Welcome to the Upkido dojo
How might we improve everything we touch?
Upkido = Aikido + Upward Spiral (or Uplift)
Aikido is a defensive martial art known for graceful blending with incoming forces to neutralize attacks. It's intended to be a peacekeeping technique. Here's some footage of its inventor, O Sensei:
Upward Spiral is the intentional shaping of an environment, sometimes through very small actions, so that it continually improves.
Arthur Brock introduced me to this idea through this video of Paul Krafel, who improved hillsides and valleys in Northern California by taking strategic action with a hand trowel:
A few months later, I happened across a documentary about the Loess Plateau, a Belgium-sized part of inland China that had become a dusty wasteland. Over a decade, using principles very similar to Paul Krafel's on California's hillsides, but at much larger scale, they re-greened their habitat.
That sparked my enthusiasm about the "upward spiral" humans can create. Imagining it as a practice, I blended it with Aikido, which is my preferred form of mindful exercise.
Upkido is a tongue-in-cheek experiment. It isn't really a martial art, but we'd like to consider it as such, and figure out what practices it should incorporate.
The metaphor of a dojo, the place where you learn the way, is helpful. The idea that there are senior participants, whose job it is to help the junior participants understand the practice, is also helpful.
Upkido is a personal practice, but it is social. Like Aikido, it should be practiced with others, with the goal that everyone's actions improve.
Ping me to join in evolving Upkido.