Episode 82: Aikido therapy – creating harmony inside and out

In this episode I have the delight of connecting with Chris Mc Cormac from Ireland. He is the co-founder of Aikido Therapy, a therapeutic approach designed as a complimentary health therapy response to addictions, relationship difficulties, stress management, anxiety, bereavement, conflict resolution and more. In our dialogue Chris tells how he first came to see the connections between aikido, which is a modern martial art based on ancient Japanese warrior practices, and the field of therapy. He further explains how the interplay between people practicing aikido mirrors what might go on inside a person. Because of this aikido therapy can support healing and development through helping clients to become present to their emotional and psychological challenges, and it points to how one can embark upon a conscious way of transformation.

“In aikido there is no winner, no loser, just two people in a dynamic form of movement, observing and living in the moment trying to become conscious and present. So both people need each other, rather than the one person surviving and the other one dying” – Chris Mc Cormack, from the interview

If you feel inspired or provoked by our conversation feel free to add your comments after the interview. You can also send in a written piece of work and get it published together with this episode. Further details can be found here.

Episode links:

Aikido Therapy
Paulo Freire (summary of his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
Albert Pesso 
(talk by Pesso titled “The roots of justice are in the body“)
Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido (1883 – 1969)


ai = harmony, unity, blending
ki = energy
do = way, also michi
dojo =  the place we practice aikido
tori = the one who takes, defender in aikido, also called nage and shite
uke =  the one receiving, attacker in aikido
budo = the way of war/battle, the Japanese Martial arts
tatami = the mat on which we practice
ma ai = harmonious, balanced distance between training partners
ukemi = falling
san shin = remaining mind   

Chris Mc Cormac together with co-founder of Aikido Theraphy, Mary Hoban

James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (34) er lærer og arbeider i Osloskolen. Han har bred erfaring innenfor dialogbasert prosessledelse, nærværstrening og konflikthåndtering. Ta kontakt med James på følgende adresse: james.arnfinsen @ gmail.com
James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (34) is a teacher, his subjects being geography, religious studies and sports science. He is currently working as a teacher in Oslo, Norway. In his spare time he practices Aikido, a Japanese martial art.