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.

Help for Mary Sensei

We will be taking up a collection at the dojo to help Mary Heiny Sensei pay for a hip replacement operation. Mary Sensei spent her early years of training in Japan (some of the same time Gleason Sensei was there) studying with all of the Shihan at Hombu Dojo as well as Hikitsuchi Sensei at Shingu. Click the title for more information about her and the procedure. Thank you in advance for your support.

Bodhidharma's "Two Entrances and Four Practices" (part 2 of 3)

Jay Sensei presents a retreat workshop at the Toledo Zen Center on January 20th, 2008.

"Entering through practice refers to four all-encompassing practices: the practice of requiting animosity, the practice of accepting one's circumstances. The practice of craving nothing, and the practice of accord with the Dharma."

Download the Drinking Gourd Podcast on iTunes, or at

Bodhidharma's "Two Entrances and Four Practices" (part 1 of 3)

The Drinking Gourd Podcast presents a retreat workshop with Jay Sensei at the Toledo Zen Center on January 20th, 2008.

This workshop begins with a historical overview of Bodhidharma's time and the teachings ascribed to him as they relate to other spiritual teachings of the day. After this, Chikyo begins working with the text: "There are many avenues for entering the Way, but essentially they all are of two kinds: entering through Principle and entering through Practice..."

Available on iTunes as "The Drinking Gourd Podcast" or Here.

Gasshuku with Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan

Here is a clip of Yamaguchi Sensei, a former uchi deshi of O Sensei, teaching a seminar in Europe. Just a friendly reminder: Bill Gleason Sensei, a former student of Yamaguchi Sensei, will be leading this coming weekend's Gasshuku at Shobu Aikido of Ohio. All are welcome. Gassho.

Spreading the word....

In February this year a former religion professor had asked me to speak to her spirituality class, about spirituality in the martial arts.  I agreed and thought what an opportunity for me to talk about something so passionate to me.  The talk was on Tuesday the 18th of March.  I started the conversation off with the history of the incorporation of Zen into the martial arts.  Elaborating on the history of the samurai exploring through their zen masters the still point.  Immediately it began to resonate with the crowd of students.  They were sitting there like deer in headlights but with a smile.  I continued to speak about the ethics of aikido and how we are not out let the mind of ego control our actions.  But rather, how we are set to train against the enemy within ourselves first.  We meditated for about 5-7 minutes, then the therapist in me got the better, and we shared how we felt afterwards.  I spoke  to the crowd for a little over 1.5 hours.  It really put into perspective for me what aikido has evolved into for me.  I really think that if we have the opportunity to share with a friend or a colleague about what it is we do in the dojo we need to not pass it up.  When O'sensei aikido is for everyone, he meant just that.  Everybody in that class room could identify with the energy and feeling of watching out for our fellow man, and togetherness.  The professor is actually making it mandatory that the students who missed the talk have to attend and sit in on a keiko sometime.  I thought this was fantastic.  Respectfully,

Support the Dalai Lama

Shobu Community -

We just signed an urgent petition calling on the
Chinese government to
respect human rights in Tibet and dialogue with the
Dalai Lama. This is
really important, and I thought you might want to
take action:

After nearly 50 years of Chinese rule, the Tibetans
are sending out a global
cry for change. Violence is spreading across Tibet
and neighbouring regions, and the Chinese regime is right now making a crucial
choice between tougher
crackdown or dialogue.

President Hu Jintao needs to hear that 'Made in
China' exports and the
upcoming Olympics in Beijing will have the support
of the world's people
only if he chooses dialogue. But it will take an
avalanche of global people
power to get his attention. Click below to sign the
petition – in just 3
days, the campaign is almost half way to the goal of
1 million signatures!

Click Here to sign.

- Jay and Karen

Gasshuku with William Gleason Sensei, March 28-30

Author of the book The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, featured instructor of the video Aikido and Japanese Sword, student of the great Aikido master Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan, and teacher of our very own Jay Chikyo Weik Sensei; Bill Gleason Sensei, 6th Dan, is finally coming back to Toledo. It has been about 3-4 years since Gleason Sensei had conducted a weekend seminar with us as he has been occupied with the Okugyo retreats and publishing his new book, not to mention there is a second video in the works. It has also been quite some time since we had a guest instructor at our Gasshukus. Do not miss the opportunity to learn from such a well respected teacher and practitioner. It is especially important that we have a large showing at this particular Gasshuku so that we may honor his visit with our presence. Therefore, please make time in your schedules for what will be a valuable experience. Gassho.

Here are some articles on Gleason Sensei and his experiences:

"My Experience with Yamaguchi Sensei"

"Sharing Aikido's Life Lessons"

"Thank You" note

Here is a note from the Owens Japanese Club to us:

Domo arigatou gozaimasu for your hospitality at the dojo on Saturday. It was so nice of Sensei and you all to have us in your session. Please send best regard to Jay sensei and all for us.

Thanks to everyone who participated with the Owens folks this past Saturday. This is the second year they have been here, and it has been a positive experience for them each time.

Easter Pot Luck at Sensei's!

All -

You are invited to a pot luck at our home on Easter Sunday (March 23rd this year) at 4pm.

All are welcome, let me know if you will be coming or if you need my home address.

- Jay, Karen and Isabella

Aiki Shrine Trip

After Thursday morning keiko, Taisho and I began our 20 hour trip to the Aiki Shrine.
When we finally arrived at the "Aiki Corral" we were happy to see the training area had removable walls allowing the sounds of the surrounding bamboo to fill the dojo as the cool breezes came through. There were about 30 of us in attendance and we were treated to an excellent training session focusing on the ki extension and precise irimi. Sensei gave us some nice gems to enrich our study and Taisho and I were fortunate to be used for ukemi several times. When we took lunch break on saturday, Taisho was recruited to cut some wood for the evening's fire. He was the only person to not change out of his dogi and when he finished with the work, was covered in a nice layer of sawdust from his face to his knees. After the days keiko, we celebrated Saotome Sensei's birthday and were treated to some excellent food, beer and the best birthday cake I've ever tasted. There was a very friendly, easy energy throughout the entire experience and we got to talk story with some of Saotome Sensei's original students, some serious characters and great story tellers. Sensei came out sunday morning in all white with a black haori and laughed as he told us he nearly forgot about the hour we lost to daylight savings time. We had a very rich keiko after which we were able to take a photo with Sensei and hang out before the long trip home. If you ever get the chance to train at the Aiki Shrine, 1) do not miss it & 2) for god's sakes do not drive.
click on the title for more photos.

(A Real) Guitar Dojo!

This pic is from a recent workshop I held at the dojo for my university guitar students. We worked on Shin KoKyu breathing and saw how being centered in the moment is critical to the performing musician! Jazz is Randori in another context...

My guitar students have their own blog, viewable here.

Living Without Conflict

Jiddu Krishnamurti speaks with a talk show host of the 60's. Expressing the Art of Peace in another voice...


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