In life, what counts is how you walk through the fire.
We are pleased to announce the launch of our Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds necessary to bring Aikido---the healing art of peace---to veterans suffering from Combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder throughout the United States.
We need your help in helping veterans with CR-PTSD nationwide
We’ve produced a video that tells Tom’s story, and the story of Keganin No Senshi Aikido. Visit our Indiegogo campaign to view it and to learn more about our inspiration and mission to reach more veterans with this program.
The campaign is ambitious, and we hope to raise $54,000 in 54 days to bring the KNSA program to Aikido practitioners and others who work with veterans living with CRPTSD across the country. With this funding we will be able to further develop, train and support a nationwide program of autonomous, local groups capable of utilizing Aikido as a means to meet the special needs of veterans with CRPTSD.
BUT – we cannot do it without you.
Here’s how you can help:
Even if you can't make a monetary contribution, you can still help by spreading the word:
If you can contribute, please do - and encourage your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to support us, too.
- Tell everyone you know about our campaign and encourage them to spread the word – through word-of-mouth, email, any and all forms of social media, carrier pigeon, and Indiegogo (add link) share tools.
- If you know any veterans, veteran service programs, or Aikido dojos that might be interested in starting a program, please encourage them to contact us or let us know so we can contact them.
Suicide Rate Soars for Young Vets
The recent report
released by the Department of Veterans Affairs on suicide rates among veterans has spurred some interesting, but not surprising articles, both in Time Magazine
and in Stars and Stripes
. This isn't really new news, but it is particularly bad news, and some sources consider the numbers still quite conservative. Among other things, the data suggests that the number of male veterans under the age of 30 who commit suicide increased by 44 percent between just 2009 and 2011. “Their [young, mid east theater vets] rates are astronomically high and climbing,” Jan Kemp, the VA’s National Mental Health Director for Suicide Prevention, told Stars and Stripes.
At KNSA we're encouraged by the stories we hear from vets who practice Aikido, stating that they feel practicing Aikido, and taking the principles of what they practice on the mat into how they deal with the world, could well be what has saved their lives.
by Tom Osborn
As a result of publishing this newsletter, I am hearing from more and more veterans who practice Aikido. As I reach out to other vets, the most effective thing seems to be telling of my experience with Aikido and how it has helped me deal with my CRPTSD. We all learn best from stories, but so far I have only my one limited set.
What I think would help, a lot, is to be able to share the experiences, feelings and examples from a larger group of vets telling their stories about their combat experience and how they feel Aikido is helping them. With this in mind, I would appreciate stories from any vets out there who might be willing to use their stories to help other vets recognize the value of Aikido in regaining control of their selves, in having their lives become more worthwhile.
We don’t need anything fancy. You don’t have to try to write a great literary masterpiece. In fact, just telling it in your own words will be the best, most powerful story another vet can hear. We tend to be down-to-earth, grounded, no bullshit [except our own, maybe] grunts. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation, or whether you split an infinitive or write something in the past implausible indubitable. We have great editors, evidenced by the fact that this piece is properly written. It is not because of my skills, believe me.
And even if you don't send us a story, let us know you are out there. Between KNSA, Aikido for Veterans, and Aiki Extensions, we might be able to come up with a way to get us all de-isolated, supporting and sharing with each other.
Aikido for Veterans (AFV) Launches New Program
Aikido for Veterans (AFV), a sister organization to Keganin No Senshi Aikido (KNSA), is committed to having every veteran returning from the mid-east, and their families, practicing Aikido.
AFV and KNSA's first joint venture to introduce veterans to introduce veterans to Aikido was a seminar led by KNSA founder and veteran, Tom Osborn, and AFV founder, Dave Drake. The seminar, held at Boulder Aikikai, home dojo of Hiroshi Ikeda Shigan, also featured instructors Lia Suzuki Sensei and Bruce Heckathorn Sensei in a series of practice sessions designed for veterans who suffer from Soldier's Heart, other wise know as PTSD.
In February AFC is starting a new initiative for the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. WTB closely resembles a "line" Army unit, with integrated Army processes that build on unit cohesion and teamwork so that wounded soldiers can focus on healing to transition back to the Army or the civilian status. Within a WTB, wounded, ill and injured soldiers work with a team (physician, nurse case managers, squad leader) who coordinate their care.
Veterans selected for the program will have the opportunity to practice Aikido on base, as well as to transition to practice at a local dojo certified for the training. AFV thanks Ken Gee Sensei of Pike's Peak Aikido in Colorado Springs who is the first to be certified. The program, based on KNSA's somatic therapy for combat-related PTSD, will be let by Bruce Heckathorn Sensei.
Readers interested in supporting this program financially should contribute through KNSA's Indiegogo campaign which will enable further development and distribution of the "Wounded Warrior's Way to a Unified Spirit" approach to practicing Aikido with veterans.
Internship and research opportunities
Internships: Work with KNSA to build a nationwide network of dojos, veterans organizations and others who can benefit from KNSA's ongoing support and resources to support Aikido programs for veterans. Responsibilities include social media management, research, database entry, communications and outreach support. This internship is a great opportunity for individuals looking for marketing and communications experience to build their resume.
Qualitative and quantitative research analyst graduate students: We would also be very interested in working with a graduate student[s] interested in researching the effects of Aikido on people with PTSD. One of the sources of resistance to getting recognition from the VA and other major sources of funding is the lack of objective data. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence and subjective reports supporting Aikido’s effectiveness, but hard evidence from well structured, scientific research is lacking.
KNSA: A program for veterans, developed by a veteran
Keganin No Senshi provides kinesthetic therapeutic activities specifically designed for victims of combat. The program is based on the art of Aikido as taught at two Veterans Administration facilities and extensive research conducted for the book, Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Holistic Approach, by KNSA founder, sensei, and veteran himself, Tom Osborn (click here for Tom's blog). It is intended to be offered as an adjunct to, and in collaboration with, ongoing counseling programs. The KNSA training program provides initial training and the first level of certification in the KNSA approach and demonstrate how to establish and maintain a successful Aikido program for veterans.
Keganin No Senshi Aikido is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization