Aikiskills is based in the philosophy of the martial art of Aikido, but how we did we arrive at what is nowadays an art and methodology used by businesses, crisis managers, press managers, politicians and professors alike?
AikiSkills is an art and methodology that has been developing since the 80’s.
Patxi Andres, our main and master trainer or AikiSkills Sensei, started to do Aikido a little after finding himself looking for answers on how to communicate differently, at that time, from his perspective as an educator.
Patxi studied biology and when he finished his degree, he began giving classes in Biostatistics in the university. He was a professor of the type that focuses on giving the information and expecting that everyone understands it. Every time there was a test, he saw that that wasn’t the case because the answers on the exams demonstrated that they hadn’t registered what he had been saying (the grades were very bad). But like the majority of professors (sadly), at the beginning he saw his students as a “distracted and not intelligent enough bunch of people”. Assuming it was their fault!
With a little time he began to ask more questions and figure out more about communication. He thought that something was failing and started looking for information about how to speak to transmit, how to explain better, and how to make it so the information arrives more efficiently.
Patxi moved from Venezuela to San Francisco (USA) and after various coincidences, he ended up studying “Optimalearning”, which really made him curious about the possibilities of seeing communication in a different light.
Upon returning to Venezuela, he began to study Aikido and he started to see the similarities between Aikido and interpersonal relationships (our day-to-day) and how to handle the energy in a different way to achieve results in common. Instead of separations, union. Instead of returning an attack and creating a bigger mass of violence, de-escalate and try to make the attacker desist.
Through the years Patxi has trained many companies. Including huge multinationals as Coca-cola, Nestlé, American Express, banks, chambers of commerce, politicians, presidents of countries, presidents of companies, crisis managers, etc.
All from the point of view of how you manage the energy you are receiving, to take it to a coherent point with my goal.
Now it is time to find out where Cristina fit in! Cristina met Patxi when she began to do Aikido in 1996. At that time, a few months after graduating from the University in Business Administration, she was just beginning a job in marketing for Pepsi, at a very unique time for that brand in Venezuela.
Just as some situations can wake us up (to certain truths or ideas if we are ready for it), in the following 2 years several things came together: her love for Aikido and above of its philosophy, meeting Patxi and listening to him and helping him with a few company trainings, also a book that we highly recommend if you are already doing Aikido: Aikido in Everyday Life, and the stress typical of working in a multinational company!
In 2002, she left Venezuela for Spain and in 2012 she moved to Florida (USA) and it was in 2016 that she returned to the idea of going back to work formally with AikiSkills and, with Patxi, to bring it to the US.
For Cristina, AikiSkills was a 180 degree change when she started to see the parallels in the martial art and in daily life. At Pepsi, she had already seen how connection is the quickest way to de-escalate a situation, and from there, the next great “proof” of the power of AikiSkills for her, has been motherhood. How she communicates with her children is based in how she connects with them, using her center and the “Aiki tools.”