudan: Rebuilding Hope

Film Screening and Panel Discussion with Koor Garang and Director en Marlowe

Thursday, April 15, 2010

6:00 pm in American University’s Greenberg Theatre 4200 Wisconsin Ave.

RSVP appreciated: http://ww .usip.org/events/rebuilding-hope-washington-dc-premiere

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