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.

Dojo Garden?

Post your dojo garden comments (see 'Sensei's Garden' above) here!

Some reflections

Sensei asked those of us who passed our tests a few weeks ago to offer some reflections afterwards. The first thing, to be honest, is the sense of being... well, 'nervous' isn't the right word. Apprehensive? Having all my dojo friends sitting there in a line, watching the proceedings in silence. Sensei calling out these terms and then just reacting instinctively. The second thing is how supportive everyone had been, especially in the weeks leading up to the test. Veterans would practice moves with us rookies before, during, and after class. Another thing I realized is that I think this will make me a better teacher in the classroom. I can empathize better now with my students as they prepare for exams. I think too many adults get complacent; they don't set small goals and they forget what it's like to have the good nervousness of pulling lots of ideas together. But the final sense is that this is just a beginning. I'm still at the point where my moves are too mechanical and even getting my hakama on is a trial, but I don't sweat it. It's all a process. I thank everyone who helped.

Sensei Says: "Whole Grains should be about 50% of your daily diet."

Step one in getting your food together is learning about the importance of whole grains. The dojo has a pressure cooker and flame tamer that you can look at if you would like to see them. Best way to learn this stuff is to do it - anyone want to take responsibility for cooking the rice for next tuesday nights community meal? Leave me a comment here if so...

Here is a sample from the Okugyo Cookbook, thanks to Tenzo (head cook) Kim for posting these:

Brown Short Grain Rice1/2 cup rice per person
1 3/4 cup water/cup of rice
1 T. Olive oil
1 T. Sea salt
1 Pressure Cooker
1 Flame Tamer

Rinse rice three times in pressure cooker pot. Add appropriate amount of water, keeping in mind what is already left in the pot from rinsing. Add about 1/2 T. oil for every cup of rice. Sprinkle with salt. Once the lid is secured, cook on a medium to high flame for about a 1/2 hour, until the pressure gets up. Lower the flame, add flame tamer and allow to cook for roughly an hour.


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