What is Aikido?
Aikido is a peaceful martial art from Japan which has enjoyed a high level of recognition in Europe for some decades. It is a purely defensive technique learned together with practice partners. Translated, the word Aikido means: the way to harmonize or align the energies. More precisely, it’s about receiving an attack in a way that ensures one’s own self-protection and neutralizes the aggressive force, while at the same time safeguarding the well-being of the other so that in the end nobody is hurt. It is this peaceful approach that makes Aikido so attractive and its philosophy so applicable in our daily lives.
Underlying Aikido are some principles and ethical ways of thinking that fascinated me from the start. Whether it’s to do with stability, clarity, the quality of contact with the opponent or respectful interaction with each other, these principles are infinitely useful – especially in our modern life.
And what is Leading with Aikido?
Leading with Aikido is a concept developed by me, which is based on my many years of experience and expertise as a leadership coach as well as on my own Aikido practice. My clients benefit from this very special combination: scientifically proven leadership know-how together with exercises and principles from Aikido. An innovative and effective approach from which you can only benefit.
Through this approach, the learning content of my coaching sessions and trainings can be experienced in a totally new way – more tangibly and vividly. The effects are more enduring and compelling. I am positively surprised time and again by the particular effectiveness of this combination, and experience again and again how it ultimately convinces people who were initially sceptical towards it.
The effectiveness of Leading with Aikido was the subject of a study at the Kölner Hochschule für Medien, Wirtschaft und Kommunikation, with a thoroughly positive result – something which makes me very proud.
Who is Leading with Aikido suitable for?
The method is suitable for everyone who would like to strengthen their self-confidence, their personal presence and leadership skills, or move their team forward. As a participant in one of my coaching sessions or trainings you don’t have to have any previous knowledge or any particular physical constitution. To be sure we’ll be using elements drawn from Aikido as needed but we won’t be doing sport. For that you’ll have to go to a real Aikido dojo (training hall).
Naturally these exercises have very much to do with movement. In each session however, the exercises are designed to fit the needs of that particular target group so that everyone is able to perform them. These are very simple yet succinct movement sequences. It goes without saying that each and every person is free to decide for themselves whether they want to perform the exercises or not. That is actually an essential principle of Aikido: self-protection equally includes being aware of your own boundaries and limits, which may indeed translate into sitting a particular exercise out.
In the past, I once worked with someone in a wheelchair who could barely imagine that Aikido would be something ‘do-able‘ for him, let alone that it might be able to help him. In spite of this, he possessed the courage to try exercises specially designed for his needs and was able to take some wholly unexpected discoveries away with him.
Is special equipment or clothing needed for such training or coaching session?
In an Aikido dojo (training room) one wears as a rule an appropriate Aikido suit. In my workshops and one-to-one sessions however, such a suit is not required. Comfortable trousers such as jeans or sports pants with a t-shirt or sweatshirt and non-slip socks or gym shoes are perfectly adequate. You should feel comfortable and be able to move easily.
How do I know which session is the right one for me?
This is a very fundamental and important question. It’s very important to me that you get exactly what you need to fulfil your goals, be it on the level of your own personal development, or that of your management or team. In the course of an in-depth conversation in which I’ll learn more about the background to your request and the current situation, we’ll work out a list of concrete questions and tasks. Following this, you’ll receive a concept proposal from me with concrete ideas of how to move forward.
In addition to my program “Leading with Aikido“, which is being taken up by many clients, I continue to offer classic individual coaching, trainings and workshops without elements of Aikido. The choice of suitable concept is dependent above all on the personal taste of the client. Because as we say here in Cologne, “jede Jeck ist anders” (no two fools are the same! / Every man is different), and so every person will favor a different way.
Naturally I not only use the wisdom of Aikido, but also work classically with cognitively-based methods.
And should I think that you would for one reason or another be able to achieve your goals better somewhere else, then I would tell you frankly. Such openness is important to me and in both our interests.
What do you like about your job?
I’m a people person. I love to support people in achieving their goals, in being more authentic, more convincing, more successful and more simply satisfied. And most especially, I love that I’m able to accompany people in their development and be a witness to their evolutionary journey. That’s why I experience my profession as truly fulfilling.
And I experience it as a great gift that I’m able to use Aikido – this fascinating martial art which I have been practising continuously since 2002 and from which I’ve drawn so much personally – in my professional life and through that bring others closer to this treasure trove of wisdom.
Is there something that you always say to your clients or give them to take away?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! You already have so many skills and strengths. Believe in yourself. That’s what I do!