Using Silence in Meetings LO2965

Ann-Marie H Johnson (
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 23:14:11 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO2928 --

RE: Martial Arts

Having studied the martial the arts and eastern philosophy for many years,
I learned that the martial arts in the truest form is actually the
antithesis of violence. Read _The Art of War_ and _The Art of Peace_ if
you are interested in more insight into this interesting irony. Yes, the
butterfly technique is an example of that very concept of overpowering a
force by diverting it and even eliminating it. I have found in the
meeting facilitation work I do and in other aspects of my life that I can
divert forces using these concepts. It's very interesting also that the
psychological community notes that one way of giving power to something is
to ignore it. It's sort of like telling a child to stay out of the
puddles. We all know where that child heads directly - right for the

Ironically, the martial arts is really about non-violence. If one is
prepared to fight and able to do so well, that person has a confidence
that others are less likely to challenge. Also, that person knows that
they can win a fight and need not try to prove it. I heard a martial arts
instructor who works in the inner city deal with a young student who was
threatened by another child from a different martial arts school. The kid
wante the instructor to talk to the other kid, but the instructor did not.
Instead, the instructor told the kid to do 10 pushups every time the bully
threatened him so he would be stronger. Well, the first kid must have
been threatened a lot and he kept doing those push ups. The bully finally
left him alone. Was it because the first kid got stronger physically or
becuase he stood up to the bully, albeit in a passive way. That may be
open to discussion, but the point is that the martial arts instructor
resolved this in a way that was empowering for the boy **AND** non-violent
since the instructor was not using his expertise as a threat in any way to
the bully.

Thanks for the opportunity to share this with you. I was quite intriqued
with my three and a half year study of the martial arts and have enjoyed
this opportunity to share with this wonderful group!

Ann-Marie H Johnson <>