There are currently openings for Adult and Children students. Interested candidates are invited to observe a class. The dojo is co-located with the Toledo Zen Center at 6537 Angola Road Holland, OH 43558

Aikido is a non-competitive martial art that can be practiced by almost anyone. Aikido techniques do not rely on physical strength but rather develops relaxed power through the focus of intention and Ki. The result is a creative method of non-destructive conflict resolution.

Aikido is practiced on many levels. The first level is includes the development of stamina, flexibility, and learning how to focus one's intention. The second level is built on the first and stresses self-defense techniques that teach the natural order of movement. In this process the students also become adept at ukemi, the art of rolling, falling and protecting oneself. Aikido provides the opportunity for the development of the entire person. It is a workout of the entire body and mind and results in increased strength, overall physically fitness, flexibility and centeredness.

At the third level students are gradually introduced to the secrets of receiving and harnessing the power of ki, they also develop spatial awareness and learn to judge proper timing and distance. During this training the goal is to establish and maintain an energetic connection to your partner and to lead them off balance. This eliminates the need for more destructive means of resolving situations.

The highest level of aikido is mind over matter. This involves the use of visualization techniques, the power of intention and ki, breath control and meditation. Aikido is truly a spiritual martial art that explores themind - body - spirit connection. This advanced level of training at Shobu Aikido reaches a level not easily found elsewhere. The student learns how to manifest power and effectiveness by the focusing of intention alone. This level depends on and can only be reached through the refinement of technique and the students own deepest feeling. For this reason it alternates between the physical and the spiritual.

In the process of practicing aikido, students inevitably find themselves less stressed and more energetic, better equipped to manage life's many conflicts with calm control. Aikido is great for adults and kids alike because practice encourages respect for self and others, self control, cooperation and responsibility.

Gasshuku or weekend long intensive seminars with William Gleason Sensei are available seasonally.

Children's aikido classes provide a friendly, non-competitive environment for students to become more physically fit, agile, flexible, aware, focused, and relaxed. They learn how to safely fall, roll and perform a variety of self-defense techniques in a supportive, comfortable setting, and parents like Aikido because kids learn how to be powerful without becoming destructive.

An interesting book

As a beginner in aikido, I am always looking for books to supplement my first steps in this martial art. "The Aikido Student Handbook" by Greg O'Connor (purchase it through the Toledo dojo's home page) has been a great first resource for me. It's one of those books I'll be reading and referring to on a regular basis. While I was out of town for the holidays this past week, I bought "Aikido Basics" by Phong Thong Dang and Lynn Seiser. It's very good too. Sometimes the descriptions of techniques are difficult for a novice to understand just by reading them, but I particularly appreciate reading sections about proper aikido etiquette, mental approach, and ki development. If anyone has particular books they would recommend -- especially for someone new like me -- I would appreciate hearing about these books. Thanks. ---Tom

A Shodan Tradition?

It has been common knowledge in the dojo that Doug Krohn would go without a haircut for several months until the shodan test where he would shave his head soon afterwards. (Check out the "before picture" in our group photo with Saotome Sensei.) Well, during this past Thanksgiving Gasshuku at Chicago, I agreed to shave my head as well after the test. And then Doug, Sensei, and I talked Douglas Cifuentes into joining the band wagon. And so Doug shaved his head the following Monday. Then on Saturday morning, he brought his clippers and shaved my head before class. Then three weeks later, Douglas finally fulfilled his pact. So do we have a tradition -- that every Chikyokan dojo member who achieves the rank of shodan will have his/her head shaven? As the Pharaoh Rameses, played by Yul Brynner, said in The Ten Commandments: "So let it be written, so let it be done."

-Andre (aka "Muketsu")

Dojo Store Items Are Now In!

The new clothing and other items are now in at the Dojo store! Please pick them up when you are in. We have a few extra t-shirts and cinch bags if you are interested, and everything came out really well.

Sensei teaching students at Maumee Valley

Sensei was invited to teach aikido for two weeks to my Winterim class ("The Science of War") at Maumee Valley Country Day School. The students were able to learn much in these hour-long sessions, and they told me later that this was one of the highlights of each day of the course.
-- Tom

Some facts about the New Year in Japan

Check out this page on Wikipedia for some interesting stuff re: the New Year celebration

Do more research, you will understand why the New Year activity is called 'kagami biraki'
(Hint: click on the link to 'mochi' then 'kagami mochi') It has to do with a mirror, and coincidentally our dojo is "Wisdom mirror"... "Chikyokan Dojo"

akemashite o-medetō-gozaimasu - あけましておめでとうございます - New Year's congratulations
kinga shinnen - 謹賀新年 - Happy New Year!

Thanksgiving Seminar with Mitsugi Saotome Shihan

I had a great time traveling to Chicago in support of the Shobu Aikido dojo. A few pictures for those that didn't make it.

End of the Year Dojo Tradition

Last year we at the dojo started a tradition of giving Jay Sensei a little extra in his stocking at the end of the New Years keiko. I would like for us to continue this tradition. (Caution...Guilt Trip Ahead!!) Seeriously, we are so fortunate to have a teacher that is teaching full time. This is almost unheard of in the USA. In Japan, the sensei for most everything, in fact most everyone, is paid at the end of the year, which is how this tradition started. Jay Sensei devotes his being to the Dojo and the Zendo, so if you can give $10, or $50, or $100, please do so. Please see Chuck Greer or contact any senior member of the dojo and they will get it to me.
Thanks, Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas to all of you

Dojo Winter Holiday Break & New Years Eve Keiko

Regular classes at the dojo will be suspended on Dec 24th and will resume Jan 2nd. Our Special New Year Eve class will be held from 10pm till midnight - please make sure to register for this class at the dojo.

- Sensei


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