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.

Reflection on Testing

As a doctoral student, I’ve certainly seen my share of tests. They come in every form: multiple choice, practical, essay, oral and moral. As a scientist, I’ve also administered my share of tests; we disguise them by using the term “experiments”. From this perspective, one realizes that the information gained from a test can only be as good as the test itself; a well-designed test should provide a true to life result, whereas a poorly designed one may even suggest a result contrary to reality! I believe most exams exist somewhere in between, in varying shades of grey. What is the real value, then, that is obtained with such variability in testing?

A favorite bumper sticker I’ve seen says: “As long as there are tests in schools, there will be prayer!” The implication here is that the learning process does not provide an expectation of absolute perfection when testing; rather, the test provides a new environment for self-evaluation of skills. A certain amount of grace is needed in addition to skill or knowledge for the very best score! The added pressure of testing should not be regarded as an obstacle to success, but instead a mirror from which one can discover the future’s path. The shihonage that felt so comfortable every other time could only accidentally morph into a sankyo under the influence of examination pressure. Clearly there is a relationship here to be explored! Importantly, it is less likely that this connection would have so obviously revealed itself without the added pressure of the attentive gaze of Sensei and the audience. Sometimes the best understanding comes after a mistake on a test.

Of course, the martial application of Aikido requires the correct execution of technique without negative influence from mind in order to be successful. Randori cannot have an Aiki outcome if the large gentlemen feigning malicious intent paralyze the Aikidoka with fear. The process of life-long study becomes clear here; I suspect that approximately one-half of samurai to ever enter battle learned of faults in either their technique or minds in the final moments of their life! Thankfully, the study of Aikido provides a peaceful means to develop harmony of mind and body without the corresponding decrease in life expectancy!

Examinations are less a chance to prove what you know than a chance for the individual to discover how well he or she actually knows it. Capitalization of this opportunity for self-reflection can be achieved not through pride regarding the correct answers, but through continued exploration of the mistakes. It is through the continued recognition and evaluation of our limitations can we consistently thrive. Just some thoughts; thanks for reading!


1 comment:

Mike Brown said...

To the Chikyokan Aikidojo community:

Hello, this is former student Mike Brown. I vanished some time ago without much warning or explanation, and I would like to take this opportunity to give a long overdue “thank you” to everyone. The trust, gratitude, friendships and hardships we share practicing such a personal and intimate art is truly amazing. I am deeply thankful that I trained with all of you, and even more importantly, that I had the chance to know so many wonderful people.

Although I may not see you again, please know that I wish you well. It was never my intention to become a stranger, so feel free to e-mail me ( if you like.

Best wishes to all!
Michael Brown Jr

P.S. Sorry if I posted this in a bad spot. Also, if you thought I grew up and got all boring and serious or something… BOOOSH! Twice!


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