Lastly, a word to the wise. Unlike a formal dojo, even if we are assured that participants are involved voluntarily, they may have felt pressured to take part by their superiors. Further, engaging others in physical simulation exercises, we run the risk that people may be deeply disturbed by the process. They may be completely out of touch with their body, the exercise may trigger a deeply conditioned reaction, or they may have experienced trauma that has been stored in the musculature and experience an unexpected, frightening release. Once facing a practice with a partner, they may not be comfortable being touched, but not feel that it’s ok to say so.
As practitioners we hold a deep responsibility not only for participants’ physical safety, but their emotional safety as well. We are accountable to be constantly sensitive to the individual and group dynamics that are occurring during an engagement. People must be reminded that they are at personal choice regarding any exercise and that they will be completely supported if they choose to observe rather than take part directly.
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