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.

Muketsu Invades L.A.

Greetings and salutations! I'm having a great time here in Caly. As always, I'm dropping it like it's hot. In addition to seeing the sights, I got the opportunity to train at one of the local dojos. Earlier this (Wednesday) evening, I went to the Aikido Center of Los Angeles, which was formerly headed by Rev. Kensho Furuya Sensei. Furuya Sensei studied under the 2nd Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. You may have seen Furuya Sensei and his dojo in one of the martial arts features shown on The Discovery Channel. He passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack earlier his month. The dojo is currently run by Sensei's senior students as they await instructions from Hombu.

I was not allowed to take pictures of the dojo, so I'll try to describe it as best as I can. The dojo is located in what appeared to be a warehouse building in Little Tokyo. The entrance into the dojo's courtyard is accessible through an alley. The narrow courtyard is landscaped with bamboo, flagstone steps, and Japanese flowers. Upon entering the dojo, the mat was right in front of you with the shomen to your right and stairs on the left leading to the changing room on the far side of the dojo. The walls and surroundings were decorated with calligraphy, photos, and shrines. There were many boxes lying around as the dojo is in the process of moving to a new location. The mat space is rather small, about half the size of the mat at Chicago Aikikai. I had to be extremely careful and mindful of my surroundings when it came to rolls and breakfalls.

The students there were receptive. In tonight's class, there were eight students who trained, four yudansha including myself and four mudansha. The class was run by Ken Watanabe, 5th Dan, who is one of Furuya Sensei's senior students. I noticed, however, that some of their "customs" were different from ours. For example, the hakama - worn by the yudansha students - were black. Furthermore, they don't clap at bowing in and bowing out, and they are particular at the direction nage and uke face during practice. In our dojo, shitachi faces the shomen while uchitachi faces the mirror during weapons class. In taijutsu practice, the orientation of nage and uke is irrelevant. Anyway, after warm-up exercises, we worked on ukemi, first with forward rolls and then backward rolls. Afterwards, we practiced on a few techniques such as tenkan ho, irimi nage, ikkyo, kote gaeshi, kokyu nage, and kokyu tanden ho. It was interesting to feel how their style or approach to technique is different from our style. Unfortunately, it is difficult to describe and elaborate in words.

At the end of class, we thanked our partners and scrubbed the mat. The students were very thankful and honored by our card with our signatures and condolences. It was an intense practice, and I enjoyed my time there. I hope that the Gasshuku back home went well and that all of you are doing well. I'll see you on the mat. Gassho.

-Andre ("Muketsu")


Chris W said...

Droppin' it like it's hot, huh? Of course you are. I'm glad you are having fun. I have also trained at dojos where the mat space was much smaller than ours, and we should consider ourselves lucky to have such a huge mat.

aikikan said...

I will be glad to give you photos of Aikido Center or LA. Your blog is very nice!
Ze'ev Erlich


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