The Breath Kata
The Breath Kata alternates between expansion and reduction. It uses similar movements to what you find in the Breath Stretch. The two moves are Ki-no Nagare and The Funnel. It is particularly effective in de-escalating an exchange when being assailed with a plethora of different criticisms. Practice repeatedly the two movements until you are able to express them congruently, i.e. with a sincere desire to understand your partner.
1. “I’m listening, do go on…”/ “Is there anything else?” (Ki-no Nagare)
2. “What’s the priority/most important thing here for you?” (The Funnel)
Practice with a series of attacks, for example
- – You’re way too naive!
- – You don’t make any sense!
- – You are so lazy!
The effectiveness of this Kata, as with any well-executed movements in Verbal Aikido, is due to the fact that you’re listening to your partner. Facilitating the person in this way – helping them feel understood, giving them the space to express themselves and recognizing what is important for them – all contribute to an energy shift that will enable you to lead the exchange to a more converstational mode (Ai-ki).